The flight was an experience of its own. We arrived at the small airport Nausori outside Suva (Fiji) Sunday morning. It was one plane scheduled – the one to Tuvalu. It had 44 seats and among the travellers were at least five of Florent’s friends.
Anu’s father (Anu is one of the best dancer of Tuvalu) with his son that had a surgery on Fiji and several members of the Tuvaluan delegation to Cancun. Tuvalu is a small place…
It was another “palaagi” (foreigner or white) on the plane. A British woman with her Tuvaluan man – on their way from Britain to celebrate Christmas on Tuvalu. They bought 6 bottles of rum to bring home to his family. In spite of, as the woman stated herself, the fact that the alcohol consumption is WAY too high already – people are expected to bring alcohol when they return from abroad. So Florent had to carry 2 bottles out of the airport for them.
After about two hours, the old and shaky aircraft is reaching Funafuti. We can see Fongafale (the main islet of the atoll of Funafuti – this whole island/country-thing is complicated) and the other islets. Fongafale is super slim – about 400 meters wide – and pretty long – around 12 km from north to south (and in case you forgot – Tuvalu rages 1 meter over sea level in average).
We landed on what must be the smallest international airport I have ever landed on. The immigration control consists of three posts in the same room of about 20 m2. This is also the room where we are getting our luggage.
So, we all the other passengers and the three people working at the airport, just kept on standing in the same small room waiting for the baggage trolleys to reach the door.
When the luggage arrived, we went through the departure hall (read room) and out on the other side. There a lot of people had gathered to welcome the people arriving, including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.