Written by Sascha Grabow, traduit par François Racine (french)
Friday, 30 August 2013
26th of August, departing on a 'cruise' to Wallis & Futuna where most passengers will be participating athletes at the 2013 Pacific Mini Games.
When boarding the ferry Otuanga Ofa at Nuku'alofa harbor, next to me there is a couple taking pictures. The slim woman has a beautiful smile, such as one rarely ever sees.
Next thing the man belonging to that woman by chance shares a cabin with me, and we start to talk:
His name is Solo (Solomon), he is 85 years old, has been married for 65 years to his wife of the same age (she has ONLY had 14 children), and unwittingly follows the Dalai Lama's advice to travel to at least one new place each year (in order to keep the mind young and alert).
His stated aim is to top the family record set by his great grandfather who lived to 111 (only a mere 26 years to go from now!!); this grandfather married HIS third wife, a girl in her twenties bearing him two kids, when HE was around 85!
Solo is a fisherman & farmer, was a teacher & police choir trombone instructor.
His life motto:
Keep everything you do in moderation. He occasionally smokes Marlboro.
He keeps a diary, records his family tree (back to around 500 A.D.), writes his life story down in a book and visits Wallis in order to unearth family roots put down there generations ago.