After making the necessary design changes with a lot of calls back and forth to the US we could finally get a quote ...and we instantly began to rethink the project. The quote was about three times the price you'd expect if you had access to a Home Depot. Well, back to our original plan of just planting trees and having a permanent water catchment system in place for next time. Hey, we've already made a lot of progress on the planting at least!So, another redesign downgraded to a basic carport that could collect rainwater and divert it to the tank/s sitting underneath it.
By now the timing on everything was extremely short. It was closing time at the hardware superstore on Friday, and we still needed a new quote, had to check that materials were available, someone had to assemble and package a list of about a 100 items so it could all be shipped on the Monday ferry. We would have already spent a week longer in Suva than planned and really couldn't afford it. As a reminder, at our camp we're primarily foraging for fruit, tubers and veggies (and an occasional rooster haha!) -pretty close to zero dollars a month. But by the time we were done with the Suva trip we've spent hundreds just on motels, transportation and meals.
We barely made the ferry back with everything. The morning of the ferry we got a call that the timber couldn't be cut and delivered in time, but with some pleading to our fantastic materials manager Bale she was able to make it happen. We were sitting on the ferry for a few hours waiting and waiting for the truck. Luckily the ferries never run on schedule an example of what people call "Fiji Time". We were extremely thankful for it, because the truck arrived about an hour and a half after the time the ferry was supposed to depart!
You hear it often from expats over here and you learn it firsthand: you have to celebrate each victory however small because the next defeat is right around the corner.
It was a relatively pleasant 10 hour ferry ride -especially considering our first horrible trip.
The new island doctor was riding over for the first time, and happened to be a decent guitarist with a great voice. We swapped songs for a couple of hours and he mentioned how nice doing a year of medical practice on a small island like Koro, because he'll get paid relatively well and should have time to work on some of his songwriting and recording skills.