Okay, it's now late April and, with the book about to reach the stores, I have at last returned to the United States after months of nearly continuous adventure: southern India, Bhutan, Assam, Madagascar, Mauritius, Panama, Yemen, Hawaii.
Throughout these voyages, Melissa has been at my side -- she has been my companion in my Adventures Among Ants for three years now.
The conclusion of the book describes our wedding, which occurred during a research expedition to Easter Island in which Melissa and I were looking at the invasive ants and assisting in other projects concerning the reproduction of native plants and the mapping of caves. A traditional ceremony had not taken place on the island for years, but archeologist and former Easter Island governor Sergio Rapu enthusiastically made it possible.
At sunset we came to the rim of Rano Kau volcano, where we were stripped and redressed in beaten bark and feathers. There was a chanting and dancing by the men and clapping by the women. Then Melissa and I exchanged rocks extracted from the volcano. We can claim to have one of the few marriages with documentation archived in the Smithsonian!
Here is the video we sent out as a wedding party invitation upon our return to the USA.
Our thanks to Amy Tan and Mike Hawley for these pictures. For a bigger version of the video and more pictures, go here. This post expands upon page 231 of AAA.