4 – 6 April 2013
A charming activity took the children of Kavewa by storm one overcast Saturday morning. All the school children from Kavewa Village had just come back home for the weekend from their boarding school in Drua Drua (another nearby island) when they were assigned to go pick as much propagules in the mangrove forest as they could for some mangrove replanting session. Like wound up toys, they disappeared like a lightning flash and came out of the mangroves an hour later with red mangrove propagules in their arms. They were so excited!
Mangroves are plants that serve as natural buffers between the ocean and the land. They protect the islands during storms and cyclones. Mangroves grow and proliferate and can become forests if left alone. Unlike man-made seawalls, mangroves do not easily break or fall apart with time. Through years of growth, mangroves become bigger and stronger and their root system hold the coastal sand and ground together to prevent erosion. On the south side Kavewa Island, the limestone cliff walls of the island show a natural concave structure that has eroded through the years and shows how it has been eaten up by constant wave and wind action.
On the northern side of Kavewa are two nearby limestone rock islands small enough to snorkel around in a few minutes. The farthest one is called Vatu Iwai with different sea birds calling it home and the one closer to Kavewa is Vatu Cicila where there is a small colony of fruitbats roosting during the day.
When we got to the farther little island by boat, I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing such beautiful corals in the shallows right beside the limestock rock outcrop, with brown boobies and 3 species of terns flying all around us. I couldn’t wait to jump in to see the beautiful plate corals which shimmered like jewels from the surface.