Ten things to know about visiting the Marshall Islands
You’ve probably seen photographs of the nuclear bombs that went off in the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and ‘50s – enormous, lint-colored, mushroom-shaped clouds rising like nightmares from the ocean, utterly surreal against the slender palm trees in the foreground.
Since visiting last week, I’ll never see those images the same way.
During our week-long stay, the small group of journalists I traveled with met government officials, community leaders, scientists, and residents of some of the smaller islands around the capitol of Majuro. We also sat down with members of the National Nuclear Committee, who are trying to increase awareness about the nuclear testing that took place here, in a gut-wrenching meeting I’ll never forget.
I’ll be writing more about my trip – which I took partly to learn about Sawyer Products’ efforts to bring clean water to residents, partly to learn about how climate change is affecting the low-lying atolls, and partly to explore the region as a travel destination – in coming weeks.
Until then, here are ten things to know about visiting this remote string of islands located midway between Hawaii and Australia…
1. First, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is one of the least visited countries in the world. Just 10,500 people visit annually, according to Carlos Domnick, head of the Office of Commerce, Investment and Tourism.
2. About 60,000 people live in the Marshall Islands. About half of them live on the main island of Majuro, where I stayed.
A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)
Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.
And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.