Saipan – Day 14

Saturday, September 16, 2016

It was our day off, so we decided to go to Managaha Island which is a small islet which lies off the west coast of Saipan.
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“It is the burial ground of the famous Carolinian Chief Aghurubw, who is said to have established the first Carolinian settlement in Saipan in 1815. A statue of the chief commemorates his achievements in leading his people from Satawal after a devastating typhoon to Saipan”. We happened to be there on the weekend of their 46th annual celebration of this event.

The ferry ride to the island was free because of the weekend celebration and we arrived on the island at 11 am.
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The celebrations started with a church service in the morning.
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This was followed by presentations and traditional native dances. Complimentary food was available for the celebration and it included, rice, fish, chicken, roast pig and ham.

It is a very small uninhabited island but there is a shop and a restaurant on it. There are several activities available on the island, such as swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing and boat rides.

Micah and Blake went parasailing and snorkeling and I took advantage of my time on the island to go snorkeling. There were all sorts of unique looking fish among the coral and I was able to capture some of them with my camera, however, some of the other, more unusual fish didn’t want their pictures taken.
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We took the ferry from the island back to the Saipan mainland at 3 pm and drove to Ben’s house.

Ben had invited us to come to his house for 4 pm, where he and his wife, Linda, treated us with a wonderful meal. After the meal, they surprised us, by giving each of us two Saipan T-shirts in order to thank us for the work we had done on their house. It was a very humbling experience.
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If you look closely at the picture, you will see that Ben is not a very large man, but he told us that he used to weigh 296 pounds and he had lost most of his weight by watching what he ate. He told us that he used to eat rice with every meal and he hasn’t had rice for 3 years.

We were all quite tired from our day’s adventure when we got back to the campsite, so we finished our day with a light snack and some lively conversation.

Saipan – Day 13

Friday, September 16, 2016

After a hearty breakfast we went to our the regular jobsites and continued the work we had started the day before. At 7 am, Ed picked me up and brought me to Ron’s house to help finish the installation of the roof at Ron’s house. I helped Pete, Daniel and John David finish the installation of the rafters.
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When the rafters and purlins were installed, we installed the galvanized aluminum roof and the hurricane straps.
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We were finished the roof by 2 pm, packed up our equipment and took a break until Ed could pick up the trailer and bring it to the next house. Ed reviewed the work that needed to be done at the next house when we arrived there, however, we couldn’t start the work because the material hadn’t arrived so we went to help the other crew pack up before we went home.

When we arrived there, Micah’s crew had made excellent progress with the installation of the walls and rafters.
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It had become extremely hot and several of us had varying amounts of sunburn, so we decided to head back to the campsite.

After we had showered and a good meal, we spent time reviewing the events of the day and trading stories of our days events. With the early mornings, combined with the heat and humidity, most of us ( particularly the elderly volunteers, such as myself ) are usually ready to fall asleep by 9 pm.

One of the things that we have had to get used to, is the geckos. There is at least one in the house and they make a loud chirping noise. We haven’t attempted to get rid of them because they are not harmful and they take care of any small animals, such as insects.

I have finally gotten the video of Mary’s Birthday celebration at Bubba Gumps from the night before so, as promised, here it is:
https://1drv.ms/v/s!Anh-wX1eFJ-8nn95I2gVidVEl76t
Since it is a video, it is quite large ( 13 MB, even though I reduced the size ) so it wll take a lot of internet bandwidth and it might not play smoothly if you don’t have a fast internet connection. You can also ” download ” it you want a copy of it.