Joel just called to say

Jan 10, 2002

Joel just called to say he was psyched up for the finale of Survivor: Africa. He’d just gotten home from a counseling session; Joel counsels adolescents and teens who have problems at school. I reminded him that the next Survivor has been moved from Jordan to Polynesia. ”But there isn’t anything dangerous there, right?” he asked. ”Oh, you’d better believe it.” The sea has many deadly creatures, and one of the smallest of land animals—the mosquito—can give you a number of nasty illnesses. In the Peace Corps, Erin and I received excellent advice on personal safety, including a lengthy session on water safety where we learned about deadly cone shells and man-eating sharks and potent crown-of-thorns starfish. I almost stepped on a crown-of-thorns one day off Malekula Island. That was one close call. And most people are surprised to learn that Erin and I swam only a handful of times off the beach on Paama that was so near our house (only 200 yards, and beautiful black sand). But Liro Village has a history of fatal shark attacks, and we weren’t to eager to try our luck with tiger sharks. But back to Joel. He now has a foosball table in his house, and he’s ready for any and all challengers. Drop in for a game the next time you pass through Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Anton Zuiker

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