Saturday, October 7, 2017

Bula Vinaka Fji Part 2.5a

All these months later, the most memorable "story" from our trip might be the night Audrey got locked in the bathroom.

If you know the Horne kids, you know they go to the bathroom all. the. time. Especially the boy ones. The adults had been doing a good job taking turns chaperoning the potty runs, and this particular time, it was my turn. We were at dinner in the main bure, so the public outhouse style bathrooms were closer than our private bure bathroom. It was night time, and they weren't properly lit, but it wasn't too far from the dining bure, so no big deal. Ward and Audrey were with me, and Ward finished up quickly, and then I noticed a wimpering coming from Audrey's stall. She was stuck. It was dark. There was no one in shouting distance.

Audrey had used these bathrooms what felt like 100 times already, so I knew she knew how to unlock it, but my frustration and her panic weren't helping things. I didn't want to leave her, so I sent Ward Lassie style to retrieve some help. As he disappeared down the dark path, I had to wonder if he could properly relay the message.

Sure enough, he did and Eric came with our waitress. Eric tried to talk to Audrey through the door, and then tried all the same things I had to get her out. It was a horizontal dead bolt lock, and there was just nothing to be done from the outside. The decision was made that the door had to come off of its hinges, so the hunt for a screwdriver began. About this time I noticed every single employee on the island was gathered around the bathroom. Quick aside-Fijian is a funny language, one in which they don't have words for everything. Soon there was much rapid Fijian chatter that sounded to me like, "blah, blah, blah, blah! blah? blah, screwdriver!"

The 20 helpful Fijians quickly located a screwdriver and one went about un-screwing the door hinges while 21 of us looked on. I would call out to Audrey every so often, and she was scared, but fine. Once the hinges were off the door, we learned the design didn't allow for the door to open out. It would only open in, and just a crack. So, the smallest Fijian was nominated and he miraculously squeezed himself inside the bathroom with Audrey. As soon as he was in, he said something in Fijian and everyone burst into laughter! The translation, "Oh no, it's locked!" Luckily, he had the dexterity for the lock and a moment later Audrey emerged with a very meek, "Bula." 

There was a long hug, just a couple tears and we returned to dinner. When we got back to dinner our waitress (who had been serving us three meals a day for a couple days) said, "It was that one (Audrey)??? I thought it was that one (Ward)!" That would have been my guess too.