Last year, before I came to Germany, my home was flooded again. This is normal to me, my home getting flooded because we have king tides every year. But lately, the amount of king tides we have been receiving has become worrying. Inundations started coming in when they are not supposed to.
The night before, I woke up around 3 in the morning because constructions trucks were outside bringing in sand and dumping them onto the sea-shore or anywhere exposed and not protected by sea-walls as means of protection, but the waves went above the level of the land and took away the sands again and so the process was repeated all through-out the night until 9 in the morning. I had shut my curtains before going to sleep for fear of looking outside and seeing the water rise above the sea-wall as I had seen before and refused to get up.
Suddenly, water gushed into my house and into my room. I immediately scrambled up and gathered all my sleeping materials and put them in my closet. I do not remember the last time water came into my house. The other days, we had to go sleep in a church. Schools were shut down and open to public as many people lost their home. While going to the church, I fought the tears and heaviness in my heart as I thought, “What if I am really leaving? If it is already this hard, then how hard will it be when it actually happens?” I looked across the street, illuminated by street lights. It looked so empty. And looking back, water and trashes from the ocean.
My home, my grandparent’s and mom’s grave, in the middle of it. My home is extremely vulnerable to climate change and although we release barely 1 percent of carbon emission into the air, my home and many other Pacific island nations are the first one to face the consequences of climate change.