That’s an opportunity one could not resist because it offers you a wonderful chance to see somewhere different from your usual place of stay.
That’s exactly what happened to three boys who successfully completed their month long vacation this week in the Western province.
Since December (last month) they have visited parts of Choiseul and Western province.
Meet the trio; Gomisi George, Brendon Seda and Patrick Oli.
Most of them are based in Honiara working on some private projects throughout last year.
And as part of acknowledging their hard work, they have been given to the opportunity by those who have engaged them to travel to the Western part of the country.
Gomisi is from Marovo, so as Bredon except that he is part Marovo and Shortlands in the Western province. Patrick is from Langa Langa and South Malaita in the Malaita province.
So when the invitation was made, they did not hesitate.
Of the trio, Gomisi left a week earlier on Sunday 15th December and spent a week at Ranoggah Island.
While for both Brendon and Patrick they travelled a week later but on separate days and boat from Honiara and dropped off at Gizo.
And they all met up at Iriri, Kolombangara, Western province to attend a wedding ceremony.
One of their friends was getting married so they were excited to be part of the occasion to help and supported the event.
They spent few days at Iriri and explore parts of Kolobangara. The village was packed with people from Ranoggah and Kolombangara during the ceremony which was held on the Christmas Day 25th December 2013.
And so the excitement of the festive season kicked off for them as they met up with other people and make new friends during the celebration day and later in the night.
Following the wedding on Thursday 26th December which was the Boxing Day they left Iriri bound for Gizo, spent few hours there before continuing on to Ranoggah.
The trip from Gizo to Ranoggah took more than a hour.
The next day on Friday 27th December, Gomisi and Bredon were able to join a trip which took them all the way from Ranoggah across to South Choiseul.
Patrick was unable to join the trip due to other commitments.
It was a fine weather and the trip took around 4 hours on a ray-boat powered by a 40 horse outboard motor (OBM).
The excitement of the journey kicked off when they reached a fishing raft which is located between Vella La Vella and South Choiseul.
There, the fishing lines were dropped and several circles were made around the raft.
After few rounds, more than ten yellow fin tuna were caught and the journey continued on to Choiseul.
It was around lunch time when the boat reached the destination at Koa village.
It was a relieve that the trip went well and history was created for them because they have reached Choiseul – an island they have heard for sometimes.
For the next seven days, Gomisi and Brendon joined their hosts for the New Year celebrations which included sports activities, video shows, feasting and visit trips to other villages.
They admired the natural beauty of the island and how the villagers were able to work together and cooperate in getting things done during the new year.
The duo also acknowledged how the villagers had a lot of respect for their village elders.
The availability of food especially fish throughout the week was something that Gomisi has admired.
“I won’t forget this trip because I was surprised to see fish is abundant here,” he said.
Because the village is located further inland beside the river, Brendon has enjoyed himself going out paddling and visiting other villages situated along the coasts.
They also took time to swim in the river beside the river and interact with the kids.
They made friends with other young boys in the villages as well get to know some of the ladies there.
The interaction they had with the villagers throughout the week was a memorable one for the two lads.
With hospitality being offered by the villagers to the visitors, it was something the duo won’t forget.
But soon it was time to leave. It was sad day for the villagers as well as the two boys when everyone had to say good bye to each other on the morning of Sunday 5th January 2014.
As hands were shook and farewells were made, you could sense that the atmosphere was filled with sadness.
Some of the young boys who get to know Gomisi, whispered: “See you again someday when you return.”
Of the villagers were silently fighting tears as the boat slowly moved away.
The two boys could only wave back as the boat moved out slowly.
Balloons were blown and thrown on the river as part of bidding the villagers farewell.
It was a fine weather and the trip from South Choiseul to South Vella would take around two hours.
The boat ride was on schedule and our next brief stopover was at Beiporo, at the eastern coast of Vella La Vella.
The visit at Beiporo was to see a new SDA church which dedicated a day before the new year.
Brendon was able to meet up a relative who was living there and was rather excited.
Beiporo was a small village which has plantations of coconut and cocoa. So Brendon and Gomisi with some of the young village boys managed to climb some cocoa pods to taste.
After having lunch, the trip continued for about one and half hour to Buri, in Ranoggah.
For the boys they were excited to spend half a day in Vella La Vella and meet the villagers and hear their experiences and sorties.
In Buri the two boys spent another week where they able to join the villagers in their new year celebration which involved three days of sporting activities.
During their time they were able to make new friends and visited parts of Buri, going out swimming, paddling and fishing.
One of their highlights was a fishing trip to a nearby island where they use the fishing net and managed to load the boat with fish.
And for days they just enjoy eating reef fish.
The two lads said it was something they won’t forget.
Early last week, they travelled over to Patu, a village located few kilometres from Buri and this time joined up Patrick who remained at Patu all these times.
While in Patu the trio were able to engage in a project to renovate a home while enjoying the break with their hosts.
The only setback last week and over the weekend was the continuous bad weather and heavy rain which restricted their movements and some of the planned activities.
For Patrick it was his second trip to Ranoggah and he never regretted it because he was able to meet up with some of his old friends like Rence commonly known as Ngero.
He said Patu was like a second home to him now.
While for Gomisi and Brendon, it was their first time to visit Ranoggah and some of the islands.
For the trio, they said the trip is history for them and they really enjoyed their time with the people who they visited during their visits.
“This is so much exciting for us,” they said
For Gomisi and Brendon, the historic trip was something they won’t forget.
“We won’t forget this journey because we travel around and visit various places within a short period of time just like a whirl wind,” they said.
Pending a fine weather today in the Western province the trio will with their host will travel over to Gizo spend a day there, before boarding their next available boat over to Honiara tomorrow morning.
They are expected to arrive back in Honiara Wednesday morning.
The three boys are hoping to make return visit to the Western province someday soon.
By MOFFAT MAMU