Backdated entry: 25 April, 2001
I was stinking hot, sweat everywhere. I met some very enthusiastic AYADs on the plane and was reminded of my own enthusiasm and excitement the day I flew to Kathmandu.
Blown away by the countryside I had just flown over, It seemed to me to be untouched forests and hills as far as the eye can see. The plane did a remarkable fly over of the Henderson Airport, and a loop around the bay and over the town before coming to a noticeably smooth landing. It’s hard to believe that 60 years ago the Japanese and Americans fought a bloody war over control of this funny island called Guadalcanal, just to keep control over an airstrip still smaller than Avalon. There I was, wandering across it, sweat beading down my back, passing a grumpy and surly-looking Australian Federal Police officer, standing in the sun waiting for the single Immigration officer to stamp my passport. Hoping my bag had made it.
So there she was. Waiting for me with a coconut in hand. Together we struggled to remember the last time that we’d seen each other. A little too long I fear. Deciding not to split hairs over whether it was 3 or 4 years, Loz and I threw my bag in the back of the car and headed down the single strip that makes for the main drag of Honiara, Solomon Islands.
As Lauren complained about how crazy the drivers could be, and how frustrating the traffic sometimes was, I was blown away by the lack of horns, the people calmly waiting for you to pass before crossing the street. Even the people sitting on the tray of the passing truck seemed to do it passively. The street were relatively clean and the fresh sea air was blowing in through my window. I think I might just have arrived in holiday heaven.