Chance Encounter:Discover Challenge


© irene waters 2016


© irene waters 2016

These photos have absolutely nothing to do with the tale I’m about to tell but photographically they put me in mind of a chance encounter.

So many chance encounters happen every day, some are memorable, most are not but some are life changing if you are open to anything. Chance encounters and a chain of events.That is what happened to us in March of 1992.

We’d been listening to firstly my mother and father singing the praises of the holiday they’d had in Vanuatu. This prompted a couple more family members to holiday there and they too came full of the wonders of Port Vila and Efaté. Roger listened and gave me for my birthday a package holiday to the island nation’s capital. I happened to be doing geology at university and knew there was an active volcano on one of the other islands. The island of Tanna. I insisted we had to visit there since we were so close.

That trip was memorable. Neither of us had been anywhere so tropically beautiful, so primitive and the volcano was terrifyingly awesome as it erupted every few minutes throwing rocks and clouds of gas into the air. We stayed at the best resort on the island but at best it could only be described as primitive, lacking power and the rooms were dark and mouldy. The situation however was stunning as it sat in a cove with a black sand beach and the bluest of seas. It was while I was sitting on the beach that I had a chance encounter with one of the owners of the resort. He painted an idyllic life that he and his two brothers enjoyed. One would be on holiday whilst another would travel the world selling the hotel and the third would be on the island managing the resort. This was not onerous he told me as all he did was dive for lobster, go out in the fishing boats and reel in the fish and drink in the bar with the guests. That sounded like the perfect life to me.

On our return home I wrote to a friend who was working in China and told him about our stay on Tanna and the life of the brothers. I concluded the letter with “This is what we should be doing.” I left it on the computer and came home from work to find Roger jumping up and down with excitement. “Did you mean what you wrote? That we should be doing that?”

“Yes. It certainly beats buying a hardware shop.” We’d been looking at businesses that we could buy to run together.

“Well. While we were on Tanna I had a chat with a chap I chanced upon and he told me that the other resort on the island is for sale. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think you’d be interested. But if you are….”

Was I ever interested. Two chance encounters and a chain of events led to our lives being changed forever.

In response to the Weekly Discover Challenge

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, Memoir, Nightmare in Paradise, photography, travel, Weekly Discover Challenge and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Chance Encounter:Discover Challenge

  1. What a delightfully multifaceted life you lead! Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is how the best things happen, coincidentally! Everything came together to help you make the best decision you could have possibly made. Good for you for not second-guessing yourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills says:

    That’s a stunning set up for your memoir. Is it a part of it? I like how it all evolved out of several chance encounters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will be in the process of rewriting the first chapter with a different beginning but I have been worrying about doing that as I query that it perhaps sensationalises a death that for all concerned was traumatic and very sad. Although all this information is in my memoir perhaps that would be a better starting point. Soon I am going to have time for experimentation.


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