Ok, I don’t have much time, but I thought I’d say this…
Well at debriefing, they suggested that instead of telling you our entire itinerary, we tell stories of impact instead of action. SO with that in mind, I thought I would share with you three of the most impacting things that happened for me in the Solomon Islands.
1. This is probably my second favourite story (next to the boat story). Ok, a key thing you need to know is that one Australian dollar is worth roughly 6 Solomon dollars. You can buy a full size watermelon for $25 Solomon, but soap is about $122 Solomon. Things can be expensive. Anyway. When we went to Munda, we were visiting the school there (Kokeqolo - pronounced kokengolo). They have a Reverend there, and I’m not 100% sure as how to spell his name. But is SOUNDED like Bear, so we’ll just call him Reverend.B. He was one of the most amazing people over there. He was the first black missionary in Victoria. He can speak 8 different languages and translates the bible into them. While we were visiting Kokeqolo, he offered us the use of his translating office for the full time we were in Munda. He said it was all ours. If we wanted to call home using the phone, we could (that would cost roughly $2-3 Australian dollars a minute). We then went onto the deck and Mrs.Wansbrough said “Well if there are any expenses at all from us being here, just let us know and we’ll reimburse you” and this old man turned to her and said “the cost, is love.”
2. When we first arrived in Munda, there was a huge greeting for us. They had decorated the airport for us, made leis, even organized some of the kids from the the primary part of Kokeqolo (and one young man who had recently finished school) to dress up traditionally and surprise us (and wow we were surprised). After the greetings etc, we all headed to the lodge for free Lime Juice (wow it was sooooooo good). On our way there, Emma and I met two girls. Bracken and Anell. Emma became best friends with Bracken, while Anell and I sorta awkwardly talked and looked at the coral and fish in the Lagoon. Well on Friday at the school, Emma quickly managed to find Bracken, but for the life of me I could not reunite myself with Anell. But then a girl came up and introduced herself to me. “Hello, my name is Sarina. I am 12 years old and am in year 6. Who are you?” I introduced myself, and then she took my hand and we walked to the soccer field. While we were there she said “I was talking to Bracken and she said that she had made a best friend from Australia and that I would make a best friend of my own from Australia. Then I saw that you were friend’s with Bracken’s best friend, so you are my best friend.” I could have cried. I don’t think anyone’s ever been so happy to know me. Then on Monday we were walking again and she said “I told my mother that I had a best friend in Australia and she told me that your family and my family will be strong friends always”.
3. As I said, some things in the Solomons can be really expensive. It’s somewhat unbalanced. You pay just over $4 australian dollars for a watermelon, but then could end up paying around $10 australian dollars for a small necklace. It can be shocking. One thing that was expensive all over the Solomons were carvings. You could get bowls, necklaces, turtles, pipes, dolphins, sharks, plates, decorations, masks etc but they were pretty expensive at times. A big bowl cost roughly $700-800 Solomon Dollars. Over $100 Australian. And at the feast they threw for us they gave EVERYONE in the team a big wooden bowl, coasters, a necklace and a sarong. And the thing that is amazing is that they did this without hesitation. It was just love.
Well I’ll update more later, I have to go. But yeah. Just dwell on that. =]