BY ROB DEHAAN
SO THERE WE WERE, anchored in our yacht Arita in the Spanish Virgin Islands, just to the east of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, when we get this email.
It’s from ex-Asopian, Denis Murrell, to say that another ex-Asopian, Keith Parker, will shortly be visiting San Juan, accompanying his wife, Professor Parlo Singh, to an international education conference.
We catch the ferry to the mainland, rent a car and race to San Juan to meet up with Keith, who I haven't seen or spoken to in 45 years. You might say, "So, what's the rush?"
We hug, backslap, nostalgise (is that a word? – Ed) and adjoin to a nice Italian restaurant for lunch.
There’s a lady at the next table. Who Parlo introduces as Dr Juliana McLaughlin from Manus Island, now a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology.
Juliana and her colleague, Dr Christine Fox, join our table and Christine mentions "Oh, I used to work at ASOPA".
Wel,l what's the chance of having three ex-Asopians sitting at the same table on the other side of the world in the company of a wonderful lady from Manus?
San Juan is probably as far away from PNG as you can get.
Photo (left to right): Lauren & Rob Dehaan, Juliana McLaughlin, Keith Parker, Parlo Singh, Christine Fox