Stuck in Honiara… almost

As I was waiting for my flight at the Honiara Henderson Airport, I had a feeling that something wasn’t right. Moments later my hunch turned to reality when I learned that my flight back to Vila would be delayed for 5 hours. Good Grief, 5 hours! I had no internet, no phone service, no AC, and very little food. Not to mention, I had no money to get a cab back to town. Plus, I didn’t want to leave the airport vicinity because I held-out hope that my plane would show. Such an optimist. Of course, my biggest fear was that the flight would be cancelled, and I’d have to wait a whole week for the next one back to Vila. That was unacceptable, as it would throw off the rest of my itinerary including my return home.

I was caught unprepared. I’ve experienced delays before and long lay-overs, but this was a little different. No AC made it a grueling afternoon.

I had to find ways to keep entertained. I was only ten pages away from finishing the only book I had with me. But I stretched it for an hour. A page for every six minutes. I truly know the ending of this book very well.

I was also in the right place at the right time (but not with my camera) to witness experienced New Zealand RAMSI police greeting new recruits at the airport. They performed the haka which I thought only the All Blacks Rugby team did. Apparently, it’s used in other ceremonies as well.

This wasted about five minutes.

So, I decided to go outside and snap some Pulitzer Prize winning photos:

Along the way I managed to kill some time by talking to a policeman from Honiara, a baker from New Zealand, and a doctor from Austin, Texas. Very interesting people. Before I knew it, my plane arrived. This raised my spirits even more. I was ready to board. I stood up, and walked to the door. I was first in line. Then, it hit me- it would take another hour to unload the passengers and their luggage, as well as to load our luggage. *Sigh* At this point I didn’t care. I knew I was heading back to Vila. Soon. And that’s all that mattered.


My feet. Not sure what I was thinking. It was a long afternoon at the airport.

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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