The last challenge

The flight attendant came straight to my seat, smiling sweetly. “May I see your ticket, sir?”

After battling my way on overbooked aircraft all the way from Bougainville Island, I was paranoid. And not just a little feisty.

“Certainly, you can see my ticket, but it’ll take an atom bomb to get me out of this seat, lady.”

No, I didn’t actually say that. I just gave her my ticket and returned her sweet smile.

While staying firmly seated.

Satisfied, she gave me my ticket back.

I don’t know what happened to that other passenger.


In Melbourne, I stepped onto the tarmac, dazed. This morning, I was in Rabaul, on New Britain Island, New Guinea, with no way to get out of town.

Yet, here I was.

And it was COLD. Yes, it was January, summer in Australia, but I was dressed in light tropical shorts and shirt. I had just come from three months in an equatorial rain forest.

But I was home.

To my wife and baby son.

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