NAURU – NAURU – NAOERO

Vlada Republike Nauru-Nauru Government seat

Vlada Republike Nauru-Nauru Government seat

Aerodromska zgrada-The airport building

Aerodromska zgrada-The airport building

Crkva na ostrvu-A church on the island

Crkva na ostrvu-A church on the island

I oni imaju Olimpijski komitet-They too have the Olympic Committee

I oni imaju Olimpijski komitet-They too have the Olympic Committee

Jedini avion lokalnog prevoznika-The only plane of the local carrier

Jedini avion lokalnog prevoznika-The only plane of the local carrier

Kancelarija predsednika-President's office

Kancelarija predsednika-President’s office

Korisno upozorenje-A useful warning

Korisno upozorenje-A useful warning

Mrtvi su blizu kuce-The dead are still close

Mrtvi su blizu kuce-The dead are still close

Nacionalni grb-National Coat of Arms

Nacionalni grb-National Coat of Arms

Ostrvo i drzava Nauru-The island and State of Nauru

Ostrvo i drzava Nauru-The island and State of Nauru

Popodnevni odmor-The afternoon rest

Popodnevni odmor-The afternoon rest

Postrojenja za eksploataciju fosfata-Machinery for the phosphate exploatation

Postrojenja za eksploataciju fosfata-Machinery for the phosphate exploatation

Pozdrav avionu

Pozdrav avionu

Pozdrav zastavi-A salute to the flag

Pozdrav zastavi-A salute to the flag

Pred poletanje

Pred poletanje

Prizor sa ostrva-An island scene

Prizor sa ostrva-An island scene

Setnja kraj mora-Walking by the sea

Setnja kraj mora-Walking by the sea

Moj prijatelj Pera Katanić imao je druga koji je kao pilot leteo za Air
Nauru. Tako je započelo moje interesovanje za tu najmanju ostrvsku državu na
svetu, koja se sastoji od jednog ostrvceta, površine svega oko dvadeset
kvadratnih kilometara. Danas se ta kompanija naziva Our Airline i poseduje
samo jedan avion, koji jedanput nedeljno sleti u nekoliko pacifičkih
državica i vraća se u Brizbejn u Australiji. I taj jedan se pokvario tokom
mog puta, što je iziskivalo dodatno zadržavanje u Nauruu. Ja sam bio veoma
nestrpljiv, očekujući da se vratim u Brizbejn zbog nastavka putovanja za
Darvin na severu Australije, a potom za Istočni Timor. U to vreme, jedan od
najlepših australijskih gradova, Brizbejn, već je bio skoro potpuno
evakuisan zbog velikih poplava u državi Kvinslend, u šta sam se uverio iz
aviona, iz koga mi je sam grad ličio na arhipelag. Ispostavilo se da sam za
vreme neplaniranog zadržavanja mogao još malo vremena da posvetim
upoznavanju države Nauru i njenih otvorenih i preljubaznih žitelja. Oficir
aviona setio se da je bilo više jugoslovenskih pilota u službi njegove
aviokompanije, u vreme kad je zemlja bila bogatija i imala mnogo više aviona
nego danas. Sa zadovoljstvom se prisećao kako je bio prijatelj sa njima,
znajući tačno za koje kompanije oni sada rade. Šef obezbeđenja aerodroma
Ernest Stephen razumeo je moju želju da za kratko vreme upoznam što više od
zemlje, tako da me je smestio u svoj džip i provezao po ostrvu.
Ono što su ptice vekovima ispuštale, stvorilo je rezerve fosfata, po čemu je
Nauru bio poznat, ali su se one dobrim delom potrošile nekontrolisanom
eksploatacijom. Tako je ostrvo prestalo da bude zanimljivo i utonulo u
dugove zajedno sa aviokompanijom, a ekonomija je pocela da tone. Kažu da ga
u doglednoj buducnosti više neće biti, pa sam na vreme svratio da ga
posetim. Pacifik postepeno raste i tiho guta mnoga svoja ostrva i atole.
Neka od napuštenih postrojenja za fosfatna mineralna đubriva neumitno
zahvata rđa, a desetak hiljada stanovnika ovog ostrva tužno se okreće
dokolici i ribolovu. Životni standard je ipak veći nego u mnogim zemljama
centralnog i južnog Pacifika, što stanovnicima pruža neku utehu i nadu.
Nemaju, nažalost, one prirodne lepote i tirkizne lagune kao ostale zemlje
razbacane širom ovog okeana, ali zato im je ostao duh, preduzimljivost,
iskrenost i dobrota.
Kao da je toliko fosfora uspelo da ih prosvetli.

Januar 2011.
_____________________________________________________

My friend Pera Katanić had an acquaintance who flew as a pilot for Air
Nauru. That is how my interest in the world’s smallest island state began.
It consists of only one island with a surface of merely 20 square
kilometres. Today, this airline is called Our Airline and has only one
airplane which flies once a week to a handful of tiny Pacific states and
then returns to Brisbane in Australia. And that one aircraft broke down
during my trip which made me stay longer in Nauru. I was very impatient,
expecting to be back in Brisbane so I could continue my journey to Darwin in
the North of Australia and then onwards to East Timor. At the time, one of
the most beautiful Australian cities, Brisbane, had been almost entirely
evacuated due to the enormous floods in the state of Queensland, which I was
able to confirm from the airplane, as the whole city appeared like an
archipelago surrounded by water.
It turned out that, during my unexpectedly long stay in Nauru, I could spend
some more time getting to know this country and its extremely kind and
approachable people. The first officer remembered that there used to be a
few Yugoslav pilots working for his company, when the country was richer and
had more airplanes. He remembered with pleasure their friendly relationships
and he knew exactly where they were working these days.
Head of security at the airport, Ernest Stephen, understood that I was keen
to see as much as possible of Nauru in the short space of time, so he put me
in his jeep and gave me a tour of the island.
Due to bird droppings accumulating over centuries, large reserves of
phosphate were formed and Nauru used to be well known for them. However the
reserves were depleted quickly thanks to uncontrolled exploitation. That is
why this island lost its appeal, sinking into debt together with its airline
while its economy went into a downward spiral. They say that all phosphate
reserves will disappear in due course, and I was lucky to come in time to
see them. The Pacific Ocean is gradually rising and devouring many of its
islands and atolls.
While some of the abandoned plants for the manufacture of phosphate
fertilisers cannot escape getting rusty, some ten thousand inhabitants of
this island sadly turn to fishing and boredom. Yet the living standard here
is higher than in many countries of the Central and South Pacific, which
provides local people with some consolation and hope. Unfortunately they do
not have those natural beauties and turquoise lagoons like the rest of the
countries scattered around the ocean, but they have kept the spirit and
entrepreneurship, honesty and kindness.
It is like all that phosphorus actually enlightened them.

January 2011

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