Sunday, April 01, 2012

Fiji! - Still here

Fiji! - Still here April 1, 2012 8:31 pm (April 1, 2012 2:31 am in Aspen) Breakfast - French toast, lunch - veggie stir fry, dinner - grilled opah (I think) No charter today. At various times, we were told the Nadi airport was closed, the Suva airport was closed, the LA flight was canceled (only, according to the Air Pacific website, the LA flight had not yet been canceled)  . . . We're at the point where we don't know what to believe. We do know that the flooding is really bad. Nadi town is under 6.2 meters of water.  At breakfast, we were told that the charter was a no go. We were then offered the option of going to Suva to the Holiday Inn there, where we would be close to the airport if Pacific Sun was able to resume flights to Nadi. We were tempted but the seas were really rough so we waited.  Next, the Internet went down.  At that point, I called the US embassy in Suva to see if they had any advice for us. Mostly it was if you're safe, stay put. Wayne Schmidt, the Consul, did tell me that there are two more storms behind this one, one that looked to be relatively mild but wet and the other that has a high probability of developing into a cyclone by April 3rd. Of note, the staff here already knew about them but hadn't told us.  After a few hours, the Internet came back up and we at least felt like maybe we had some access to information.  We were trying to get a helicopter over here but by the time they finished their prior engagement, the winds had gotten too bad in Nadi and the government wouldn't let them fly. It calmed down here after a few hours but they still couldn't fly. It's possible that the LA flight went both last night and tonight but we really have little way to find out. At this point, six of us are trying to get a helicopter first thing tomorrow to take us to Nadi where we will try to get a international flight to just about anywhere. Our hope is that if we can get to any major international airport, our chances of getting a flight back to the States will be better than it is here where there's been a state of emergency declared. But, we're also very nervous about leaving the group.  In fact, as I write this, all of my certitude that this is the best course of action is melting away.  As tired as we are of being here, there is comfort in the familiar. The staff here has been wonderful, so kind and thoughtful. The ladies from the spa did complimentary foot, hand and scalp massages today. I got a foot massage. Our main concern with the resort is that it appears that the acting manager is out of her depth in dealing with all of this. She's trying really hard but isn't really ahead of the curve. We're also feeling abandoned by Bio-Bio, the trip operator, which didn't have a representative here except for the physician paid to lead the CME course, who left the island on Friday.  So, Happy Birthday to me. Won't forget this one anytime soon.

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