*MEET* 224DA085 Etita

Etita

DSCF1829Abaiang is a spectacular coral atoll of Kiribati, located in the west-central Pacific Ocean and home to Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) member 224DA085 Etita.

A school teacher and keen CB radio enthusiast in Taburao Village, the main government center, Etita (Pictured above right) joins the club in September 2017.

Etita’s atoll is the fourth most northerly in the Gilberts chain, with a total land area of 16.603 km2 and an approximate distance of about 23.8 miles from North to South.



While authorities such as the Radio Society of Great Britain, in it’s Gilbert Islands IOTA Group (OC-017), identify Abaiang as 1 island only, 224DA085 Etita reports that the atoll actually comprises a number of islets which vary in size and population.

Climate change / sea-level rise in KiribatiThese include Teirio (the main Island) which contains 16 of the 18 villages of the atoll, Apaiang, Ouba, Riboono and Nuotaea.

The islets of Ouba and Teirio have apparently had small motels built on them, with staff travelling from the mainland of Abaiang and from Tarawa when guests are expected.


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16949552532_22914ae35e_bThere are also a number of smaller uninhabited islets but with a lack of water and remoteness from the mainland they are only used for fishing, copra cutting and campsites rather than village living.

DSCF1829With a population of 5,502 (2010), Abaiang also serves as a home for two secondary schools, each of them owned either by Roman Catholic Church or Kiribati Protestant Church.

According to 224DA085 Etita, the church plays a significant role on the islands, educating children about serious issues such as climate change, in addition to the regular curriculum subjects of maths, science and language.


Local children


Etita’s family owns a boat on which her husband and sons go fishing most weekends. The atoll has a lagoon 25.7 by 8.0 km that provides sheltered anchorage for it.

In the southwest of Abaiang there is a channel, the Bingham Channel, which is the basic conjunction between the lagoon and the Pacific.

Turtle-Kiribati-rescueThe channel is between the biggest island of Abaiang (in the east) and a very little island in the southwest of Abaiang, Teirio.

On the word of Etita, Abaiang is famous for having pristine beaches and a sparkling blue lagoon.

16711538_378595059184648_3138918546526215835_nRumour has it that one of its very beautiful and white sandy beaches can be seen when looking at the island’s direction from the north end tip of South Tarawa.


pupils-in-the-village-of-riboono


Although her English is patchy, 224DA085 Etita mentions the historical landmarks made by the colonizers of the island, a Negro cannibal who landed on Abaiang in the early days and founders of Protestant Church in Kiribati.

16949918351_c48f4295f0_bOther visible attractions include shrines of the high chief of Abaiang in the early days and sites of pioneers of the island.

In addition to boat charters available from South Tarawa to Abaiang, Etita’s atoll is served by Abaiang Atoll Airport, situated between the villages of Tabwiroa and Tuarabu.


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Air Kiribati operates three flights a week that connect Abaiang with Marakei and the international airport at South Tarawa and Etita uses this service for meetings with other school teachers in Kiribati once or twice a year.

9801884924_f146941ed9_oAccording to 224DA085 Etita, there are a number of active 27 MHz radio operators who reside on this QTH, most of whom enjoy government roles or work as school teachers for the church.

imagesThe island is powered exclusively by solar energy so radio users rely on this to power their stations which consist of, in Etita’s case, vertical antennas atop thatched rooves (See below) and 10m transceivers.

Like her, they can be found TX on the country’s new call frequency 27.055 MHz USB and will respond enthusiastically to a CQ call appearing on the band.


QSL Infos

QSL-224-DA-DUBBELVia 43DA001 Darren

PO Box 3140, Browns Plains LPO, QLD, Australia, 4118.


Etita's Shack