A Serendipitous Life

2012-06-06 diego garcia 1 crop
Something serendipitous happened to me yesterday. I often seem to make fortunate discoveries at the right moment. Perhaps that’s because I learned to think in terms of serendipity early in my life.
My great aunt Gladys, a world traveler, introduced me to the word. I loved saying “ser·en·dip·i·tous!” It had a lyrical sound, expressing imagination in a beautiful way. Aunt Gladys explained its origin in a Persian fairytale called “The Three Princes of Serendip.” Sons of Jafer, the philosopher-king of Serendip (ancient name of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka), King Jafer insisted his sons receive the best book education from the wisest men in the kingdom and required them to travel far and wide in order to learn life lessons first hand by observing the customs of other cultures. So they traveled, not in search of riches but rather in search of fortunate discoveries about life through their keen observation. A journey of discovery.
Until yesterday, my new book (about my travels to India, Sri Lanka, Diego Garcia, and the Seychelles) had a working title of “Sandalwood Sanity and Diego Garcia–A Journey of Discovery” But yesterday while working on notes from my travel journal., I realized I had heard radio announcements coming from Diego Garcia days before actually seeing land. My scribbled notes were about a DJ named Aceman who broadcast live reports from American Forces Radio Diego Garcia at 1475 AM. After treacherous days at sea crossing the equator, Aceman’s announcements kept hope alive of reaching land and being able to make repairs on a badly damaged yacht. My notes also detailed “crushed coral paved roads” on the island. While researching the coral paved roads, serendipity led me to a site where sailors stationed there in 1975-76 reminisced about life on the boot-shaped atoll. Sure enough the roads were paved with crushed coral. One entry on the site was from Aceman and it showed his email address. I was thrilled as I always wanted to thank him for his fun broadcast.
I sent Aceman an email and received a prompt reply. He is indeed the DJ who said, “Good Morning Diego Garcia!” In light of this new serendipitous discovery, my book will now be titled, “Good Morning Diego Garcia!” Thanks Aceman!

5 Replies to “A Serendipitous Life”

  1. I love this story, Susan. I love the new title. And I love how the two came together. Serendipity; I love that too. How old were you when your aunt taught you the word? I’m picturing a seven-year-old. ??

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