How many Fijians does it take to build a table? We found out when the board asked us to shift our things to clear a space for their meetings. By Friday.
Seven of us stood staring at the table pieces on the floor of my new office. Me, Adi, Irava, Supa, Joji, Solo, Asata. Me, my local counterpart, our administrator slash shelter mother, ambulance driver and the kennel hands. All removed from our daily tasks to ready this room for the board. For their monthly meetings.
We hauled furniture and storage boxes from the front room to the back room, shifted junk into the side room, scrubbed the walls, repainted them. Hung new curtains, nailed a whiteboard to the wall. And then we stood and stared at the table pieces. Where were the legs? There was much shifting and rotating of each piece, a life-size game of Tetris as we propped the pieces beside one another and turned them over. I wish I had taken pictures.
Then we realised there were no legs, the table sides and tops were the same. The pieces could make half a table which could be secured to the wall.
At the board meeting we gave our reports, me and Deb and Joseph the vet nurse. The board thanked us. Nothing was said for a moment and then the President said ‘you may now vacate the room’. As I looked around at my old office, now exclusively for the board’s use, I thought to myself ‘I already have’.