Current Time in Pago Pago

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Were Not in Kansas Any Mo Bwuda

After a frantic drive with dad terry and momma becca we arrived at the las Vegas airport, terminal 2 gave hugs, told the children to be good on their car ride home, and headed for check in. Having weighed our bags at home on a “some what accurate” scale, we held our breath as we checked in. Thanks to the long line behind us they hurriedly threw our bags on the conveyer belt and sent us on our way. We then passed through security where Matthew was put through the new alien transport detector 2000 and I was quarantined with my backpack to be searched. After intensive drilling I confessed to the 4 protein shakes that I had as contraband. After a few winks and a smile the security officer let me off for “good behavior” and escorting my drinks to the security break lounge.
We were finally on our way to our gate. We soon boarded our plane and were settling in, Matthew, with his triple combination to review his scripture and me with my crocheting. Less than half way through the flight our neighbor across the isle leaned over and asked if what Matthew was using was a triple combination….with such language we knew we were from the same planet…..we must have looked like quite the site, Matthew reading scriptures, our neighbor speaking some incomprehensible language about wards and stakes and quads and myself crocheting some strange black web that seemed to be controlling me instead of me controlling it. Probably the only Mormons on the plane and we find each other across the isle. What can I say, we Mormons like to congregate. As we stepped off the plane in Honolulu, our glasses fogged up, we gasped as we quickly chewed the air in an effort to expedite it to our lungs and we tried to dry ourselves on anything that we could find that looked remotely un -moist. Eventually we found our luggage, shuttle, and rental car and were full of hope, joy and faith as we set our sites on the Mormon paradise known as the north shore. We reminisced and laughed as we made our way over the Pali and through Kaneohe. We joked as we recalled the hard times we faced the last time we were on island and had a good laughed as we vowed that this time, things would be different!
We drove up to temple beach and saw the temple in the back ground, it gave us hope and confidence as we started on our mission: finding a place to live for the next six months…..that was 3’oclock. By six, and between my mother and our selves we had called everyone in the poly community short of the king of Tonga…… (By the way, neither his palace nor the Tongan consulate are for rent). Through an error in calculation (and surprisingly, not my error…..I’m language track) there are an estimated 100 single female students and 15 single male students and an en estimable amount of married students that are homeless this semester. Through this we’ve found comfort to know we are in good company. Gratefully we found housing through uncle Larry’s brother, Max Percell. We slept in the Hilton of studio apartments on the north shore. It was great! It was clean, bright, and had good juju J
On Sunday we attended church in the Laie 7th ward where we pleaded for mercy as we sought for a more permanent solution. We attended the gospel principles class, and a new side of Matthew was revealed. Our teacher, a local bwuda spoke in pigeon and made us feel very welcome on the north shore. Matthew joked with him like he was a bwuda from anuda muda. That was the first light of hope we had had since wading through our days of disappointment. What a testimony it is to know that we may be homeless, we may be half a world away from family and friends but we always feel home in the Gospel.
On Monday we had to be out of our personal Hilton. We increased our frantic search for a place to sleep that night. We then got a call from aunt Nancie's nephew, Steven Larsen who said he had a place we could stay till we could find something else. So we came down to Waikiki till we can find something on the north shore.
So today we continued our search for housing on the island. Starting out with a list of about 12 apartments available, we were hopeful but to no avail. So we sit here, on the 11th floor of a 38 store high rise in Waikiki, looking out over the lights on the hillside that looks like a wave on the shore reflecting the moonlight. We put our feet up and listen to the waves as we relax after a short walk on Waikiki beach to calm our nerves.
I think we would both confess that this has been one of the most trying situations of our lives. We’ve been lost, confused, homeless, and unwelcome. Being frustrated with our situation has, as times made us frustrated with each other which only makes us more alone and more isolated. Though were homeless, far from family and unsure what the next hour, let alone tomorrow will bring we know there is very little simpilthy for those lost in “paradise.” And this has helped us to realize how blessed we are. We have had a ruff over our heads every night. We have 3 and a half bags a piece of clothes to wear, and we have food to eat as long as grocery stores have sale items.
Tears have come readily today, weather as an expression of gratitude for the incredible abundance that I receive on a daily basis or for the hopelessness I have felt from my situation, I don’t know which. But it surprises me how emotions on opposite ends of the spectrum are manifest with the same outward expression.
So tomorrow well try again, prayers and tears will be shed, both in our behalf and in behalf of those like us who are desperately trying to accomplish what they feel directed to do. Hopefully, after it all, we will be blessed with one more blessing then we had today, and one more, or one less tear will be shed.