Message in a Bottle

Our next stop was Yanuca – home of the former and future Lovo. Before heading off to the Lau group, however, we contacted Jack (acting Chief) who happened to be in Suva at the time and gave him the approximate date of our arrival. He assured us he would be back in time.

At any rate, straight from Yanuca, here is a “real life” message in the bottle story for you. A young women in San Francisco put a message in a bottle asking that anyone who might find it to contact her. Years passed by and much as it seems hard to believe, the bottle washed up on the beach at Yanuca.

The young man who found it made contact and the young women agreed that she would travel to Yanuca so they could meet. In story book fashion, they fell in love and the women moved to Yanuca. They built a house on the hill overlooking the bay and the village. I believe this is a picture I took of the house although I am not certain – anyway, you get the idea.

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She helped the young man buy a nice panga with a 40 HP outboard. The house has its own generator In short, life was very good for the young man.

I wish I could report that they lived in fairy tale fashion happily ever after. Well – not exactly. You see life on a tiny island is very different then the big city life that is San Francisco. You can well imagine what a culture shock it would be to pack up and move to a tiny island 1 hour distant from nowhere by small boat with just a few hundred other people. WHile the prospect of living on a tropical Pacific Island might sound like paradise, for most accustomed to bigger places it turns into a gilded prison.

Such was the case with the above mentioned couple. Small island life turned out to be too restrictive for her and the big city was too much for him. She gave him the house et al and moved back to the states.

We saw clear evidence of just how difficult it is for young people to bridge two different worlds successfully during our second visit. On our first visit, we met Wadi, a very attractive young women and she and Debby quickly became friends.

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Wadi is from the “big” city in Fiji, Suva, but she had met a young man from Yanuca and they had fallen in love. So Wadi moved to the island. During our second visit, Wadi was no longer the smiling young women we had met on our first visit. She confided to Debby that she missed her family and the big city life in Suva – she just couldn’t stay any longer. She asked if we would take her to Savusavu when we left so she could catch the ferry to Suva. We agreed.

It was a very tearful departure for both Wadi and her significant other. While I suppose it is possible that the romantic bond between them will draw one or the other to make a move to Suva or the island, my suspicion is that they will both end up staying in their respective worlds.

Fairy tales are nice, but the truth is that there is a lot more of the story to be told after the happily ever after part then the story that comes before.

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