Marita (and why she bothers)

Tarawa

Kiribati.

Predicted to be one of the first countries to disappear due to climate change.  Oh what an argument can be started on just that sentence!

My name is Marita and am half I-Kiribati and half Australian.  This blog is dedicated to Kiribati and all the issues that come with it. The sea level is rising at an insane pace forcing I-Kiribati people to face a reality that their home is literally decreasing in size –  but I aim to give you more than just reporting the latest news.

Despite Kiribati having one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world, and incommunicable diseases (including diabetes and obesity) rising as quickly as their surrounding ocean, its people rely on culture, traditions, their families and their laughter to face the world.

This blog is for readers to not only understand the environmental issues that surround the country but to also understand the people.  Kiribati people are proud and their good humoured nature will have you believe that nothing is wrong.

But their way of life is quickly being threatened and my biggest worry is that whatever happens, the traditions and culture of the Kiribati people will slowly fade away.

These are the stories, the daily struggles and the news from the country of Kiribati.  An islander girl passing on the stories from her parents, her aunties, her uncles, her cousins, her grandparents and ancestors.

Te Mauri Te Raoi Ao Te Tabomoa (Health, Peace and Prosperity)

Oh and to add another string to my bow, I also do guest talks and guest articles. You can contact me here.

Nei Marita

Photo taken by Sarah Anderson
Photo taken by Sarah Anderson
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29 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Marita,

    What a great resource, thank you for sharing!

    Have you seen this documentary that the UNDP produced about climate change in Kiribati? Thought you might be interested if you haven’t seen it already.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/undp#p/a/u/2/cIG7vt1ZPKE

    Cheers,
    Claire

  2. Hi Claire,

    Thanks for the feedback and the link – very much appreciated. I hadn’t seen it already so I’m glad you sent it to me. This is mainly why I started this blog, so I can find out all I can on this issue so any stuff like this helps a lot.

    I also enjoyed your blog! All the best.

    Cheers,
    Marita

  3. Susan says:

    Mauri Marita,

    Inspiring blog!

    When you do manage to make it over to Kiribati let me know if you need somewhere to stay in Fiji.

    Susan
    One half Kiribati, one half NZ, one whole in denial!

  4. Akina Mikami says:

    Hello Marita,
    Thank you for posting this blog – it’s really encouraging to see someone like you who has heart for her people in Kiribati and who is coming up with creative ways to talk about issues and discussing solutions.
    Although the figures concerning domestic violence and violence against women in the Pacific are confronting, it’s reassuring to know that it is something that can be addressed and steps are being taken to tackle it.
    I just want to flag you a scheme called PACMAS .
    Have you heard of it?
    It supports better governance by contributing to the development of a diverse, independent and professionmedia in the Pacific.
    Please do visit. You can become a member and network with people in the field of media and development operating in the 14 Pacific countries, including Kiribati.
    It has initiatives like Innovation Fund, where you can apply for funding in areas like media content for development, too.
    All the best,
    Akina

    1. Hi Akina,

      Thank you very much for this information. I hadn’t heard of PACMAS but had a look at the website and signed up to it. I am looking to gain funding for a documentary that will be made as an extension to this blog – discovering the culture of Kiribati while highlighting the urgent environment issues that are threatening it today. Is this the kind of thing PACMAS considers for funding?

      Marita

  5. Akina Mikami says:

    Hi Marita,
    Thanks for your reply. Your doco sounds really interesting. What voices will be represented in your doco? What kind of angle will you be taking in terms of covering environmental issues?
    Will other social isses in Kiribati be touched on? It’ll be great if this idea could come to fruition.
    I think the idea sounds promising and I definitely think it’s worth continuing this conversation with Moses, who looks after the funding scheme. His contacts are on PACMAS fund page, but I’ll posit it below, too.
    I’ve forwarded him your message, but do contact him.
    All the best,
    Akina

    PACMAS Innovation Fund page:http://pacmas.org/innovation-fund

    PACMAS is in the process of establishing an Innovation Fund to provide funding support to Pacific stakeholders and development partners. The Innovation Fund will be designed to build both technical and creative capacity with Pacific media and communication sectors through implementing activities that contribute to PACMAS goals and objectives.

    The guidelines, forms and additional information on accessing the fund will be available soon on this website, so keep checking back, look out for information on Twitter or contact Moses Tongare for further information at moses.tongare@pacmas.org or call +678 24263.

  6. Hi Marita!

    Can you feature my documentary about Christmas Island on your website?

  7. Hey there,

    I’ve only had a chance to look at the first 5 minutes but it looks great! I’ll try and do a bit of a feature to it to plug it a bit more. I’m currently working on other stuff for the blog but I promise I’ll get to it!

    Thanks for reading. I’m excited to see your video!

    Marita

  8. Hi Marita! I’m an associate producer for HuffPost Live (live.huffingtonpost.com) and we’d love to have you join a conversation we’re having about climate change TODAY via webcam. please email me at camille.santochi AT huffingtonpost DOT com

  9. Mike Lewis says:

    Hi Marita, Mike & Gay here. We visited Tarawa a year ago on our yacht Expeditus, & had Xmas dinner with your mum Teaote, & later met Hugh. We sent a Xmas email to Teaote, but it was undeliverable – her email changed? Don’t know if you can send us her email, or get her to contact us so we can remain in touch.
    We have mentioned this website in our annual report / Xmas letter to all our friends.
    Have a merry Xmas & our love to Teaote & Hugh.

    1. Hi Mike and Gay,

      Apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Mum and Dad loved that you made contact. I will email you Mum’s email address.

      Thanks for mentioning me!

      Hope you had a merry xmas and that your year has started well.

      Thanks

      Marita

  10. PasifikaObserver says:

    Fantastic blog!!! Great posts, beautiful pictures, very wise words! Well done! It’s pleasure to read it!

    1. Wow, thank you for the feedback. I’m glad you think so. Just about to have a read of your blog, there is some really fantastic stuff on the islands out there at the moment. Let me know if you have any suggestions or topics you would like me to cover – always happy to hear readers’ thoughts.

      Marita

  11. Kirti Marshall says:

    Mauri Marita,

    I love reading your blogs. My husband is from Butaritari and I have a half Australian/Kiribati son, who was fortunte enough to be born in Tungaru Central Hospital, Tarawa (premature, mind you).

    When I read your blogs, I have hope that even though my son is being raised in New Zealand, he will remember his visits to his island, his heritage, his history.

    Have you gone back? I am planning another trip soon, finances allowing..

    1. Hello! Thanks for your comment and your lovely words.

      I can assure you that even though your son is growing up in New Zealand he will be closely connected with his heritage. Even though I didn’t register at the time but everytime my Mum would speak to me in I-Kiribati – even if they were small things like ‘Where’s the knife?’, ‘What’s the time?’ it made a small impact on my appreciating my heritage.
      Another good thing is that because so many people don’t know where Kiribati is, I find that I end up talking about the country a lot.

      At the moment I am unable to go back but my Mum is running for Parliament in a couple of years so I will definitely go back to help her with that – probably for a couple of months or so.

      Ko Raba

  12. Vidhi says:

    Hello Marita! I’m a writer for Colors Magazine, and am currently researching climate change refugees for our next issue. Would you be knowing any people who have already begun to move due to the rising water levels (either within the island or outside)? We would love to be able to contact and interview them. If you do have a contact for us, could you please send me an email on vidhis at gmail? Thanks!

  13. Mauri,

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to come across your blog. I am part I-Kiribati from the United States. Your blog will definitely help me learn more about our culture and small beautiful island. I thank you for that! We’re probably cousins for all I know!!! I get excited when I connect with my people and would love to keep in touch with you via email.

    1. Yes, I’m sure we’d be able to find some connection that will prove we’re cousins! I’m so glad you’ve found the blog and that you enjoy it. Let me know if you have any suggestions for any subjects you would like me to write about. I’d love to stay in touch.

      Thanks for making contact!

      Marita

  14. Eric Larson says:

    Marita, I am so glad to have stumbled upon your blog. I am enjoying reading all the posts. I will share it with friends, including on a Facebook Page I manage to promote “Te Maraia / The Curse,” a movie I made with villagers on Marakei while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer there. Please check out the page and the movie and tell me what you think: https://www.facebook.com/temaraia?ref=hl

    1. Hi Eric,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and thankyou very much for sharing!
      I’m a real sucker for anything Marakei as I have such a connection to the island. I’ll check out your page as soon as I can!

      Thanks again,

      Marita

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  16. Tresi Nonno says:

    Hello Marita, would you like to contribute something to our journal https://culturalanthropologyandethnosemiotics.wordpress.com/

    1. Yeah I’d love to hear more about what you guys do and what you’re thinking! You can contact me on maritarose.davies@gmail.com. Thanks for getting in touch!

  17. Tirin Ratieta says:

    Mauri Marita,

    I just came across your blog from a referral by another blog that I was reading during surfing the Internet. Pretty impressive I’d say. I’m an I-Kiribati who is now a Citizen of The United States of America. I’m now your new current follower and will always looking forward to reading your blogs. Thanks for all that you do.

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for following. I’m glad you found this website – I particularly love that I-Kiribati people all over the world can enjoy it 🙂

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