Five months later, we were on a plane bound for Rarotonga. It was wonderful (no stress, living in a house next to the ocean and walking barefoot everywhere) and awful (the baby got antibiotic-resistant pneumonia and the hospital sucked, lice, tropical sores, ceaseless weeks of rain).
Four and a half months after that, we were back in Los Angeles. We bought a car (a neat Scion Xb) and a house the first week we got back. We lived at Carla's mother's house for two months.
Now we're in our new house, surrounded by boxes, and I feel like I haven't been anywhere or done anything. Rarotonga, Aitutaki, New Zealand, and Australia seem like a daydream I had while shuffling around these boxes.
Happy holidays to all of you. I appreciate all the great suggestions you've submitted to Boing Boing. And many thanks to David, Xeni, and Cory for all their wonderful entries!