Sunday, December 31, 2006

Light My Way

"Your word is like a lamp for my feet and a light for my Path." Psalm 119:105

Our Sabbath thought for the day was : God is not going to let you see the distant scene. So you might as well quit looking for it. He promises a lamp unto my feet, not a crystal ball into the future. We do not need to know what will happen tomorrow. We only need to know He leads us and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

We had communion and foot washing on the last Sabbath of 2006. Humility is one of my most favorite words. The daily dying of oneself to serve another. I think that is something to strive for. . . to forget about self and serve one another like Christ did.

2007 is going to be amazing and full of surprises! Happy New Year everyone!

Layla, Missy, and Me watching the fireworks on the beach behind the Hyatt Hotel.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Aloha from Saipan

Dancers shaking it

I won the booty shaking hula contest and got leid!

I was picked out of the crowd to pick up these flowers! Umm, he's kind of intense looking. I thought he was going to chop off my fingers with his weapon there.

Malou and Me with the hula dancers

I want a sail boat someday=)

And the count down begins . . . trying to make 2006 the best year ever! My coworker and friend, Malou, took me to a hula show at the Fiesta Resort tonight. We had front row seats because her niece, Shane, is a hula dancer. It pays to know people in the right places=) We were the only two Filipinas representing in the house and the rest were Japanese tourists!! I was chosen again to enter a hula booty shakin' contest and I won! Te he! I was going to post the video clip of me shaking it . . . but I decided to post this other clip instead=) And the count down continues . . .

Friday, December 29, 2006

Morning Talk

A short conversation between my patient and me.

Me: Hello. How are you doing today?
Him: fine.
Me: Are there any changes in your health since we last saw you?
Him: I'm more uglier
Me: laughs
Me: Do you have any complaints about your teeth?
Him: Yes. My gums bleed.
Me: Are you able to floss at all?
Him: No. I don't like to find things inbetween my teeth. Its gross.
Me: So you would rather leave the junk in there?
Him: yes
Me: *sigh*

Thank goodness I wear a mask that covers half of my face. The mask covers my facial expression when I am about to laugh hard or when I am horrified by what I find in people's mouths. My patients make me laugh and keep my day going!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Soundtracks to LIFE

Because I am bored and high on coffee. . . You set your ipod to shuffle and fill in the songs in order of the following questions. And there is to be no cheating, although we will both wish I had by the end of this.

Waking Up: Woo Hoo . . .The’S
First Day at School: World In My Eyes . . . Depeche Mode
Falling In Love: Stronger . . . Britney Spears
Fight Song: Yes, I believe . . . Point of Grace
Breaking Up: Whereever You Will Go . . . The Calling
Prom: Dansez-Vous . . . Pink Martini
Breakdown: Say Somethin’ . . . Mariah Carey
Ballroom Blitz: The First Cut Is The Deepest . . . Sheryl Crow
Wedding: Ultra Violet (Light My Way) . . . U2
Birth of Child: Cousin Mary John . . . John Coltrane
Final Battle: Beautiful Stranger . . . Madonna
Death Scene: Clocks . . . Coldplay
Funeral Song: Wake Me Up When September Ends . . . Green Day
Credit: I Have Always Loved you . . . Enrique

Okay, a little embarrassed about Enrique . . . You can file this entry under WTF, TMI, or both

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Year In A Nutshell

January-I woke up and realized it was time to move on. I’m on my own for the first time in awhile. I visited my best friend, Mel, in Colorado for a week. We went snowboarding at Brekenridge Mountain that weekend. I love the feeling and sound of carving down the slopes. It was new beginning for me.

February-I was offered a full time position in Mission Veijo, CA at a periodontal and implant dental office. I moved away from my hometown to South Orange County on my own. I shopped a lot. I spent a lot of time in Laguna Beach watching sunsets and lounging at the local coffee shops.

March-I took a trip with my girlfriend, Nikki, to DC and NY. We made it to DC in time to see the Cherry Blossom Festival near the Jefferson Memorial. It was beautiful. In Manhatten I felt alive. I saw where the World Trade Center once stood and it reminded me again how precious life is.

April-I joined a women’s bible study group and transferred my membership to Garden Grove SDA Church. I started praying more and going to church more consistently. I finally let it go and let God . . .

May-Eeeek! I turned 29 and celebrated my birthday with family and close friends in OC.

June- My love for volleyball was rekindled and I started playing at the volleyball clubs.

July- I was busy planning Jen and Janssen’s wedding. I spent a lot of time with the Sacros.

August- Janssen and Jen tied the knot. I felt restless and was itchin’ to travel. I went on a trip to Toronto, Canada with my friend, Maria. I started to realize I wanted and needed change. I inquired about doing dental mission work abroad possibly in Guam, Philippines, or Thailand. I posted my place and car for sale on before i even knew where I was going . . .everything was sold in less than two weeks.

Sept- After only being in South Orange County for seven months, I packed again and left my worries, dreams, and disappointments behind for a small island called Saipan. God opened doors for me and everything fell into place.

Oct—I opened up myself to things I wouldn't ordinarily do. I picked up scuba diving as a hobby. I sing out loud. I stay up late. I stopped waiting for things to happen. Stu is lost and I realize its really all gone.

Nov-I was appointed to lead out in Women’s ministry for 2006-2007 church calender year. God is teaching me how to be a leader.

Dec- Im spending the holidays in the tropics and enjoying every minute of it.

So some things didn't work out like I had hoped but I know that its probably for the best.. . . Overall 2006 was probably the best year I have had in a long time. Definitely a year of personal and spiritual growth. I've learned that no matter where you find yourself today, you always have the opportunity to grow in some small way. No matter how small these changes are they will add up overtime to create massive life long growth. Things are more clearer than ever. I'm ready for 2007! Bring it.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Broke Down Christmas in Paradise

I celebrated Christmas island style this year! I spent Christmas eve with Olive, my coworker, and her family. We had another session of Karaoke! The microphone was kind of falling apart so we had to duct tape the chord a certain way otherwise it wouldn't work. It was quite ghetto looking. Olive programmed the microphone so that when you sing you would sound like a squeeky chipmunk. I was cracking up all night singing Tagalog songs with a chipmunk voice.

On Christmas day i had some time to kill in the morning before Crystal and Ken's luncheon. It was hot so I headed out to a water park called Wave Jungle at the World Resort and spent the morning with the SDA Korean Missionaries soaking up some sun. Acting like we were bobsleders, we leaned all to the left and then to the right . . .we flew down the water slides. Their crazy! I feel like I'm on vacation for a year.

Ken and Crystal hosted a Christmas luncheon at their home. Barbara, Sean, Jerry (Mai's bf) and Mai were also there for lunch. Jerry flew out to visit Mai for Christmas. They were so smitten with each other! Crystal cooked an amazing all vegetarian meal! *applause* We had a mock turkey and gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, veggies, mandarin asian salad, mash potatoes and martinelli's. She went all out. After lunch we talked and shared some good laughs. Ken and Crystal showed us a video on their dive trip to Palau! Every dive they went on they saw sharks! Palau looks exotic and I can't wait to dive there in March!

Christmas wasn't so bad spending it away from family after all. I feel really blessed to have made some really good friends here in Saipan. I'm just ready to ring in 2007. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Managaha Island

I took a trip early this morning with the Korean Sda Missionaries to visit Managaha island. Managaha Island is only a short 20 minute ferry ride away. You can camp, snorkel, play beach volleyball, or just hang out there for the day. Today was just about getting some R & R and this was the perfect place to be. I brought my beach umbrella and a book that I've been meaning to finish and just relaxed on the beach. After reading I went for a swim and snorkeled for a bit. Twas a good day.

I'm sorry but it just doesn't feel like Christmas out here! Its too hot! Everyone back home keeps telling me how cold it is. The only time I feel cold out here is in the movie theater. So I'm a bit bummed that I won't be spending Christmas with my family this year. Tonight I'll be jumping from one party to another. I'm still new to the island so finding my way around can be alittle confusing. There are no street addresses so I can't exactly use mapquest to find my friends' homes. So everyone tells you how to get to their house by using landmarks. For example, turn right at the moviestation, right at the blue shack, right before you hit the kool market, left at the third coconut tree . . . get the picture? They have all hand drawn me maps so lets hope I find my way in the dark. Only a few more hours till Christmas . . .

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Beautiful Day

The Korean Sda Missionaries put together a program for church today. They sang praise songs in both English and in their native tongue. Their performance was amazing! I felt really blessed. After church we had a babtism for , Mei, one of the nursing students from Korea. She made the decision during her stay in Saipan to live her life for Christ! It was a beautiful day for a babtism at Kilili Beach.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Easy Come, Easy Go

I love to give injections=)

The weeks are coming and going out here in Saipan. Island life is suppose to be slow but i feel like life is rushing by. The difference that I am feeling from here and in the states is that I feel like my life here is more meaningful, more satisfying. It has been a stressful and hard week for me at work. The patients out here are hard! At the end of each day I am exhausted. Thank goodness it is Sabbath.

Something that made me smile this week was receiving christmas cards and care packages from friends and family back home. My operatory is decked with cards and pictures of loved ones. These small tokens have made spending the holidays away from family more bearable. So thank you for your thoughts and well wishes during this Holiday Season.

To Market, To Market

Busy night at street market

The SDA Korean Missionaries

I ran into John! John and some of his coworkers were handing out red ribbons for HIV awarness and prevention.

Break dancers


Garapan City is alive and thriving when the street marketers are at the Market. After a session of Karaoke at Fiesta Hotel we headed out to support the Korean SDA Missionaries. They had set up a station to sell Korean food and clothes that they had brought from Korea. Afterwards they performed some dance routines to Korean Christmas music. Twas a sight! The rest of the pics are of a team of youth performing some wicked break dance moves. Here's a little clip of one of their routines.

Sing Sing

Lori and Malou . . . I believe they are singing "On A Bed of Roses" Microphone hogs!

Okay, usually I'll sing the funny dumb songs . . . but tonight I sang a bunch of sappy love songs. Boo me!

My coworkers, Malou and Lori, have been dying to take me out for Karaoke for quite some time now. Malou is a dental assistant and Lori is the other dental hygienist in our clinic. Before street market we headed out to Cambre restaurant after work. I liked Cambre because it was small and there was hardly anyone there to hear us make fools of ourselves! I think the hit song of the night was Jingle Bell Rock.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Spicy Thai

We Love Coffee!

Half days are sweet . . . especially today. I had the afternoon off and spent it playing beach volleyball in the rain at the Pacific Islands Club. After volleyball the girls and I went out to a Thai restaurant called the Spicy Thai Noodle Restaurant next to the Saipan SDA School. To tell ya the truth, it was okay . . . (sigh) I miss Papaya Bay in California.

Anywho we have been planning trips that we want to take next year. Layla and Missy are leaving for a trip to Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos this Friday! Grrrrr, I should have requested time off. (sigh) Anywho, I'm going diving in Palau in March and in June we want to go to China. Lets hope things work out. We've also been entertaining the idea of staying out here another year???

Prayer Warriors

During midweek prayer sessions we have been studying alot about the different prayers of bible characters like Abraham, Jacob . . . The depth and intimacy of each prayer is truly amazing. The way that each character communicated with God showed how close they were to Him and how devoted they were. I've just been thinking about my prayers and how sometimes I feel like they can be monotonous. Sometimes it makes me question my relationship with God. Lately I've been praying the prayer of Jabez. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request." 1 Cronicles 4:10 It is a simple bold prayer but it works. If you believe in Him and trust Him he will bless you greatly. I've been praying this prayer because I needed God to provide for a way to minister to my patients.

Work has been going well but lately I have been wanting to make it a point to get to know my patients well. Its crazy because I usually only have one hour with each patient. I have to find creative ways to get a conversation started especially about God and their spiritual life. It has been quite a challenge for me because I don't want to come off as nosey or pushy. From what I can tell from each patient is that there is always something stressful going on in their life. To be able to share and connect with them is amazing. It is even more amazing to actually have a conversation about God and their spiritual life. So today I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked a patient if there was anything that I could pray for him about. He looked at me and didn't even hesitate to ask for prayer for him and his family. The economy in Saipan isn't doing to well and money has been tight. They have been struggling with finances. We just talked more about his faith in God and what he believes. I just felt God's presence today at work and it just reminded me again . . . why I am here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Better Together

Congratulations ladies. We have made it to the two year mark as RDH's and are still working in the profession. Though we are all in different corners of the world I know we'll always remain close. I am looking forward to our reunion next year!

Bulgogi Anyone?

Liz's mom is such a great cook. She's visiting from Korea for a month.

Liz' niece, Harran and Me.

Liz and Dew

God has blessed me with wonderful neighbors. Pastor Dew and his wife Liz are in charge of the SDA Korean Church here in Saipan. I actually found my apartment through them. They are 107 and I am 106. I often worry if they can hear my music blasting while I'm getting ready for work in the morning. So I went over to their apartment and was trying to listen for my music. Fortunately the walls are concrete which means I can blast my music as loud as I want=)

So if you don't know by now, I am in love with Korean food. Liz and Dew know this and often have me over for dinner. They spoil me or maybe they just feel sorry for me cause I'm single and living on my own! Tonight, Liz's mom from Korea taught me how to make Bulgogi=) So I'm going to attempt to make it and test it out on my friends. Lets hope it turns out okay.

And so I'm off . . . to get some COFFEE!!!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lao Lao Beach Dive

loved this sign that was posted on a coconut tree

Ken and Crystal Pierson . . . and me trailing behind

Atsuko has been kind enough to take pics of me all weekend. So I offered under water to take a pic of her. She handed me the camara and started taking off her mask and regulator out of her mouth and had a cheesy smile ready for me!! She's crazy! I'm not comfortable enough to take off my mask at fifty feet.
I found nemo. Well actually the two on top our Dusky Anemonefish and the two on the bottom pic are Orange-Fin Anemone fish.

How lucky am I to dive three times this weekend=) I love it out here. So my last dive for this weekend was at Lau Lau Beach. We had planned to dive at the Grotto but when we got there the water looked really rough. So off we went to Lau Lau Beach. We could have saved more time if Saipan had webcams so we could view water conditions online . . . we'll have to make suggestions to someone. Don't know who though. Anywho, there was a total of ten of us that went diving this morning! We descended about fifty feet. I was hoping to see more sea turtles but none were out=(

After diving I went to a bbq at kiilli beach with some new friends that work for Beautify CNMI. Everyone out here is so warm and welcoming. It makes me happy to be around them. We laughed, played catch, and ate way too much food. So Angelo has this saying about the locals here, "you don't stop eating because your full, you stop eating because your tired" lol

Oh, so afterwards we were cleaning our gear and I did something horrible. I forgot to put the dust cap back on to cover the first stage of the regulator and I soaked it in water=( *tsk tsk* Atsuko had to take apart the regulator and dry out the first stage. I'll never do that again.

Chinsen Shipwreck Dive

I look lost and goofy, eh?

The Lion Fish-He's poisonous

Schools of fish
Our second dive on Sabbath afternoon was at a shipwreck site. The Chinsen is a large Japanese freighter that sits at a shallow depth in the lagoon. The ship has been in the water for over 50 years, allowing for some significant coral growth as well as becoming a home to thousands of fish. There are monstrous Red Snappers as well as Big Eye Emperors patrolling the wreck while huge schools of Goat Fish sit on top. There is also a resident White Tip Shark that rests underneath the wreck. We looked for sharks with a flashlight under the wreckage but found none=(

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Eagle Ray City Dive

Loading up the No Limit Dive Boat

Divemaster Atsuko and me before doing my roll over=)

Patiently waiting and trying to lay low for the Spotted Eagle Rays.

The Spotted Eagle Ray and some friends! I swear he winked and smiled at me=) Seriously.

I spent Sabbath afternoon diving and enjoying God's beautiful underwater world. My friend Atsuko, a divemaster, and I took a dive boat out to two popular dive spots in Saipan. The first dive spot is called Eagle Ray City. Eagle Ray City is one of the most unique dives in Saipan. Rising out of the sand at a depth 30 feet is a rocky formation that on a good day will have up to 40 Eagle Rays swimming around it. You're suppose to lay low and hold on to rocks as the Eagle Rays pass overhead. My friends Ken and Crystal saw about 65 spotted eagle rays at one time! Today we only saw four, but I was so thankful that I had a chance to see them! They're amazing! And when he moves he's so graceful. This was my very dive boat experience and I loved it. I even did the whole roll off the boat backwards. Okay actually, I was a bit hesitant about rolling off backwards so they kind of had to push me! It wasn't so bad after all.