There is No Place Like Home- Marshall Islands’ Native James Bing Remembers his Homeland

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I love the Marshall Islands because it is my home.  There is no place like home.  it’s very different than here.  I love the beautiful sun and warm rain year around.  I love the people there.  Marshallese people are the kindest and nicest people.  I know almost everyone there.

I really miss the Marshall Islands. 

I miss my friends and family that are still there.  I miss hanging out with my old classmates and playing basketball everyday.  I miss working at my grandfather’s company.  I miss having those Sunday BBQ with my mom, dad, and siblings.  My dad and my younger brother would always have their fishing gear ready.  While I’m the one busy cooking, they’ll be tossing their lines and stand on the sea-wall and fish.  I miss that atmosphere – it is very different than here.  It’s really hard to explain how different, maybe because it’s my home.  Spending time with my family and friends is one thing I really miss about home.  

During my 20 years of living in the Marshall Islands I have noticed climate change happening.  The islands are getting smaller.  The beach is almost completely gone due to coastal erosion.  The land and soil is being washed away slowly and slowly.  I see that the Marshall Islands are getting smaller, but I can’t do anything to change it.  Every year during the king tide season, I remember it not being a big deal.  This is when I was younger, probably 8 or 9 years old.  Now it’s different – you can see the water flooding the streets and homes.  In high school, during king tide season, I remember being late to school because of traffic and roads being shut down because of flooding.  I have a feeling it’s even worse than my last visit.

People in the Marshall Islands know that climate change is happening, but they don’t worry about it.  “Because we depend on God.  We believe that God would never flood the Earth again because he promised Noah that.  So the Marshall Islands won’t sink.” This is something almost everyone will say if you ask them about climate change on the islands.  They all see climate change causing these floods, loss of land, and loss of soil. But they won’t admit to it.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal because they all believe that God won’t flood the earth.  Climate change is not the issue to them.  But as for me, I see it differently, I believe climate change is happening.  I do feel scared for my homeland.  I do worry everyday about it.  I’m not saying I don’t believe in what the bible said about God not flooding the earth.  I believe in the bible, I believe in God and his son Jesus Christ. 

I believe that God said he would never flood the earth, but he never said anything about mankind destroying the earth themselves. We are destroying the earth – not God.

They don’t blame anyone for climate change affecting home.  Because they believe that it is the will of God and God will not let harm come to the Marshall Islands.  I personally am not blaming anyone.  I think burning fossil fuel has caused the greenhouse effect and caused the rising sea-level, but I am not blaming anyone or pointing fingers.  I would like the powerful countries to address this issue and see that climate change is really affecting the Marshall Islands.  Do something about it because we are helpless.  If the Marshall Islands sink, where will we go?? Where will we go and will you accept us? 

I would actually want to raise my son there.  I want to him to know who he is and know where his homeland is.  I want him to know how to fish, know how to swim, know how to work, eat marshallese food, sail a canoe, and so many other things.  But due to the impacts of climate change, I really don’t know if I want to raise him there because who who knows  if there will still be a Marshall Islands?  But it would have been great to raise him the same way I was raised back home. 

If Climate Change worsens, I believe Marshallese will move to the United States.  The U.S is not bad, I also love it here, but there is no place like home. It’s different,  words can’t really explain the difference and how sad we will be if we have to move from the Marshall Islands.  It is our home.  Our land, culture, traditions, local food, and beaches would be left there, and it is very heartbreaking.  It’s even sad just to think it might happen.  We shouldn’t move!!! Why should we leave our home? What did we do so bad to deserve this?? 

What should Americans do to help this problem? Tell everyone around the world about it.  America is the strongest nation in the world.  I believe they can find a way to solve this.  

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