Right now it's the calm before the Christmas storm. My daughter has played with her Santa toys, and Christmas dinner and the big family gift opening fest aren't till this evening. The turkey doesn't even go in the oven for another hour or so. I'll be glad when it's all over with--keeping Annabel from unwrapping presents while no one is looking is becoming a chore. In her defense, she recognizes her name and only opens presents with "Annabel" written on them, though her 2-year-old's reading skills don't yet extend to recognizing the difference between "to" and "from."
In stray moments over the past day or so, I read Getting Stoned With Savages: A Trip through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu (J. Maarten Troost, 2006), a sequel to Troost's memoir of life on Kiribati, The Sex Lives of Cannibals. After a few years in Washington, DC, Troost and his wife decide they'd had enough of the semi-corporate world of work in the central offices of international development agencies and find a way to return to the South Pacific. The new book chronicles Troost's growing fondness for kava and assorted island adventures, including embarking upon parenthood while living in Fiji.