Home at last !
BACK TO NADI !
The frustration of being less than 70 miles from Tarawa on Dec. 21, to be told by the Captain that "the airport is closed !", cannot be imagined ! So, after two hours of discussions with Air Pacific in Nadi, the plane and passengers were ordered to RETURN TO FIJI ! We could not even use parachutes ! Thus, having been travelling all day, by 6.00 pm. on Dec. 21 we were back in Nadi !
AIR PACIFIC PAID !
It needs to be recognised that Air Pacific, having made this decision, recognised that 65 people, including all the KAA group, had very little money to pay for hotels, food, etc. So the "delayed passengers" were accommodated in hotels and a menu was prepared, all paid for by Air Pacific. Maybe they felt some guilt for what happened the previous week when, due to over-booking by the airlines, 19 people were left at Nadi, instead of flying to Samoa !
FINALLY WE'RE OFF !
During the afternoon of Dec. 22, we were informed that sufficient work had been done on the Tarawa runway to bring it up to an acceptable standard, and thus a flight had been arranged for the next morning ! Some final pictures of the team at Nadi airport and, a little delayed, we were again in the air, heading north ! The waiting families finally had a reward for their patience when we touched down at Bonriki (Tarawa) on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 23 !!! (Memories of what happened in December 2005 after Saipan !)