Over the water

Aug 31, 2008

To celebrate Erin’s great news last night, I drove out into a spectacular thunderstorm with nonstop lightning to retrieve tiramisu and a DVD. I returned to the house to find a candlelight picnic on the living room floor, and, basking in the relief of Erin’s passing the bar exam, we drank red wine while watching the Irish musical Once.

Another movie rental from last night, this one for the girls, was Nim’s Island, which Anna and I watched tonight. Erin walked into the room just as a cruise ship with Australian tourists descended upon Nim’s untrampled beach.

“Look familiar?” I asked. Erin laughed.

We were remembering that time we’d traveled by motorboat from Paama across to Epi Island, where the villagers of Lamen Bay had agreed to play host to a visiting cruise ship for the first time. As we sat with our Ni-Vanuatu family and friends, a couple hundred Aussies came ashore to wander the small village, wondering how to purchase with their Australian dollars the woven pandanus mats, carved dugongs and other handicrafts that were valued in vatu, the Vanuatu currency. At noon, the ship’s cooks set out food at the school grounds, and the crew played the locals in a game of soccer.

When that ship departed — they bagged all their garbage and took it with them (though probably dumped it out at sea) — we walked down to Tasso’s guest house and ordered a couple cold Tusker beers.

Anton Zuiker

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