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Nauru

Nauru is located in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Once known as Pleasant Island, this is one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of both population and size, which is a mere 21 kilometers or 8.1 miles in area. Nauruan and English are both spoken. The president heads a unicameral parliament. Mainstays of the economy include fishing and tourist activities like diving.

The island is composed of phosphate surrounded by coral reefs. Phosphate has been available for mining and worth a considerable amount, but resources are running short and the island itself is running out of the material that composes it. Nauru ranks seventh among nations of the world most threatened by flooding due to global warming. Infrastructure for travellers is pretty much bare minimum, and visitors are usually politicians, diplomats, or development workers. The climate is humid, hot, and overall tropical. Despite depopulation of wildlife due to the mining industry, there are still some interesting animal species to see. The Fregata Minor, or great frigate bird is most significant and something of a national symbol. The whale shark, the mako shark, marlins and Indo-Pacific sailfish have an abundant populationre plentiful in Nauru.

In the Aiwo district, as generally on Nauru, there are remnants of the mining trade. You can see two huge steel bridge-like structures called cantilevers extending from the coast and used to load phosphate onto ships. For more history, tour Command Ridge, the high point in Nauru where Japanese set up operations in WWII. See their rusty guns and a dimly-lit (but not romantic) communications bunker. The ruins of the former Presidential mansion, burned down in 2001 by people incensed at governmental mismanagement, stand in the Denigomodu district.

Rice is a popular grain here. Coconut, bananas, and some vegetables, particularly greens, are available. Cured and smoked ham can be delicious. Fish is abundant, and coconut fish is served everywhere. Sorry to say, but fried eggs, Spam, and rice is a common combination. Iced coffee with so much milk and sugar that it might properly be called coffee milk can be considerered the national drink. Come on Christmas and eat citrus fruit flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. Other times of year, you may be able to get your hands on some decadent desserts like banana spreads, coconut mousse, and coconut shakes or ice cream. Sweet!

Ewa