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Gratitude Letter to Peter

By Carisa Carlton

Day Twenty-One of my “30-Days of Gratitude” journey

October 11, 2017

Dear Peter,


When I met you in 1986-1987, I was just beginning my discovery of life outside of the 50 American states. You were a fascinating story-teller, and I will never forget the beaming joy on your face and the love for adventure in your Kiwi voice as you circumnavigated the globe over dinner, pausing only to toast cannibals in Papua New Guinea or collect betting debts from those at the table who doubted your accuracy.


Peter, I am grateful for you introducing me to Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, and all of Oceana. Because of you, I took interest in the great explorers of that region and because of you, I continue my study of Pacific Islanders. I am grateful that your stories fueled a passion in me for knowledge of the languages, the trades, and the political entities that make the Pacific Ocean so wildly entertaining.


I am grateful that because of you, I was not afraid to explore Papua with my child. Because you gifted me with your stories, I was unafraid of setting sail, literally and figuratively, to live in primitive cultures. Because of your willingness to answer my questions, I developed the courage to live a life that I look back upon with a “I did it all my way” smile.


I am grateful for your brief, but impactful presence in my life. I can still hear your voice; I can still see your smile; and I can still feel your soul. Thank you for all you gave to me by just being you.

May we meet again, and in the meantime, I will always give special preference to those you loved.



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