Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)
TITLE: Island Adventure
By Lois Farrow
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Our rental van takes us under coconut palms and past vibrant hibiscus to visit old haunts and catch up with friends. The roar of the surf on the reef brings back happy memories. Roosters crow night and day, pigs and chickens scratch around the gardens; the Saturday market is a riot of colour, fragrance and food.
On Sunday morning we make our way through the ancient graveyard to the beautiful whitewashed church. We enjoy the harmonious singing and the preaching is translated into English for visitors. Afterwards, the local people host a delicious lunch on the veranda of the nearby building.
When we return to the van we find it has a flat tire. This is not a dangerous blow-out as we negotiate unsealed roads, but a sad flat tire just sitting there for no reason at all, ensuring we go nowhere. No problem, says my brother, I can fit the spare. Ten minutes later he is still hunting for it. At last it is located, in a strange place at the front of the vehicle. Very quickly he finds out it is not the spare for this vehicle, it is quite a different size. No problem, he says, I’ll ring the rental company. No answer. Of course - it is Sunday. Everything closes on Sunday in the Islands. Mum and I sit on the concrete steps of the church hall wishing for shade while we wait. Half an hour later my brother gets someone on the phone. They do not like being disturbed on a Sunday, but someone will bring a replacement car. The only problem is that it takes only five people, we are six.
Nearly everyone has gone from the church, but a few young blokes are just leaving and they come by to see what is happening. They offer to take Mum and me back to our motel in their ancient pick-up truck while the others sort out our car. Mum is helped up into the high front seat. Their first attempt to help me on to the open back of the truck fails. I’m not that heavy, surely, and they are young and strong. Next time we’re successful.
Standing with the young bucks on the back of the truck I grip the bars as we hurtle around the island to our motel. They drop us off and go on their way. My brothers come home later with a car and from then on we take turns at staying home.
We are still able to do all we want. When Mum gets exhausted in the heat, we take her swimming in the lagoon to cool off. We laugh about times past, and kayak across the lagoon. Cute cafes down town serve delicious iced drinks.
Never mind flat tires and exhausting heat, it is all part of the adventure of visiting such a lovely location, and all is well.
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