Excursion in Abemama lagoon
July 7th, 2015
Most of Kiribati atolls are made of a group of islands, usually distributed along an oval shape, that can be visited by renting a boat from the main villages. Abemama is no exception and an excursion to villages located on remote islets across the lagoon, offers the possibility to visit both inhabited and uninhabited islands where you can enjoy endless beaches and a glimpse into the simple local life.
The tour scheduled for today has the purpose to cross the whole lagoon of Abemama atoll (about 12 kilometers wide) on a small motorboat, up to Abatiku island, home to a small community living in a traditional village, before continuing onto other islets. On the left photo, Abatiku island seen from the lagoon. In the right photo, children playing on the beach of the islet.
The community on Abatiku islands, counting just a few dozen people, live in a traditional village among lush vegetation, very isolated from the rest of the world and also from Kiribati itself.
The electricity is produced by small solar panels and is primarily used to illuminate the house in the evening or even to watch a DVD.
The economy of the village is mainly supported by production of copra (dried coconut) as well as by processing other products coming from palm trees. In remote communities, where the electricity is only produced through small solar panels, there are no refrigerators, so it becomes difficult to keep any food: for this reason, fish is stored after a drying process.
The small clinic in the village, built with funds donated by other states and by the European Union.
In Kiribati villages, though they may be remote, there is always some building designed as church for religious events.
Like all villages in Kiribati, this also has a maneaba, a meeting place for all the inhabitants.
The elementary school and a classroom.
Everywhere in the village you can see piles of coconuts ready for the extraction of copra. The pulp of the dried coconut is then used to produce oil, condiments, cosmetics and margarine products.
Going to school.
After visiting Abatiku island, the next stop is an uninhabited island along the same side of the lagoon. The sea is so calm that you can clearly distinguish all there is on the seabed.
Arriving at Bike island.
In the lagoon is also possible to snorkel a little bit and here you can see some colorful coral and classical tropical fishes.
After the beautiful excursion across the lagoon of Abemama, the boat returns to the main village on the opposite side of the atoll.