When I left Samoa for London on Tuesday afternoon, I have to keep pinching myself to check if I was dreaming. I was bound for a journey to a far away place that I’ve only heard of, and seen in the movies. I was scared and excited at the same time, but above all, I was curious. Who would have thought 10 years ago that a lost, angry and broken child, will one day be able to smile at the world again. I am survivor, and this is my journey….
I was transformed from head to toes like a model. Thanks to the kindness of my mentor Justice Vui and his lovely wife Nynette, I was all dressed up ready to meet some very important people awaiting me in London.
Thank you Justice Vui for always encouraging me to be brave, and for taking time out to wish me well on my trip.
By the time I reached Faleolo airport, I was in my travelling clothes, courtesy of MaugaLui. I was a bit more relaxed. I felt so pretty in my casual skirt and top.
With Mama Lina by my side, I was ready to embark on this life changing journey.
We flew from Apia to Auckland and immediately, I wanted to go back home. The weather was freezing; I was tired. But according to Mama Lina, we were just on the first leg of our journey. After a hot meal, I was taken shopping for some more warm clothes. Next stop: Hong Kong, some 12 hours later.
I lost track of time and fatigue crept in. But as soon as we arrived at Hong Kong, my curiosity got the best of me. I looked around me in amazement; taking in everything, the people, the environment, the big buildings. I realized I was far away from my Peace Garden at the Campus of Hope, and I missed my brothers and sisters there. But Mama Lina said, “the journey must go on.”
At last, we boarded the flight to London with a smile, knowing that we will get to our destination soon.
I was mistaken. I slept for hours, only to wake up to see white clouds outside my window. It was a 13 hour flight and my face says it all, as I pushed our trolley outside of Heathrow airport.
By midnight, we finally sat down at the Strand Palace Hotel for dinner. I felt like a princess, as I was served and treated as one. I had to eat with a fork and a knife, yes, it was all new to me. But I have been practicing.
This morning, I am dressed up in a beautiful light blue elei puletasi, gifted by Justice Vui & Nynette. I am suddenly overwhelmed with confidence, as I look forward to my first external visit as arranged.
They said the best of the trip is yet to come, but as a survivor on a journey, I am appreciating the adventure, one day at a time. In humility, I praise God for without His love, I would not be here today!