from April 4/5
With all of the bad weather over the weekend, the Kosco didn't even make it out of Honiara to Marulaon until Monday morning, so it was running about 18 hours behind schedule then. When our friendly SITAG deputy, Andy, called the Kosco office to find out what time they would arrive in Marulaon on the way back, the answer was, "Night straight". Got that? Our best translation was that the boat would come in the middle of the night. So, after evening prayer, we began to carry all of our boxes down the hill to wait for the motor canoe. Thankfully, we had lots of little helpers.
We really didn't know what time to set the alarm clock, if at all, so we decided on two o'clock and asked the neighbors to come wake us up whenever they heard the ship. Around one o'clock, Aaron and I both woke up to hear the dugga-dugga of the ship's engines, so we quickly woke up the kids, pulled the sheets off the beds, piled the mattresses together in our room, and covered them with a big sheet. One last stop in the bath room, and we all headed down the hill to await the motor canoe we had lined up earlier. The problem was, the canoe was in another village now, and the owner had his cell phone turned off. Oops.
God had it all under control. A teacher from our village, just happened to be bringing in another teacher to catch the ship, and our friend quickly volunteered to cart us and all of our things out to the Kosco. Three trips and lots of hugs later, we were all aboard the Kosco in a kind of dreamlike state. So hard to say goodbye to all of those people who got out of bed to see us off.
|the stinky fish that saved our spot on the boat - you can see Katherine's shoe just underneath the fish in front, and she has really big feet for a four-year-old|
The boat was full enough that we couldn't find anywhere for all six of us to sit down together, so Aaron and Sarah stayed down on the open deck, while the rest of us went up to the covered deck and split into two teams. The only thing keeping our spot open was two big stinky fish leaking all over the deck. Really. So, we scooted them around and spread out our mats. Katherine and I on one side, and Benjamin and Olivia around the corner.
Not much sleeping happened on the ship. It started to rain after a couple of hours, so Aaron and Sarah just had to stand up and huddle with the rest of the passengers wherever they could find shelter. Of course, as soon as the sun came up, our kids pulled out the books.
When Katherine and I spread our mat, we were head to head with this little cutie and his mama. The little boy kept stretching and grabbing my hair during the night, but Katherine and I got lots of good snuggles.
We finally pulled into Honiara around 9:30 and found our friendly SITAG deputy, Andy, and his son waiting to help us off the boat. What a welcome sight!
Lots of other folks from SITAG came to help us unload our cargo and make sure we got everything safely back up the hill. I drove one vehicle full of kids while Aaron rode in the back of the truck with our stuff. Glad we didn't let the kids ride in the back, because on a big bump just outside of SITAG, Aaron went flying out of the truck!
A big thank you to everybody who prayed us back into Honiara. Our last trip out to Marulaon this year was fabulous!