Monday, December 06, 2010
Global Challenge: Nauru, where are you?

 

We are thrilled to announce that we are down to just one country in the iReport Global Challenge: Nauru, the world’s smallest republic.

 

Those of you who have been following the iReport blog know that we’ve been striving to get photos, videos and stories from every country on the planet.

 

As of Monday morning, we have approved iReports from 193 of the 194 countries considered independent nations by the U.S. State Department.

 

Only Nauru is left! We want to hear from citizens of, or visitors to, this tiny island in the South Pacific, halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Send us a snapshot of life in Nauru -- the local culture, food, architecture, natural sites, or an unusual event happening there.

 

The country, population 9,267, was dubbed “Pleasant Island” by European sailors in the 18th century. But the country has struggled since then. While it once enjoyed great wealth made by mining phosphate for fertilizer, those resources are nearly exhausted.

 

We know there is a lot more to this unusual place, and we would love to hear about it. Upload your iReports today.

29 Comments
December 6, 2010
Click to view SpeelingNG's profile

I was born on this republic can I just take a photo of me and say we've been there? Cause there's a saying where I come from:

When you go Nauru, you never go back.

December 6, 2010
Click to view TexInVA's profile

What about Elbonia???

December 6, 2010
Click to view JimiAtlas's profile

Oddly, the greater quantity of available phosphates is now located under Nauru villages and the central business district.  The Mining Companies and the govt of Nauru are trying to find some way of getting at that chemical, short of tearing apart the villages and relocating the hotels.  The reliance on this single source of income by Nauru and its decision to simply spend for today instead of invest will come back to haunt this little island.  Few have considered the environmental cost of extracting and mining phosphates.

December 6, 2010
Click to view jlm88's profile

of course people are going to start posting  claiming to be from there.....

December 6, 2010
Click to view PSinTN's profile

Lots of American airmen "visited" Nauru in the early 1940s, but they didn't stay, just unloaded and flew back to their own bases.  Nauru has the unusual distinction of being occupied by British citizens, shelled by the Germans, invaded by the Japanese, then bombed by Americans during WWII. 

December 6, 2010
Click to view olegunny's profile

Looks like it would make the perfect resort island!  Nice golf course, nice hotel and I'll bet a lot of people would love this getaway island.  I know I would!

December 6, 2010
Click to view pingpaul's profile

Looks like it has one of those fly or swim airports. It does look like a nice island.

December 6, 2010
Click to view ajasatru's profile

aka "bird shit" island.  

December 6, 2010
Click to view cartwright's profile

I would cordially invite CNN to pay for me and my fiancee's honeymoon in mid-March to Nauru in exchange for some hotspot videos and pictures of this tiny little paradise. What say you, CNN?

December 6, 2010
Click to view ShepherdJ's profile

That island is an environmental catastrophe. Look at all the heavy industry to mine for phosphates. In the picture you can see the docking facilities and the processing plant. The rest of the island as you can see has been completely mined out. What a dump. That island is a canary in the phosphate mine for the rest of the planet.

December 6, 2010
Click to view JimCrackcorn's profile

Wow...how neat...a real live soon to be underwater Atlantis!!

December 6, 2010
Click to view Borratt's profile

what about mi country?  Uh?

December 6, 2010
Click to view Borratt's profile

Hello Fakakma. I LOVE you.

December 6, 2010
Click to view christobel's profile

In the 70s we used to transit through Nauru, when we flew from the South Pacific to Asia. The phosphate industry wrecked this island leaving massive craters on its "beaches." For years it was a resting spot for migratory birds who built up this lucrative "bird shit" business.

We could have predicted this outcome even so long ago as the island was being excavated for phosphates by the Australians. In Melbourne, there is a massive building known as "Birdshit Tower," which housed that office.

December 6, 2010
Click to view Saresudog's profile

Unfortunately this is a used up ugly island.  I can understand why nobody is sending you photos.  I recommend Google Earth.  They have lots of photos, but most of them are not very pretty.

December 6, 2010
Click to view kangarootoo's profile

I understand Nauru House in Melbourne went into bankruptcy.  Sadly, I also understand the island is now being used as a detention center for illegal immigrants to Australia. Years ago the people of Nauru were offered alternative housing on another island.  And the huge wealth of the country from phosphate was poorly invested... 

December 6, 2010
Click to view jsa123's profile

our company did the engineering design for one of the Nauuru high rises here in Honolulu. i guess you can say that was a reasonable exchange of goods, (bioconcrete)

December 6, 2010
Click to view Herman1945's profile

How much does it cost to go over there?.  And how much are the rentals if I want to retire over. What is the currency used?. I am serious.  I am looking for an island where I can retire with my cat. 

December 6, 2010
Click to view RockyMtnMan's profile

What a total waste of time.  No news, no coverage!!

December 6, 2010
Click to view printoto's profile

Most obese nation in the world.

December 6, 2010
Click to view trooduq's profile

I was there for a few days some years ago.  Very sad island vith very sad, unhappy and overweight people.  

The Australians ruined this island and raped the environment.   The natives just spent the money recklessly and trashed their land.

One of the saddest place I ever visited (and I have seen a few).

 

December 6, 2010
Click to view Jim8's profile

I'll suggest reading "The Sex Lives of Cannibals," (really) for an idea of what it is like living on an island like Nauru.

 

You will love the book, guaranteed.  Has nothing to do with their sex lives.  You can get it used on Amazon.com for a couple of bucks.

 

The sequel, "Getting Stoned with Savages," is almost as good.

December 6, 2010
Click to view pa44capt's profile

So, does that mean there's actually an iReporter from North Korea?

December 6, 2010
Click to view Jim8's profile

A look on Google Earth shows a small island with no harbor, no boats, an airport with no airplanes.

 

"The Sex Lives of Cannibals," is a must read for those who want to visit a tropical island nation.

December 6, 2010
Click to view secretvip's profile

I should move there and start my own race.

December 7, 2010
Click to view fairchilr001's profile

the NPR show this american life had a story on Nauru that was a very interesting history of it.  They also had a reporter go to the island and talk with residents.

 

goto thisamericanlife.org and search for the program "middle of nowhere"  It's one of my favorite episodes ever.

 

 

Nauru is a very sad story.

December 7, 2010
Click to view lotus29's profile

Yay! I was born here but only spent two days there! From what my parents have told me, it's a beautiful island nation and only takes half an hour to drive around the perimeter. I think it's an island pretty much built on guano (bird droppings) and so it's rich in phosphate (or used to be). I'd love to go visit one day...

December 7, 2010
Click to view lotus29's profile

I agree with Jim8- those books are really good and discuss the island nations of the South Pacific pretty nicely.

December 7, 2010
Click to view hhanks's profile

@pa44capt - Here's a photo of North Korea from the border on the south side.

 

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-502890

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