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December 1st 2008
Published: December 1st 2008
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Sydney Harbor BridgeSydney Harbor BridgeSydney Harbor Bridge

This town is photogenic like San Francisco but has beaches like San Diego.
Today begins the last month of the year and many things are coming to an end. Among the list of wrap-ups is my time here in the South Pacific. Tomorrow I head back to the states with a short stop in Fiji for a couple of hours. I love flying East over the dateline because gaining a day always makes me feel so time efficient. I'll spend 22 hours in transit and still land 3-4 hours before I left. Back to the Future indeed.

Last month in Australia was not as productive as I would have preferred. My dream was to walk out of the country with bags full of donation cash for Project MARC, and in-kind donations lined up for next year. This dream did not become a reality this time, but I'm hopeful for the future.

One of the bonuses of the excursion in OZ was the chance to see a number of old friends (and exploit them for their couch space). Tony Sommers put me up in Brisbane for an inordinate amount of time, and even allowed me to use his place as a home-base for my other travels around the country. Mark Nolan in Lismore

Yeah, I saw the opera house.
introduced me to the Rainbow Power Company that may help us bring light to the clinics of Vanuatu. Peter Davey hosted me in Sydney and showed me the amazing Sydney Harbor. And down in Melbourne and Ballarat Dr. Ali and Dr. Andrew put me up and drove me around.

All the people that helped me out should be considered as major donors to Project MARC. A price cannot be put on the time, accommodation, transport, and friendship that was given to me. If I ever again have a couch in a stable location...my friends in Australia will all own a share of it.

I didn't take as many pictures as I should have. The area in Northern New South Wales is just too beautiful to be captured in photos. Anyone who hasn't been there should see it. I'm even thinking of moving there.

At the time of this entry I've been in Port Vila for a week trying to tie up some loose ends. Dealing with issues through correspondence is not a very viable option in Vanuatu. Things here move at a different pace, and that pace is much slower than electronic mail.

I'm looking forward
This was a viewThis was a viewThis was a view

Atop the Glass House Mountains. And that view was earned.
to returning to the states. So much has happened since I've been away: Obama was elected, the stockmarket crashed umpteen times, millions of jobs have been lost, and China has poured trillions into the world market. Things look the same from the center of a little island, but I get the feeling that I'm going to return to a very changed America.

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


Old friends, Young menOld friends, Young men
Old friends, Young men

Tony and Pete have been mates for a while. Tony sailed Alvei twice and Shieney volunteered with Project MARC.
A whole lot of ninjaA whole lot of ninja
A whole lot of ninja

This in the Austrailian National Championships for Karate
Over 40Over 40
Over 40

Tony competed nationally against fellas 20 years younger than him.
Personal tourguidePersonal tourguide
Personal tourguide

PNG Pete showed me around town and took me sailing for a day.
Now that is a beachNow that is a beach
Now that is a beach

This is a public park beach in one of the city's richest neighborhoods. Not a bad place to have a meeting.
The CraigThe Craig
The Craig

Pete tried to get me on the ship for a daysail, but tickets sold out.
The famThe fam
The fam

Dan and Aiden put me up during my time in Vila. This was from the end of year school concert.
Instructions? We don't need Instructions.Instructions? We don't need Instructions.
Instructions? We don't need Instructions.

I helped Ivan assemble his new Barby on the hottest day in Vanuatu.
This is a stumpThis is a stump
This is a stump

This can't be explained easily

1st December 2008

Godspeed and good luck my friend, hope to see you soon...
1st December 2008

I cant wait to see you Seamus! I'm jealous you'll be home before me but not by very much. I'll be in San Diego on the 13th and I'm counting down the days. Have a good, safe flight home and see you soon!!!!
2nd December 2008

Hey, that looks like a...
STUMP!!! I haven't played that game since the last time I got a nail in the eye! Ahh good times. Can't wait to see you lad, you've been gone too long.
24th December 2008

I love Sydney! Must be warm this time of year :) welcome back to the States :) I'll be in Phoenix for New Year's Eve and maybe a day or two after that.
16th June 2009

Hey S...waiting for your first blog post with impatience. Hope all is well my friend

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