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Wounds, Home Gardens, and Lively Children on a Thin, Tiny Atoll in the Pacific

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The children in Tuvalu are enthusiastic and brimming with excitement. My time in here was accentuated with many, many children -- children bounding into the ocean, eating raw fish with their hands, riding on the handlebars or laps of their parents on motorbikes, and just generally enjoying life. The island is tiny- the entire country of Tuvalu is roughly 1/10 the size of Washington, D.C. We are talking s-m-a-l-l.

And organized. Or at least, this capitol "city" of Funafuti appears quite organized. Water cisterns at nearly every home, a recycling and composting program, home gardens everywhere... The first garden I saw (pictured on drowning island's Facebook page) was so exciting to me that I hopped off my rented motorbike a little too quickly and suffered a pretty nasty burn. The skin melted right off my leg and this did not bode well for me, being on an atoll in the equatorial Pacific, and on my way to Kiribati, an even hotter atoll in the equatorial Pacific the following week. I had a brief stint in the hospital but the staff fixed me up (at least until my return to Fiji), and the entire visit was free of charge. The hard part was that I was instructed in very clear terms to keep my leg dry at all costs, which is no easy task on an atoll.

I had to hobble through the rest of my time in Tuvalu, but I was thoroughly impressed with the climate-readiness efforts that are underway. It seems that Tuvalu's size (just about 10,000 population) makes it more manageable in some ways to implement adaptation projects, given adequate funding and motivation.

See pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Drowning-Islands/215571098482058

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