Flash forward two years… Sam is now serving a mission in California, Riverside, and here we are in Fiji. I don’t think Sam had it planned quite that way, but that is how it worked out.
Long story – short – ever since we arrived here we have wondered just exactly he worked. When Scott and Ann were here we talked about it, but no one knew exactly where to look. So after they returned home she dug out his old letters and sent us the village where he stayed and the island he visited for his “fun” time.
This is a long Easter week-end and we didn’t have any plans so why not try and find the village where Sam worked? The village is called “Nabudrau” Village. We found that it is out past the airport, in the same general area that we found that lovely beach not too long ago. So on Friday we undertook the assignment to find it and take photos.
With the help of our GPS we found it fairly easily and we stopped to ask which houses were the village center and discovered three young men from Suva, out spending the Easter break with family at the village. They became our instant “tour guides”.
They took us to the center of the village and explained to everyone why we were there and that we just wanted to take pictures. They took us to the school and after we showed them the photo of Sam sitting in one of the classrooms they took us right to the very classroom. It hadn’t changed much in two years.
We took along a bag of Starbursts and I filled my pockets with them. The 3 boys all had pockets full of them as well. They were just getting ready for a Good Friday meeting at the church and all the little kids were dressed in their best. One young girl took over drum duty and announced the meeting time.
We continued to pass out the candy and when my pockets ran low and we still had kids with their hands out, the 3 tour guides took the candy out of their pockets and passed it around. It was touching to see.
We didn’t stay long, but were able to see the toilets they had built. As Sam always told us, “somewhere in Fiji there is a toilet with my name on it!” Well Sam we found the place, but didn’t go looking for your name.
On the way back we took a detour to the beach and discovered a large group doing baptisms in the ocean. It was pretty fun to watch. What a fun way to spend a day off and re-live a few Sam memories as well.