Sending a son to Fiji

It feels very late tonight. Might be something to do with the very few hours of sleep I had last night. DS has gone to Fiji today on a mission trip. It’s pretty exciting stuff. They have taken in medical supplies and are going to be working with schools and nursing stations and helping out however they can. The school has been going on this trip for ten years now, working with an organisation over there, doing stuff that they are asked to do. I think therefore that it is not just voluntourism but actually helpful and building up of the community in Fiji. And so beneficial to the kids as well.

We were at the airport at 4am. Yes, officially stupid o’clock. Just exhausting. And when you’re getting up that early, you don’t sleep well on the way through the night before. I came home after we had seen them all through checkin and security and I went back to sleep. The good thing about doing less is that you can actually take a day off when you need to. Today was that day. Well half of today anyway – I still had to tutor this afternoon but I took things very easy this morning.

Still, I’m very grateful that they got to go at all. Last night, when we should have been doing our final checks and relaxing into the idea of DS leaving, there was a cyclone bearing down on Nadi airport. It was a big unknown as to whether the trip would be able to continue. It wasn’t a huge cyclone – category 2 not category 5 – but the whole country is still water-logged from cyclone Winston and we weren’t sure what effect additional flooding would have. Not to mention that yesterday’s flights had been cancelled and the airport closed.

We were told to come to the airport anyway and if the flights were cancelled we would all come home and try again later. So there was a big chance that I would have not one, but two, and possibly more 4am starts over the next few days.

But more importantly than that, DS was excited. Really excited. Jumping up and down, can’t sleep or eat, bouncing off the ceiling excited. He has wanted to go overseas for the last decade or so and this was finally his chance. He had raised all the money for the trip himself either by asking for donations or by working for it. He had worked with the other classes in the high school (as had all the others on the trip) to bring in medical supplies and fund raise for the people of Fiji. He was packed and ready by Sunday night. He was EXCITED.

And I couldn’t see how that would play out if we all had to come back home. I didn’t want to have to deal with that disappointment and try to make it better. The reason I didn’t sleep well last night was the worry that I would have a devastated 17 year old on my hands today and I just didn’t know how we would all cope.

I would like to say that I trusted God that he would make the travel happen as planned today but I didn’t. I trusted God that he would get us through the disappointment (if it happened) and that we would be stronger from the experience, but I also knew that it would have been a huge frustration and anticlimax, and hard to handle, and harder to understand if we had had to postpone the travel.

Anyway, here I stand on the other side. The flights went ahead, the adventure has started, pictures from Fiji show DS still bouncing from excitement after virtually no sleep and hours of travel. I know they will have a wonderful time whatever adventures occur now. I am sure they will be safe and will learn and grow heaps, and I look forward to hearing all the stories when they get back. I am so grateful for the opportunity, so grateful to all those who gave to DS and made it possible for him to go, so grateful for the school and the teachers putting in all the effort and planning that they have, and so so grateful that I don’t have to get up at 3am tomorrow morning for another airport trip!

I’m off to bed! Happy Adventuring Everyone!

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