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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The End of the Beginning

February 27. I didn’t even realize it was the last day until Erik had mentioned it. I wish he hadn’t. I became subdued when I remembered that this month must come to an end. Yet again, I had to fight the gloom and make the most of this last day. Most of the group woke up much later than usual, most not even caring weather it was breakfast or not. Some people were in random hammocks and others were in different beds, while the rest had either been led to their beds or had miraculously found their own way. Nobody really cared what we did today, so most of us packed our things, checked out of the room, and laid on the beach while we waited for the boat to bring us back. Personally, I read in the shade of a palm tree, still exhausted from the night before, and laughed with everyone else about last night.  A few people went kayaking, but since I had drained my cash and didn’t feel up to ANY physical activity, I didn’t join them.
                The boat came at 3pm, yet I, at least, was hoping for it to have crashed on the way. The trip back to the eco lodge went by in a blur. I don’t remember much. I mainly talked in order to get my mind off of the rapidly approaching next day. As we pulled into the eco lodge, I wondered vaguely where the day had gone.
                The eco lodge overlooks a soccer field, where a game was being played when we arrived. Brian, Steren, Ben, Andrew, Claire, Olivia, and I joined in on the game. I hadn’t played a game of soccer since freshman year of high school, yet I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. All the Fijian players were as well built as any Fijian and their skill at soccer matched their physique. Brian and Claire were assigned to one team, while the rest of us were assigned to the other. Then the game started… if you could call it a real game of soccer. There was little coordination between sides and Fijian players often expectantly switched sides. I still don’t understand the reasoning behind it, but it effectively made the game confusing. I played midfield, or at least I would say I did, because players frequently switched not only sides, but positions. The locals kicked the ball with deliberate force in any direction, thus I took a few punts to the chest, though not as many as Andrew. He took around 5, but never faltered in his game. The only thing I can compare him to is a brick wall. Everybody played to their best efforts and I have to give some props to Steren, who played goalie. I’m not sure if he played soccer in high school, but he was a fearless keeper. I don’t know who won and I don’t think I cared, but it was exactly what I needed to raise my spirits.
                We had dinner afterwards. It was nothing special, yet it was no less delicious. Oro and the others at the eco lodge provided us with a goodbye kava ceremony. I couldn’t be rude and not take a last bowl of kava. So I grit my teeth and drank down my last bowl of dirt water, hopefully forever. The rest of the night was spent talking, and most of us talked late into the night. Claire didn’t have to leave the next day, but the day after. Understandably she didn’t want to wake up at 5am to say goodbye to those of us who were leaving at that time. I said “see you later” and hugged quickly. It’s a lot easier to say “see you later” than it is to say “goodbye.” The rest of us didn’t get to sleep until 3am. I only got an hour of sleep before being woken up by Erik. At that moment I hated everything about him.
                I quickly threw everything together and said “see you later” to Steren and Andrew who were still half asleep. I put my stuff on the bus in a hazy state, still exhausted from almost no sleep. Ariana, Brian, and Olivia got up to see us off and I had to put on another false smile. Oro and the rest of the staff were up as well and I said my farewells to them. I think I’ll miss Oro the most out of the house staff. Good thing I got his Facebook. And then all too soon, I was off.

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