Sad, sad news

Mar 10, 2002

A message today from Vanuatu was a bombshell to me: Noel, a man who considered me a brother and who was more so to me during my time on Paama Island, passed away this past Friday. The cause was kidney problems, something Noel struggled with for years. He was a generous man, a fun and funny man who brought much gaeity to the village. I am very, very sad … I can’t cry right now, but I’ll need to, soon. On Paama, such sadness is shown together with the other villagers. Each night for the next week, the village—and people from the other 22 villages on Paama—will gather at the home of Noel and cry and wail. This can be an eerie thing to witness, but I also found it to be comforting, because the grief was palpable and vocal and shared. Noel was a fisherman, and he regularly shared fresh tuna and red snapper with us. In his honor, please purchase some fresh fish this week and make yourself a nice, island-flavored meal.

Anton Zuiker

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