Sunday, May 26, 2013

Zak and Dan write a Bloooooog poooost (sung to Troy and Abed's theme) OR: you could probably just use Windex

Hello and welcome to our blog post. It is the most fabulous blog post you will ever read. If you are receiving this via email, it's probably fairly average fare.


Be warned: should you desire useful information or a cohesive narrative, you will be sorely disappointed. This is Art.

Let's start at the very beginning. 22 years a handful of months ago, Danielle de Carle was born. A couple of weeks later, the heavens opened and Zak was brought to this earth via a very lucky stork (or possibly a cesarean section. The world will never know). Ever since, the world has been blessed by their presence. Trials and tribulations ensued as the precocious two progressed from infanthood through their ascension from the underworld itself (Montreal, Canada, North America, Earth), but the end justified the means. Unbeknownst to them, their previously meaningless lives culminated in an airplane to New Zealand, a yacht, and a seven day voyage to the fabled lands which are called Fiji. Zak thought this trip was going to be a vacation, but apparently he thought wrong. It was idiotic for him not to remember that any stint on the boat is far more work than an entire semester at McGill.

But I digress. I believe that Dr. William Strassberg has caught you up to our first sevusevu, which was quite an experience. Zak was brought to believe that drugs would be involved (namely kava, a mild stimulant which has the unfortunate side effect of tasting like dirty dish water), but his hopes were dashed when "King George" kept our offering of a kava root all to himself (although this did spare our intrepid travelers a foul-tasting mouth). We are still pondering whether this was selfish or altruistic (the world will never know). We then met the wonderful Amelia, a 27 year old beauty who told Danielle not to get married for at least a score. She is wed to Chris; Amelia and Chris take care of Michaele (I am unsure of how to spell his name, for this I apologize), a young boy (who may or may not be related to Chris and Amelia via ties of blood), on days when he doesn't ferry to school or something like that. We are unclear on the details, or perhaps I did not listen hard enough.

Chris, who was wearing a fantastic Australian flag tank top, took us on a hike to a waterfall. Father and I were not shod, and I feared that I would contract a ringworm in my soft, Western sole. There were also stingrays in the water. Danielle told me to shuffle through the water to avoid dying like Steve Irwin. I have many fears involving injuries to my feet. They are what I walk on every day, after all. But fear not, faithful reader, for I emerged unscathed physically, although psychologically we are still unsure of my fate.

As we approached the waterfall, we spotted fair maidens washing their clothes nestled in the bend of a babbling brook. An aside: nearby were pigs AND piglets. The piglets were practically falling over themselves trying to get to a shell perched in precarious proximity to the pristine pool. Hopefully their porcine droppings don't contaminate the drinking water of the village.

The ascent was treacherous, but worthy of the dangers we encountered upon the way. The path was often fouled with excrement of the wild beasts which roam the land here, like landmines in an action movie: presenting an omnipresent but ultimately surmountable barrier as we moved forward toward the third act. Zak did cry Hark! to Danielle after he spotted a landcrab basking in the sun upon its chariot - a verdant taro leaf. Eventually, with the help of our guide, more valuable than any Sherpa, we found our way to the waterfall. Here William and Zak did swim in the clear, cool water.

Our naturalist (Danielle) studied these waters. Were they the mythical fountain of life we sought? Zak tasted the water in hopes of immortality. Only time will tell if his wish will come true, or if dysentery will be his only reward. The pools also harboured crayfish below the surface and crickets above. Their oblivious meanderings reminded us of the futility of trying to understand this moment. Were we enlightened spirits peering into a more simple world? Or simply fools convinced that the our ways are superior to those of nature?

Refreshed and rejuvenated, our descent was uneventful. But around us the landscape teemed with the fury of the wild. Struggles of life and death went unnoticed by our sun-shaded eyes. If we are unaware of the turbulence around us, does it still have meaning? Back in civilization at the shore below, we partook of the sweet water of the coconut, hacked to pieces by our guide. A metaphor for life, perhaps? The dogs in this country are gaunt. They stared at us with pleading eyes. While our hosts weren't looking, we slipped them some of the meat.

The ride back to the boat was silent. What had really happened to us that day? We were unsure of the details, but certainly something wonderful. Or maybe something devilish, not meant to be Understood. Whatever it was, dinner that night tasted sweeter than ever before. Another day in paradise indeed.

- A mysterious missive masterfully made manifest, mostly mad.


Faithful Readers,

After a final morning of adventure (for Bill), puppy-snuggling (for myself and Zak), conversation with the locals (for Johanna), and relaxation (for Jules) in Dukanubi, Visions and her crew set off for Viani Bay. While we did encounter a spot of trouble when it came time to drop anchor, we have so far found Viani Bay to be very agreeable, if slightly rainy.

Upon arrival yesterday, Bill went to introduce himself to the local residents: two families who have built their houses on a small island in the bay. Zak apparently finished two books. After dinner, there was a rain storm of biblical proportions. This meant that we could refill our water tanks. It also meant that we couldn't have any of the hatches open. Most of that evening was therefore spent on the verge of melting.

For now, however, the rain seems to have stopped. We have a dive planned for tomorrow morning, so we spent a bit of the morning going over SCUBA equipment and procedure. Jules, Bill, Jo, and I also swam over to visit the residents of the small island. (On the way there, I totally saw a puffer fish, which was excellent, but also slightly scary.) They were extremely hospitable, and invited us to have grog (kava) and curried land crabs (caught during the rain storm) with them tomorrow afternoon. They also let us poke around the island some. At first I was slightly unnerved because all the shells kept rearranging themselves of their own accord, but then I realised they were all full of hermit crabs. Jules and I spent some time trying to see faces in the coconut shells littering the beach: one was particularly morose looking, so we named it Zak. Bill also found a discarded pig pelvis, which prompted us – well, mostly just me – to scour the beach looking for other pig bits. There was a particularly interesting lower jaw which had teeth in it that hadn't erupted yet, so they looked all gnarly.

After we returned to the boat, we played Settlers of Catan*. I won. This was extremely gratifying because up until this point, I've pretty squarely lost every game we've played. Catan has a tendency to drag on, though, and because of this, dinner always ends up being later than planned. We will have to find a way to rectify this, because it displeases Captain Bill, and it seems to have put a damper on our after-dinner television-watching.

At any rate, that pretty much brings us up to the present. Everyone but Zak and I has gone to bed, and here we are filling you in on our adventurings. (I will take this opportunity to distance myself from anything unflattering or nonsensical that Zak may have said in his update.)


- Danielle

*Note to my parents: Remember that game that we were meant to play at Auntie Cindy's cottage, but she was too drunk to explain it, so she just yelled about it for two hours and then we all went to bed? It's that game.

**Note to Yaffa: It's Muggle Time!

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