Getting to know the Gilberts

Kiribati flag meaning:

The image of the bird on the Kiribati flag represents authority, freedom and command of the sea. The sun rising over the red sky represents the equator and the blue and white wavy lines symbolize the Pacific Ocean. The 17 rays of the sun also represent the 16 islands and Banaba (former Ocean Island). The Kiribati flag’s image represents Kiribati’s geographical location as the islands spread out over the equator for over 4000 kilometers and cover over two million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean.

Kiribati was formerly named the Gilbert Islands.


Tarawa Atoll and others of the Gilbert group were occupied by Japan during World War II. Tarawa was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in US Marine Corps history. Marines landed in November 1943; the Battle of Tarawa was fought at Kiribati’s former capital Betio on Tarawa Atoll.

Some of the islands of Kiribati, especially in the remote Line Islands, were formerly used by the United States and United Kingdom for nuclear weapons testing including hydrogen bombs in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Have you ever met people, spent some time with them and then found out something truly amazing concerning them?

Most people are just like these islands, way off in the middle of the Pacific Ocean minding their own business. Yet, when you get to know them they are far more interesting than you initially thought.

Who would have known that one of the worst battles in US Marine Corps history is part of their story.

What I mean to say is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or even the absence of one…

Do you make the time to really listen and be attentive to the people you meet?

Being interested in someone will always bring that someone closer.

Whilst in conversation at times, we tend to run on the frequency of our own agendas, even if only in the back of our minds. (Like you might be doing right now, whilst reading this post). It causes us to hear a bunch of words without effectively listening to the person’s story before us.

Good listeners, real listeners make the best friends, even if you’re not really a talkative person. It’s the understanding and camaraderie that forms through the sharing and knowing  of each other’s stories, that testifies of a good listener.

Did you know that Kiribati was formerly known as the Gilbert islands, which were occupied by Japan, witness to the Battle of Tarawa and the test tube for the development of nuclear weapons?

It pays to listen and be attentive. Life is more interesting that way. Especially with the people you meet and befriend.


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