I am honored for having the opportunity to travel to the Okapaka Islands. As an Ambassador of America, I found that this trip was of utmost importance. The journey was long for it had been insisted to travel by vessel. After making port on Auckland Island in the Webling Bay, I boarded an outlandish dory with a native as skipper. The voyage was a bit unsettling for my stomach yet remarkable for my eyes. The water cleared of pollutants as we neared the desolate island. As we approached the makeshift dock, I could make out figures gathering long the shoreline. Upon my arrival from sea, the natives greeted me by thumping there chest twice with a closed fist. What I had first though as a sign of aggression I found out was, in fact, there way of greeting my captain and me. As I took my first steps onto their red sand shoreline, they proceeded to thump their chests. A man ornamented in ostrich feathers stepped forward and proceed to click his tongue at different intervals; this I assumed was how they talked. Even with a language barrier, I followed this man and his faction into their village.The reaction from these inhabitants overwhelmed me. Without even knowing me, they welcomed me into their homes and their families.
I can distinctly recall the children of the village running around trying to catch a single gaze at the new comer that was me. This young boy, no older than ten, ran up to me and smiled. It was astonishing to witness firsthand; I had never thought I could ever witness something this heart touching from a complete stranger. They held a ceremony the night of my arrival. The whole village and I gathered around an enormous hearth and garnished me in an array of furs. I was surprised again by having them shower me with red sand from the shoreline. A timeworn elder stepped forward onto the hearth with his arms raised. It was easy to observe that he was well beyond the age most hope to live. He began speaking in a rhythmic way that had everyone’s attention. I caught myself leaning forward eager by his words. This was the moment I knew these people needed to visit our struggling nation. We have long lost the little things we once had. These men and women and children might hold the key to righting our nation, and possibly the world. They managed to preserve their culture, their beliefs, and their lives among all these other countries that have forgotten where they came from.
Courtney from Study Moose
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