John Colby remembers sitting on a log inside a common building on a South Pacific island, the guest of a tribal chief who had invited the Lake Oswego resident to a 40-day celebration of his son's death.
Colby and his wife Janet had just anchored their boat in front of the small village in the island nation of Vanuatu, their latest stop on a seven-year journey that took them around the world.
"I entered the men-only side of the building, which was made of palm fronds and had a dirt floor," Colby recalls. "A local intoxicating drink called kava was ladled out of a container with half a coconut shell. Light came through openings between the leaves; otherwise, it was dark after being in the bright sunlight. After drinking the liquid that looked like dirty dish water, a young man asked me, 'Sir, would you like another?'
"I only had one more," Colby says.Read More