Capsule Stories–First Installment




The Great Escape, Port Narvin, Erromango 2013

Walking down the main road in our rural village, we hear a commotion heading our way. Dogs, chasing something. Kids yelling and chasing not far behind. Must be a chicken trying to escape the saucepan.

We wait and listen as the noise moves in our direction. Then boom! A pig comes flying out of some bushes, 8 or 10 dogs frantically barreling right behind. The small pig swooshes past us and down to the beach. Another unfortunate pig tied to a tree nearby squeals as it’s confused for its brother by one of the dogs. Before we know it, the pig that had shot past us like a bullet was splashing into the ocean and began to swim. A pig! Swimming in the ocean! The dogs are too afraid of the waves to continue in their pursuit. We watch as the latest refugee grows smaller and smaller, paddling straight out into the bay.

“Pigs can swim?!” I asked my host pappa. “Of course,” he answered, “but they usually just get eaten by sharks.”

There’s a meal i never imagined on a shark’s menu: bacon.

We later learned that the pig managed to swim around and come out at the end of the bay, several kilometers away. Super pig!



The Universality of Toilet Humor, our kitchen, Port Narvin 2014

That one time over dinner in our kitchen when Esther (age 8) farted loudly, and the ever-silent Mama Claudie, Alisia, Nesi and I didn’t recover from our giggles for at least 10 minutes. Then Mama Claudie told Esther she must have had an inflated balloon in her stomach—then let go. Another 10 minutes of giggles.



Ben the Co-Op Keeper, Port Narvin 2014

The store keeper who blamed Peter for his store never having any peanut butter. Corey visits:

Corey: “Good morning, Ben! I need peanut butter!”

Ben: “Sorry—Peter buys all of them!”



Um. NE Erro Council HQ, Port Narvin 2014

That one time when the conversation at a Gender-Based Violence workshop digressed into a 20 minute debate about whether women have moustaches as often as men. (Gender, or sex?)



Teaching Life Skills to One Eleven Year Old at a Time, our kitchen, Port Narvin 2014

The first time I played the Game of Life Card Game with my sister Alisia, we practiced stealing each other’s pets, husbands, and children for two hours, laughing harder than we ever had together.



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