Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fire in Paradise

Lucky is good.

But smart, popular and lucky is way better!

Case in point: Paul and Karen of Dive Vava'u, hands down the best Whale Watching Operator in Tonga. And I mean it!

Last week a fire destroyed Neiafu's CBD, an ignominious and condemned pre-WW2 wooden building that had long been the disgrace of the main shopping street. Home to a seedy bar and some small general stores, it was inadvertently torched by a group of kids wanting to smoke out a nest of honeybees. Were it not for the fact that some shop owners lost everything, the appropriate comment would be Finally! and Good Riddance!

The more as unlike others who stoically braved the approaching blaze by refusing to let go of their Bellini (I wish...) until it was too late, Mr. and Mrs. Stone proceeded to quickly organize the complete evacuation and then, the rescue of their adjacent dive shop. In a tell-tale and rare example of solidarity, the whole expat and much of the local community turned up to lend a helping hand. To be seen to be believed!

Good on 'ya guys - you sure did everything to deserve it!

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