The people from the embassy had the hardest time realizing that I am not the kind of tourist who wants sun, sand and five stars. They were horrified where I stayed the first week in Fiji and I was not allowed to stay there during the project.

Very, very fortunately, connections were made that let me stay with a family for the weekend in the community of Kuku, not far from the airport. Not many Americans would seek out the place, but I loved my hosts and the community.

Their home had no electricity yet. Deposits had been paid. The building was on stilts and I had to go down three plank steps in the dark to get to the bathroom outside. Well, I stepped between the slats and fell. It could have been a disaster. It should have been a disaster. I don't know how I didn't break my leg, knee, wrist or skull. All were cut, scraped, sprained or bruised. If it had happened to Santa, Christmas might have to be cancelled. As for me, my guardian angel protected me and I was healthy and able to continue on to Nauru.