Day 17: Snorkeling in a Kwajalein tide pool, or: What it’s like to swim in an aquarium

When I first started telling people I would be moving to Kwajalein, I never knew what reactions to expect. I got a lot of “That sounds great for you, but we’ll really miss you.” But one response from a computational biologist stands out in my mind: “Why would you move there? There can’t be very much species diversity, right?”

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Day 12: Make new friends but keep the old

When we moved to Kwajalein, my greatest fear for Nora was that she would retreat back into herself. Making friends is chancy. It takes reaching out, extending yourself out into the world, risking rejection. To our great delight, Nora began making new friends before we even made it to the island.

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Day 5: On the color of sunrise through my window

On my first Kwaj morning, I was padding barefoot around a still-unfamiliar house making coffee when I saw a pink glow through my dining room window. It was the beginning of a sunset, and the tiny slice I could see through the palm trees looked glorious. I grabbed my sandals and walked toward the glow and down to the beach along the ocean.

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Day 1: Island bound, in search of a big life

We had been looking at photos of Kwajalein Atoll for six months, so when the airplane approached the runway, I recognized the features my family and I had been zooming in with Google Earth to see: the characteristic U-shape of the island, the square tide pools dug by the Japanese in World War II, dome homes, coconut palm trees.

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