Monday, October 17, 2011

In the beginning ....

I have finally arrived on Tarawa, in the country of Kiribati, straddling the equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. According to legends, it is the centre of the universe ... and I am not so sure I doubt that. Google Earth can give you a good view.

33 atolls, 100,000 people .... and it may be the first country to disappear due to climate change and rising sea levels ... and there are still people that want to deny it's happening. Come here ... it is happening.
Whether you believe human activity contributes to climate change or not ... if there is even the slightest chance it does ... don't you have an obligation to do your part to reduce your possible impact? Come here ... and see the beautiful people and country you may be destroying.

In the following 2 years, while I complete my volunteer assignment with Australian Volunteers International, I hope to show you something about this wonderful place. Maybe, then, you will feel compelled to care more about how your lifestyle choices affect the rest of the planet
... because they do.

From the air, Tarawa can be seen as a narrow (average width is 400 metres) string of atolls. Inside the ring of coral atolls is the lagoon, outside is the open ocean.
The average elevation of the country is less than 2 metres about sea level.


The ring of atolls is broken by a series of channels that allow the lagoon to be filled and emptied by the rising and falling tides. Makes it more challenging to get from one end of the atoll to the other ... man-made causeways have been built to enable easier movement ... but tend to trap pollutants in the lagoon, creating some of the highest counts of e-coli bacteria in the natural world.

Every action has a consequence.

14 comments:

Katrina said...

Looks beautiful Dennis... I look forward to reading about your adventures there! : )

Sara said...

Thanks for taking us all along on your travel. Its so beautiful there, hard to believe they have pollution as well.

Kerry Hands said...

This is great Dennis. Love to learn about other places and be included in your experiences.

Diana said...

A friend told her 4-year old daughter, "You know, you're not the center of the universe." The little girl thought a moment and replied, "How do you know?"

Glad you made it to the center! I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

Bruce said...

Great to hear you've made it Dennis. Saw a doco on SBS1 091011"The Hungry Tide'about Kiribati's plight. All the best from those Earth bound.

M.Benaut said...

I also saw "The Hungry Tide" and felt that the President needs to declare war on Australia, the US and any other interested parties.
Their plight is so urgent and yet even the supply of fresh water is not prioritised by the Australian government.

We are all behind you Dennis and look forward to some truth from the inside, now you are there.

The very best of luck from your friends down under in Adelaide.

drpack said...

Glad you are seeing The Hungry Tide...am working with a couple people who are in it. A very accurate doco...am happy to take you with me...even happier to host you in person.

Sara said...

From Oregon Public Broadcasting:

http://news.opb.org/article/climate_change_and_faith_collide_in_kiribati/

Climate Change And Faith Collide In Kiribati
Brian Reed | February 16, 2011

Hope you can open this!

drpack said...

Thanks Sara ... just spent last weekend on Abaiang ... it is truly a magic place, and the people are just wonderful ... friendly, great dancers and singers, happy ... very sad to see them disappear as a culture.
Additionally, the introduction of Christianity means they now bury their dead on land instead of sending them out to sea (where they believed Heaven was) ... consequently, their groundwater is becoming polluted ...
every action has a consequence!

Tony and said...

Thank you Dennis,a whole new world.Look forward to reading more. Tony and Jayne

Steve & Anne said...

Hey Dennis, Good to hear that you're settling in OK. Has the President dropped over to welcome you yet? We are enjoying your blog and look forward to keepin up with your adventures over there. Steve

Steve and Anne said...

Sorry about the odd title last time!

fi and symen said...

Wow it looks like paradise except for the rising sea levels of course. Good luck with fixing things especially IT things. let us know if they need a school teacher and swimming instructor!
Great photos too
Cheers Fi

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