You’re doing what?  Where!? This blog follows the van der Merwe family’s trip to Kiribati (kih-reh-bas), in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just north of the equator.  Claire, Leigh and Eli are spending three months living in the mostly unheard of Republic of Kiribati, whilst Claire completes some volunteer work in the Countries (main? […]

Read More I-Matang


Getting around South Tarawa isn’t too hard. There are plenty of buses, well mini-buses. They scream around the single road, overtaking on blind corners, speeding pulling out randomly. As the copper who gave us our security briefing, they are the most reckless drivers in the country. They run from, I dunno – im never up […]

Read More Buses

The Noise

everyone yells. I am sitting at someone’s house, waiting for the truck that is taking the pre school kids to bouta to plant some mangrove, and all the parents are LOUD! I mean there is constant yelling, at the kids, at each other. I have no idea what they are saying, but where we would […]

Read More The Noise


Eli is 4, and we decided that a good way for him to join in with the local kids and culture is to go to a local school. Like everything in my life, if I’m not too sure about it, I tend to put it off for an indeterminate amount of time. Claire had a […]

Read More School

Sports Fishing Comp

The Australian High Commission (and the NZ High Comm) has a cat with twin 150hp on the back, that they use to entertain the staff and take visiting dignitaries out on the lagoon or sea.  They offered me a seat for the next Betio Fishing Clubs competition day.  The boat crew was Ross Craven, Damien […]

Read More Sports Fishing Comp

Mangrove Planting

Someone organised to do some mangrove planting at the Naniki causeway, during the first week.  We were really busy and ended up being late, so missed the mass plantings, but went down and had a look and a chat anyway. There are a lot of new mangroves that have been planted around South Tarawa in […]

Read More Mangrove Planting

Fathers Day

Wow! What a fathers day this year. In the ‘bush’ outside of a small village on the North Tarawa Island of Nabeina. Wake up to a lovely breakfast of banana pancakes with homemade coconut syrup, and a big kiss from the wife and child. Well, not quite like that. You see about halfway through the […]

Read More Fathers Day