Staying in Heaven, with a visit from Hell


The place looked idyllic. The green mountains across the water on the Fijian mainland, created a false reflection, as the clouds swirled like cigarette smoke above them.
The name of our destination, Nananu-I-Ra. It reminded me of the island of Naboombu out of Bedknob and Broomsticks. As we landed on the beach, I expected a Lion King to burst out of the brush and rush along the beach towards us. Alas, this was not to be.

The white sand resting like an angels sigh, between our toes on each step, as the resort worker loaded our backpacks expertly and with ease onto his shoulders. Carrying them to our home for the next few days.

My temper fraying(after a long, hot bus ride) and snapping at my son as I walked through the door, meant that I encountered the disdain of our host.

The island with its little marine reserve and still blue waters(on the mainland side - the other connecting with the trade winds) although beautiful, fresh and quiet, could not still the discomfort I had started to experience. Our host seemed cool with me. I noticed he addressed my husband and my children but not me - making his own judgements, from my point of view, about the exchange between my son and I.
One of the guests sharing his opinion about our parenting skills - from a man who didn't even have any children of his own, causing me to share a little of our long running journey with him. With a desire to educate rather than tell him to bugger off. Such is my nature.

On asking whether or not the lodge was suitable for self catering, our host had informed us, that there was a kitchen we could use and a fridge. What he forgot to mention, were the marching ants, who found their way everyday into the dilapidated piece of equipment or that the generator was switched off at night and it stunk in the morning. Nor did he mention the kitchen was the size of a cupboard and whilst all his other guests were being catered for, we were to share the kitchen with his staff, preparing guest meals. Making for an uncomfortable dinner time.

I took to staying in my room for longer periods of time - my mood dropping, wanting to leave, yet not wanting to ruin the kids fun. They were on the water, skiing and playing. It was not just me - another woman, a younger woman, shared her feelings with me.
"Something doesn't feel right here," She said. " I feel safe with you."

My husband made the decision to leave, when I had lost the will to do so.
" If I still feel the same way when we are on the bus and away from this place, I'll get help." I told him.
Off the boat and back on the bus, I felt the darkness lift from my mind, the further we pulled away - the better I felt. " It wasn't to do with me." I said to my husband.
A shiver running down my spine and a mental note stored itself away in its recesses, to never allow something invisible but so tangible to touch me again. A gentle reminder, that you can be staying in heaven but may have a visit from hell.



J Stringer

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