This update fresh off the boat! Greenpeace New Zealand volunteer Chino is onboard Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, in the Pacific, helping document the impacts of climate change in the region. Chino, of Cook Island and Samoan descent, is a deckhand and emerging climate warrior.
Hope all is well wit yáll.
The two weeks spent in the Cook Islands, campaigning on climate change among my people has brought about a fruitful & humbling response. The warm & always colourful welcomes on all the islands we’ve visited (Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Pukapuka, Nassau), were always received with great anticipation. We’ve indulged in cultural song & dance, and been presented with leis (flower adornments for around your neck).
We've then been invited by locals to check out the islands and be shown their beauty, alongside places where climate change has taken its toll ie - soil salination, eroding beaches, the bleaching of coral reefs, rising sea levels and evidence of severe storms that have wreaked havoc on homes and plantations.
Greenpeace´s presence amongst these communities, informing them of possible solutions/ practices gives much-needed hope.
With my ancestral strengths, conversing & presenting my role on this campaign in the Pacific has humbled me.
Sailing throughout the Pacific Ocean, arriving at new Island atolls, really gives me a sense of how my forefathers would of gone about their expeditions.
The constant smiles & simplicity with which Islanders go about their daily lives is beautiful, embracing the beauty within their shores - lagoons, surf, coral reefs, coconuts, taro plantations, numerous varieties of fruit/ flowers, thatched huts, coconut crabs, colourful varieties of fish, sea birds...
How these Islanders improvise in providing for their whanau/ aigas, having little if not no influence from the outside world, defines these cultural groups as surreal & unspoilt...
Being a voice to my people, sailing on the Esperenza & being part of Greenpeace´s long & proud history in the Pacific that stretches back to the 1970´s, I´m feeling very purposeful during this part of my journey...!!!
Easy & don´t be sweat´n it too much ( common saying on the ´Islands)
´PACIFIC CLIMATE WARRIOR´ - Chino