Bishop Rickson, Desmond and I travelled to Parasi in South Malaita today. The airplane that brought us here was the smallest airline aircraft that I have ever seen. It really felt like an adventure to take off with this plane. The view was amazing: We passed the Guadalcanal Plains with their meandering rivers and wide coconut plantages, crossed over the ocean, with some small reef islands popping up here and there and finally arrived at the airstrip of Parasi, or “Parasi International Airport” as Desmond would say.
Bishop Rickson’s wife, the local priest and his family welcomed us warmly at the airstrip and had even made some coconut cake for us. After the refreshments, we continued our journey by boat to Afio – Bishop Rickson’s village where we will be staying tonight. I really enjoyed the trip by boat. Somehow I was not scared at all, but just enjoyed being out on the water and having a fresh brise on my face.
The arrival in Afio was very nice as well. Some school kids were returning to their small villages in their canoes and were greeting us. Bishop Rickson’s wife had arranged another welcome meal for us. Unfortunately, I had to realise how hard it will be to maintain a healthy diet here as a Vegetarian. People do not grow many vegetables and mainly subsist on fish. Moreover, I am very concerned that people will not understand and will be sad that I do not eat the food that they have been cooking for me. I tried to tell them that I am allergic today, but it only helped a little.
Desmond and I will be staying at Afio Lodge today: Very nice place, so one more night of comfort. Cell phone reception, however, is gone, so I guess this post will not go online for a while.