Columban Fr. Ed Quinn began the major work of building a new parish center in the bush at Vudibasoga. He has gone on holidays leaving Fr. Theo and myself holding the fort. Both of us are trying to improve our grasp of the Fijian language, and we have plenty of opportunity here. We take turns looking after Nabala and camping out at Vudibasoga. We say Mass there for the parishioners who are planting and building.
There is no electricity in Vudibasoga. We usually say Mass in a shed with light from a benzene lamp. The lamp makes a hissing kind of noise so I try to raise my voice in order to be heard. Last night after Mass some of the elders asked me to request Fr. Theo to raise his voice too because they are often not able to hear him.
Today, back at Nabala, I met Fr. Theo and passed on the people’s request. “You know,” he replied, “When I start a sentence in Fijian I often get to the middle and don’t know how to end it. So I drop my voice and let the people guess how it ends!”
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare lives and works in Fiji.