Thursday morning (August 25), up at dawn for our early morning walk -- after masu (prayers) -- to watch GOD-splashed colors against Matei's tropical skies...
After watching GOD's artistry, we went back to Naselesele for a quick visit to our bush farm -- and for Vili to get me fresh bu juice right off the tree!
There's a saying in Taveuni: Plant a file in the ground -- it will grow! These string beans and cucumbers are tasty proof that Taveuni is indeed the Garden Isle of Fiji!
Vili also climbed our backyard mango tree so that i can bring some sliced mango back with me to snack on at the airport...
From our bush farm -- cucumbers... fresh and cruncy!
Nau Tuvi and Ana... with Vili preparing these tangy mangoes. (These fruits are green on the outside, but are actually ready to eat.) We have to pick them half-ripe before the bats feast on them all!
A last look at my "home away from home" -- with Ana's just-washed laundry already on the line.
Kuro, Sai and Mai waving a "moce mada!" as they paused from building the new Naselesele Village Catholic church building. (There were actually about a dozen men from the village working on the church this morning and many other men and women are also involved to cook lunch and afternoon tea for the workers -- truly, a community effort from-the-heart!)
Bird's eye view of Matei and Viubani island... as i watched after Pacific Sun's take-off.
What a nice surprise! Serenia and Ana (the two ladies from the right, my friends from Naselesele Village who were visiting Viti Levu) were people-watching in the Nadi Airport lobby. What a blessing that i got to while away some time with them (i had nine hours until the 10pm Air Pacific departure).
After the 10 1/2 hours aboard FJ810 from Nadi to Los Angeles, 1 1/2 hours at the passport-control/arrival area (we were herded like cattle), 45 minutes by Fly Away bus to the Union Station train depot...
...i entered the "wrong" side (this was for the MetroLink -- serving the Los Angeles area).
But there were signs everywhere... sega na leqa! i caught the 4pm Amtrak Surf Liner -- and watched with tired eyes as the concrete scenics of L.A. slid past the train's windows. i was emotionally and spiritually refreshed when the blue waters of the Pacific finally came into view...
This very courteous train attendant kept her balance as the train swayed and rocked to its own beat... like a giant iron snake winding its way southward.
Last stop! At last -- the three-hour ride to downtown San Diego a done deal! It was the last stop for some, but i still had one more to go.
Inside the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego... then i caught the San Diego Trolley for another 30-minute ride southward.
i was quite famished, so i couldn't help but notice that this young woman ate non-stop all the way from downtown San Diego to the Palm Avenue trolley stop. The Wednesday Ladies' Bible Study at Ocean View Church have seen me eat four or five servings plus dessert at the all-you-can-eat salad and soup restaurant (Soup Plantation) -- and they would always ask me, "Where do you put all that food!?!"
Finally home! After Mom picked me up from the trolley station, it was already 8 pm -- still Thursday. She had chicken adobo and fried tilapia and bangus paksiw and ginisang upo... with rice! Aren't mothers great?
GOD is too wonderFUL! Every good thing is from Him -- even these mangoes. Even in the little details, GOD is in control.
...who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Psalm 103:5, RSV)