Many a Malapascua afternoon was spent burrowed in this hammock reading in crisp jungle air, or chatting lazily on the beach while scrunching toes in the sand.
On one particular afternoon I sat out a dive and listened to the manager of the dive shop talk about his hopes and dreams for his son. On this little island, where every tiny business enterprise hangs on the continued existence of the thresher sharks swimming 30 metres beneath the surface, nobody dares to dream too big of an education and a career in a big city. How could you here? When even the nearest hospital is a good hour’s boat ride away? But thanks to his German customers-turned-friends (after more than a decade of their Malapascua dive trips) – he now does. Somewhere between their millionth dive and the surface intervals, the couple had turned to their trusted dive guide and volunteered to sponsor his son’s university education in Europe.
Can money buy happiness? From the look on his face as he spoke – Yes, I guess sometimes it can. That along with gratitude, pride, and hope.