CHILDREN OF THE RISING SEA
Squint your eyes at a map of the South Pacific.
Squint so hard they close.
Now imagine a place where the people came from the sea, are sustained by the sea, and return to the sea.
A place where the highest point above sea level is a five-meter tall pile of sand dredged from the lagoon, a place where the most curious and wide eyed children you have ever met run free, swim for fish, climb for coconuts, and ask questions like "what is the United States?”
A place where sunscreen does not exist, where ATMs are a thing of the future, where the community gathers for pig roasts on the international air strip that only sees occasional landings…
Are you still squinting?
You are in Tuvalu.
Tuvalu's nine islands have a total land mass of 26 km². The mean height above sea level is less than two meters. In a report released in 2009, the United Nations identified Tuvalu as the most at risk country for loss of sovereignty due to sea level rise. A country with no land, and no people left to inhabit her, is no longer a country. This tiny island nation and her twelve thousand inhabitants are already experiencing the effects of climate change first hand.