I look in my camera and I want to scream. A full week in Rabi and only one photo worth sharing.
This is SO inadequate for the experience. Grandson Victor is standing under some uncaptured overflow from a mountain spring that was gushing, GUSHING above (I didn’t take my camera up for fear it would get wet as I was not sure at all that I wasn’t going to fall). Thirty gallons a minute or more pouring out from under great boulders, running through a small cemented catchment, strained through a wire grate and directed into three large pipes that carry the water to the homes in the nearby settlement. Water so clear as to be invisible when caught in a bottle. The twenty minute trek to it, part of it barefoot through nearly knee deep muck, was worth every second.
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Rabi is awash in food. For those actually interested in the flora, there are noni fruits as big as my hand.
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The family we stayed with were so kind, loving and generous. I kept planning to take a photo, and before I knew it the kids were asleep on the last night, and we had to leave at 2:30 am for the boat ride to take us to the bus that left at 4 am that got us to Savusavu at 8 am, for the 4 pm check in for the ferry that left at 7:30 pm that got us to Suva at 8 this morning, for a long typical Suva day followed by bus and truck and finally getting back to the farm at 9 pm. Kind of hard to go back because I didn’t get that family photo. DRAT.
So instead, I shall have to tell you a story from the family. It is a true story. I am giving it the title “The Clever Wife” (The lady who told me this story is the mother of my hostess, Eriten. Rabi names are hard for me, and so I always called her “Aunty.” In retelling her story I will call her Lady, and her husband Gent. And everything is basically what she told me: I only took creative license in the very beginning – because I can see that that would have been the truth, too.)
THE CLEVER WIFE FROM RABI ISLAND
Lady was a beautiful young woman who felt very lucky to be married to Gent, the kindest man in Rabi Island. He was thoughtful of everyone and very generous. Gent was a local police officer and that gave him a good income. Every payday, Gent would go see all his friends, the poorest people, and help them. Everybody loved Gent very much.
As the years passed, they were blessed with one, two, three, FOUR sweet daughters! How wonderful! Except now Lady needed for Gent to bring some of his paycheck home. She would tell him, “Husband, we have four daughters to take care of now. I need you to bring some money home.”
She would tell Gent this, but he could not change his ways. He would still go straight with his money to all of the poor people and buy them groceries and everything else they needed, and no money at all would make it back to the house. Oh well.
Lady thought about it. She had vegetables and cassava and chickens and eggs. She could get pay on payday! She made dinner parcels and took them down to the work place. Other people getting off work were happy to buy some ready made dinner. Lady was able to make as much money as Gent was giving away. And everybody was happy.
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Wishing you all a cheerful week.
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