Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Birthday, Vanuatu



My Dad was a ham radio operator. When I was a kid I sat on his lap and listened to him talk to people in exotic far away places like London and Germany and Iowa. He exchanged QSL cards with them, postcards that had radio call letters printed on them and short messages from the people my Dad talked to.

I think that's why I'm so fascinated by the range of people all around the world who stop by to read this blog. When I write something I get curious about how people from other cultures relate to what I'm saying and what they think about it. I want to ask questions and compare experiences. Today, in honor of all those readers from "somewhere else", I am going to dedicate this post to the smallest country ever to visit Shrink Rap: Vanuatu. Today is Vanuatu's Independence Day.

According to the CIA World Fact Book (does anyone else find it disturbing that the CIA keeps records on all this?), the natural resources of Vanuatu include manganese, hardwood forests and fish. It has active volcanoes and beautiful lagoons that inspired James Michener. It has typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis. You can get some very nice real estate there too. I think we have much in common. We at Shrink Rap live near a beautiful harbor. We have natural resources like crabs and Old Bay Seasoning and the Orioles (American League champions in 1969 with 109 wins and 53 losses). We have natural disasters like tropical storms and floods and movies filmed here starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Spacey. And the Orioles (54 wins, 107 losses in 1988).

Tying all this in to Shrink Rap, I need to mention that Vanuatu also has at least one prison that houses all of 50 people. It looks like you all are working some new reforms over there, and that's exciting. I wish you the best of luck on your new Correctional Services.

And don't forget to stay in touch.

[Google Analytics Map of Shrink Rap hits for July 6-7, emphasizing Vanuatu]