Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another week...

So right now the biggest thing on my mind is that me and Amy have just volunteered to lead the children's program that is going along with the evangelistic meetings that our church is putting on in Kagman, one of the villages in Saipan. The meetings are every night for two weeks we have to plan 16 nights of Sabbath School/VBS-type programs. And it all starts in like 4 days! Yikes! So that is going to be my life for the next two weeks.

On Friday night we had a birthday party for Jessica at the compound. It's always awesome to actually get together with everyone and not be working. This Sabbath the staff went to Kagman after church to invite people to the meetings and it was pouring rain so that was exciting. Saturday night us apartment people went to Derek and Myla's and we had a fondue party (mmmmm...)! The next morning Missy and I went diving at Obyan with the Piersons, Mark and Tammie, and this other couple, Rusty and Julie. It was, of course, awesome! I saw quite a few lionfish. When we were in the parking lot, we were talking to this lady and she was showing us her diving wounds-she got attacked by a triggerfish and her leg was all black and blue. I guess triggerfish are super aggressive-they won't kill you or anything but they can take some chunks out of you! I was scared when I found out what they actually look like because it turns out that during our dive I was letting them get super close to my face and stuff, that could have been really bad! Anyway, on our way back Missy gave me my first lesson driving stick shift in good old Rusty the truck (I only stalled 7 or 8 times...:). So that was kind of exciting. In the meantime Veronyka, Jessica, Judith, Mae, Amy, and Sean were having their first water session for scuba class. Missy and I went snorkeling while they were having their lesson and I saw a bunch more triggerfish! I got super sunburned, I thought my face was going to peel right off, but actually it is totally gone now. On Monday night there was this huge party at our apartment, there were tons of people, they totally blocked the street with tables and cars and stuff. In our neighborhood they have parties like that all the time-lound islandy music, setting up tables in the street, and enough meat to feed a pride of starving lions! It's neat, though, that so many people get together, you can sense the community. Work is going pretty well, though this week we are having a hard time because of people being sick but oh well, what can ya do. The preschool's enrollment is doing well-we are actually having to turn people away. Well anyway, I have to go and plan this program, wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


This weekend I went camping for the first time here! It was unlike any camping I have ever done in the states though! We took the ferry from Saipan to Managaha (it was a very short but very beautiful trip) after church on Sabbath. The water was amazing, it was such an awesome bright blue. Right after we set up our tents I went down to the water and the first thing I saw was a baby shark! We ended up seeing tons of them throughout the trip. Between trying to climb palm trees, stargazing/riddle-telling on the beach, crab-hunting, shark-spotting and playing my ukulele, it was a pretty spectacular time. I wished we could have stayed longer but we left at 10am Sunday. Actually I'm kind of glad because by 9 the place was already swarming with tourists (and there's not much room-the island is tiny!) I'm so glad I get to be in a place where I can do this kind of thing. Saipan is a pretty darn small island and I thought that I might feel claustrophobic on it but there actually is a lot to do here. I know it must be nothing compared to the bigger, more lush islands but it is beautiful and fun here in it's own right. It is still crazy to me though how there is so much touristy/'luxury' stuff right next to like ghetto all mixed in with jungle wilderness. Even though it is all close together, when you're there, you don't think about the other stuff. I don't know if that made any sense but oh well. Soon I'm going to be getting internet at my apartment yay! Right now I am trying to plan my vacation travel plans and it's hard because obviously there are so many choices but they're all so expensive! Anyway, work is crazy, we just keep getting new kids! Today there were three new kids in the 2-year-old class and they screamed all day. I felt really bad for the two teachers having to deal with them plus like 12 other 2 year olds. I haven't had any screamers for a few days now but it seems like every day at least one kid pees their pants, throws up, or something equally or more disgusting. That's the trade off I guess for not having to grade papers and write tests. Anyway overall though, everything is awesome. God is good!

Saipanism of the Day:
I don't know if this happens in other islands too, but here if they want to know to whom something belongs they say "Whose own is that?" or they say "That's Riki's own" or whatever.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Sorry, no clever title this week. It's laundry time again...let me tell you, white uniform shirts for a preschool teacher are not practical in the least. The bottle says finger paint is washable (same with playdough and glue)but it's all just lies, lies, lies! This week is going to be another crazy one, I can tell. We got 2 new students yesterday and 3 new ones today. One of them is a little Japanese girl who yesterday at lunch started screaming for her mom so hard that she almost made herself sick and I had to take her out of the classroom and try to calm her down. She finally wore herself out and fell asleep on me and so I waited until her mom came to pick her up. By the time she came my lunch break was almost over. And the episode was repeated today. I wonder how long it will take until she gets over it. And also 3 of the new ones hardly speak English which is always exciting. One good thing that is happening is that my hardest child is actually starting to behave better. She was always hitting people (including the teachers) and totally defying every single thing I said. I tried talking to her, time-outs, taking away privileges, all I could think of and nothing seemed to be working. But lately it seems to be sinking in. So far this week she's only made like 4 kids cry (a huge improvement actually), and I only have to ask her 5 times to do something. So hopefully that continues. It is so frustrating though sometimes! If if weren't for weekends I don't know what I'd do!

I have two exciting announcements! The first is that MY PHONE IS WORKING!!!!!!
The second is that Saipan is getting a Taco Bell :)

Saipanism of the Day
If someone is gone from Saipan for vacation or whatever, they are "off-island." So if someone's like "Dude, where's Jose?" you can go "He's like, off-island for the week, man"