Back at the village

On our second visit to the village we already have the feeling that we know most of the faces here (no wonder, only 65 people live on the atoll) and we were greeted like returning friends. We talked with the mayor and the policeman again, praising their efforts to protect the untouched motus, trying to emphasize how precious and rare such wilderness is.
Then we did a little presentation at the school about the local species and the fragility of such a little eco-system as an atoll. The kids were super-interested and cute (one class with kids between 5 and 10 years), aahing and ooohing the pics of their birds here–they only know the most common species (like noddies, white terns and frigate birds). We cobbled together the French, Tahitian and Paumotu names for rarer species as well and then we went on to the role of trees on a coral atoll. Fortunately there are still quite a few motus here that have not been burned down and turned into copra plantations. No trees means no compost and no space for nesting birds, no birds mean not enough nutrients (guano) for the motus and the coral, no coral means no fish and no fish means nothing to eat. I think I made my (very simplified but still valuable) point ;-)

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