If you have heard of Kiribati I LOVE YOU

Not many have heard of Kiribati, if you have you are EDUCATED!!
It's a small group of 17 coral atolls straddling the equator, pretty much directly North of NZ, Fiji is about halfway. These days only Air Nauru flies to Tarawa (the capital), via Fiji or Nauru; so they can charge what they please and... they do, can you believe the six hour flight from Auckland will set you back around $1800!!!! It's daylight robbery but it's your only choice unless you have a spare couple of months to take a cruise up there...
it's not exactly a tourist spot though and it's definitely not for the faint-hearted, they do have electricity but the lifestyle for most is like camping, but tougher (and they don't get to 'go home' at the end of it!) Each property has a well, usually in the centre, with small thatched-roof-buildings around, for sleeping, cooking, bathing
Kiribati is part of Micronesia, the people have darker skin than the Polynesians (Samoans/Tongans) but lighter skin than Melanesians (PNG, Solomons Islanders), smaller build than Polys and generally straighter hair. It seems Kiribati people are like most Pac Islanders - they love to sing, dance and joke. As my sister puts it "laughter is the main currency"
They are passionate people, you only have to watch them performing any song or dance in a large group, the level rises to a crescendo and they almost go into a trance, it's spine-tingling!
I'm fortunate enough to have visited Kiribati five times, during the 80s & 90s and then two years ago in '05, I've stayed on Tarawa, Abemama and Kuria....
it's a special place in my heart, it has an arid, dry beauty, reminding me of a mix of Matakana island (Bay of plenty) from a distance, with the volcanic landscape of Rangitoto, white chalky dirt with patches of grass 'trying' to grow. When I've stayed there over Christmas-time it has rained probably once or twice in 8 weeks, but in July it rained every 4 days or so, so I assume that is the rainy season but maybe my memory is fading??
Kiribati is so flat and low it's almost one-dimensional, (the highest point is 2 metres above sea level, yeah global warming is a HUGE threat!)
if you walk out through the shallow water for 150 metres or so to the reef on the ocean side where the breakers are, the land seems to disappear so quickly when you look back, thatched rooves become camouflauged by the backdrop of swaying coconut palms, clothing pegged to lines strung between them, usually bright coloured t-shirts and patterened 'te be' (lava lava's),
..why do Kiribati people love bright colours so much?? maybe because they are so dark-skinned?
Anyway now I'm rambling...

My mother's family is from Tabiteuea, Nikinau & Arorae. My grandfather just died in 06 and my beautiful grandmother is still alive. She had 11 children, (two of which died in childhood so nine remain) my sister and I have more than 40 first-cousins more are still being born! We are the only ones with an 'i-matang'-(European) parent, all the others are full-blooded i-Kiribati,
It's strange being 'half', you really do belong to both worlds, and yet to neither at the same time?
Anyway, it's so rare to find anyone who knows anything about Kiribati that when you do, you just wanna hug them and say "Really? You've heard of Kiribati?- I love you!" Feel free to add anymore to this page ok! I will add more later, there are so many things to say about this unique island nation....