Cook Islanders are fortunate because we never run out of food. Food is always abundant. Our islands are full of all kinds of fruits and vegetables and the sea abounds with a huge variety of seafood. Nearly everywhere you look there is a source of sustenance, such as a banana tree, a mango tree, guava tree, the amazing coconut tree, a chicken, pig or goat, even a fish leaping out of the sea with a silvery flash of scales.
Another thing about the Cook Islands is that we are, generally speaking, a clean country. Most of us take pride in keeping our little islands clean and tidy. However, there is much more that we can do to preserve the fauna and flora of our island paradise. Living in beautiful, clean surroundings help to promote a feeling of well-being and pride in our country. After all, as the saying goes 'cleanliness is next to Godliness' - and where God is, peace is.
Sometimes I overhear tourists saying to each other that, "this place is like Heaven on Earth", and it always thrills me when I hear them saying things like that. I know that they are not just talking about the islands, but also about the people. Our people are naturally hospitable and friendly. You don't often see an islander without a welcoming smile on their face. And why shouldn't we smile? We have so many things to smile about.
Jacqueline Carisa Hosea, Araura College, Rarotonga