In Vino Veritas in Vanuatu

The flight to Vanuatu was uneventful, as statistics would dictate. The peculiar arrogance of the individual – combined with the power of imagination – dictates that I spend all flights certain that, somehow, this one is different, this one is doomed to a forced water landing or perhaps just going down in flames, no survivors. Seeing David Cunliffe on the same flight both helped and hindered – of course a prominent MP would survive a holiday flight, so surely I would too, but on the other hand if something did happen and we were all annihilated, our own deaths would be footnotes to his.

So, Vanuatu. We’re staying at a nice place, in the middle of summer, which naturally means it’s rained constantly today. Thunder here is somehow more impressive. Perhaps at home, thunder is muted by topography – all of those hills and buildings to get through. Not so much here, where the thunder kicks off like an explosion, rumbles for a full 30 seconds before getting its breath back and roaring almost as loud again.

The rain is more or less inoffensive, almost warm. Just makes it hard to read my new Iain M. Banks book in the sun. That and the absence of sun.

We’ve swum in the pool and swum in the ocean, and it’s hard to say which is warmer. There are bright silver and blue fish always around, and Diana discovered a three-legged crab living under wooden steps leading down to the water, which she has named “Our Buddy”, expressing concern for its well-being while the tide is out. It leaps from place to place with agility I found surprising in a crab in general, let alone one operating with only half of its legs.

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Yesterday I met an American named Frank, and I have resolved to ask him, if we meet again, if I can be frank with him. He’s a staffer for the Peace Corps, and has the endurable job of flying from gorgeous location to gorgeous location around the world assisting needy locals in basic medical, literacy and numeracy skills.

Vanuatu seems to be, on the whole, sponsored by ANZ. My beer has an ANZ insulatey holder thingee, is one example.

We have on our list of things to do a few items suggested by Frank, including a snorkeling spot and a walk up a series of waterfalls. At the top, there is a waterfall that mainly only locals know there is a cave behind, and I intend to scout it out as a possible location for some kind of supervillain lair – if not for me, then perhaps for a friend.

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