Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blogger Meetup

Geek feast at Java Joes, 7 pm. I'll be late again but come meet up for a cup of Joe with me and other Saipan Bloggers! Have a great day=)

Pictures from tonight's blogger meetup from Walt. I met some new online friends tonight. I'll post new links up later.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Into The Deep Blue

At it again! We took a diveboat out and dove three dive sites this past Saturday: the Grotto, Ice Cream, and Shipwreck. Ken and Crystal's friends, the Ordelheide's and the Fly's were visiting from Guam so we had a full crew on board. Eleven to be exact. We rented a dive boat through AquaJet and Scott Eck was our captain.

I really enjoy diving with large groups of people. It just seems so much more fun to share moments like seeing Spotted Eagle Rays, turtles, and White Tip Reef sharks together. Before taking a dive boat out, our day started out by diving the Grotto at 6am. Well, we were suppose to be there at 6 am but we ended up diving around 7am instead. It was still really early.

Diving the Grotto is ALWAYS amazing! I don't think i'll ever get sick of the swimthroughs or exploring the caves. I'm feeling alot more comfortable underwater these days. When i first started diving I was always concerned about my breathing rate, buyouncy, drowning . . . I guess I was just overly cautious and I couldn't really enjoy the dive. But now its different. It feels incredible to be underwater and I am just really blown away by the underwater world. During the Grotto Dive we saw a couple of white tip reef sharks resting on the bottom, a barracuda, and schools of fish. We were hoping to see some turtles but no luck.

In the afternoon we took the dive boat out to the shipwreck site. The current was pretty strong that day. I was searching the wreckage for Nudibranchs. I found a couple and went to go get Ken. Whenever I would bring Ken back I would forget exactly where I found them=( They're so hard to locate sometimes because they are so cute and small.

After diving the shipwreck site we headed out to Eagle Ray City to see if there were any Spotted Eagle Rays. We voted Chad to jump in and snorkel above to see if there were any. He saw five large Spotted Eagle Rays but we decided to take a chance and go to Ice Cream to see more Eagle Rays. So off we went to Ice Cream.

Diving Ice Cream was amazing! When there is current, there are usually eagle rays swimming along the top of the seamount. The name Ice Cream comes from the formations similarity to a scoop of ice cream. At Ice Cream we saw ten Spotted Eagle Rays, Barracudas, Nudibranch's, a Morey Eel . . . It was our most eventful dive of the day and well worth the trip. Hope you enjoy the pics. The underpictures were taken by Ken Pierson, Chad Ordelheide, and Eric Fly. Btw, I finally got my underwater housing for my camara and I will be able to take my own underwater pics!=)

Ever seen the movie "The Guardian"??


Hoo-Rah!!!!=) Just having fun as always.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Get Sandy!

Today was a good day. I went to the Pacific Islands Club (PIC) with Missy, Layla, and Brit to watch EJ and Michelle compete with the other ladies for the Mariana's cup. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. It was bright and clear not a cloud in the sky. I was really surprised how many local teams we had competing this year. We also had a lot of teams from Guam and Japan.

There were over 15 girls' teams and slowly the teams were eliminated throughout the day. EJ and Michelle are beasts on the court! I thought they complemented each other really well. They're very competitive and I think thats what makes them such great players. Unfortunately they didn't make it to the semi finals but they had a great run=)

While I was watching them play, I was getting hyped up for the beach volleyball league that starts in March. I can't wait to get on the court! As I was watching the games today it reminded of me of when I played back home. There were six of us. We were all filipinas and we played indoor tournaments throughout high school and college. We were the team to beat back then. Ahhh, such good times.

Oleai's Bar and Grill

Strolling along the beach before having dinner at Oleai's Bar and Grill. I love Oleai's! They have the best one dollar tacos on island. Extreme diving on Sabbath! We dove early morning at the Grotto and in the afternoon we dove Ice cream and Shipwreck. I'll post some pictures later.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mariana's Cup Volleyball Tournement

My new found love is scuba diving but I have to say that my first true love and passion is Volleyball. It always has and always will be my number one sport. I would quit my day job to become a pro volleyball player!! If only I weren't so short =( grrrrrrrrrrr! I have been playing Volleyball since Junior high. I made the varsity team my freshman year and played through out high school. I also had a chance to play college Volleyball at LSU for a year.

There is a tournement called the Mariana's cup going on this weekend at the Pacific Islands Club featuring pro volleyball players from Japan and the U.S. There were many reasons why I wanted to play in this tournement: free t-shirt and your name gets raffled. If you win the raffle you and your partner get to play with a pro in the tournement!! Missy and I watched the exhibition games tonight and saw them compete. What can I say other than they're amazing! We were suppose to compete in this tournement but it fell on Sabbath. So we will just have to stop by and cheer on the local players like Ej and Michelle. Saturday the games begin and Sunday will be the playoffs.

Missy and I got a chance to meet the U.S. women pro volleyball players. Brooke and Angie Akers are both from California. Its their first time in Saipan and they love it out here. I was talking with Angie Akers about where she recommended volleyball clinics . . . she says that she recommends taking a volleyball vacation trip. She says they have clinics and volleyball tournements all day. That would be heaven for me=) I'll have to look into that and find a vball partner to go with. I'll keep you posted on who wins the tournement this weekend. Ciao!

From L to R: Michelle, Missy, Me, and EJ. I'm cheering for EJ and Michelle to win the women's division.

From L to R: Brooke, Missy, Me, and Angie Akers (pro volleyball players)

U.S. Men Pro volleyball players


-girl's night out at Street Market on Thursday night
-Dinner w/ Missy at Taste of India
-Pauly pouring our Masala Tee
-Watching Missy's reaction while Pauly is pouring our Masala Tee
-Breakdancers at Street Market
-pickeled papayas
-Vanilla Latte at Cafe by the Park

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bunny Ears

Happy Happy. The kids have been fantastic these last few days. I taught two classes at the Saipan Community School. The first class was the 7th and 8th graders. I noticed how very attentive they were especially when they knew I would quiz them at the end and hand out prizes for correct answers. The sixth graders were hilarious! The class was divided. The boys on one side and girls on the other. It took me awhile to get them to sit together. My presentation overall went okay. I kept messing up the story. I'm a bad story teller! I kill stories and jokes=(

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

President's Day Morning Dive

Ooooh I so love diving at the Grotto! Its been two weeks and I was definitely itchin' to get back in the water. Everything about that day was perfect: the weather, the water conditions, and the fact that I have such great diving buddies! Life is so sweet=)

I think my favorite part about the grotto is swimming through the exit holes towards the open ocean floor. Following the light and experiencing the color change all around you is amazing! Amazing I tell you!! It really does feel like heaven underwater. Can you tell how excited I get about diving?! God is so good! He really does fulfill his promise to show you things you NEVER EVER could imagine . . . if you would only just trust and follow Him.

When we first entered the grotto we came across two white tip reef sharks hiding in a dark corner. Crystal and Ken are always great about using their flashlight to point out interesting finds. As we swam through the first exit hole we saw a couple of barracudas swimming by. I've heard you rarely see barracudas at the Grotto. And to top it all off, we saw a turtle! This was probably the most eventful dive I've seen so far in Saipan. I can't wait to see what Palau has instore for me!

I think the deepest we descended was 110 feet. I think if you are not paying attention to your depth gauge its easy to drop below 100 ft if your not careful. I was actually happy that I didn't have any problems on this dive with clearing my mask or equalizing my ears like I usually do. I did however end up with a red hickey on my nose from my mask when I came up=( I have a tendancy to put on my mask too tight. I think I feel more confident to dive Palau. We had a lot of fun! Britini and I even danced the Macarena underwater. Yes, you can dance underwater because we are immature like that! Such a great dive! From Left to Right: Angelo, Me, Britni, Layla, Missy, Crystal. Pictures were courtesy of Ken Pierson.

It’s Gross, Neh!

Take the floss challenge. Floss between your teeth and then smell it! Yes you heard me, smell it! If it smells than you are definitely not doing a good job at cleaning your teeth. If I were to scrape some plaque (bacteria) off your teeth with my instrument and put it on a cracker . . . would you eat it?? Of course not! Its gross! So why would you want to suck on plaque that sits on your teeth all day?

The other dental hygienist, Lori, and I were discussing this issue this morning. We agree that not flossing is the same thing as not wiping your butt when you go to the bathroom. Seriously! We think more people take more care of their behinds than their teeth! It doesn’t make sense. Nobody really sees your behind. Instead everyone sees your teeth because you have to talk, smile, laugh, kiss, and eat with them. So why not take more care of them? It only takes a couple of minutes a day. Remember you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep=)

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Class Reunion-A Murder Mystery

On Sunday night the Real Theater Christian Drama group put on an interactive dinner performance at the Hafa Adai Hotel. They are fundraising for a drama performance trip to the Philippines this May. Melissa was my guest. When we first walked in we were greeted with some characters at the door that acted like they knew us back from highschool. It was amusing to play along and say that we knew each other!

At the entrance they had us make name tags with our names and current occupations. Melissa put down her name but as her occupation she put paparrazi. I used Lulu as my name and I put Walmart cashier as my occupation on my name tag. I was kicking myself last night because I should of dressed up in 80's gear! I love the 80's! The music, the clothes . . . but not the bad hair.

The kids were amazing and stayed in character through the whole skit. The Class Reunion was a murder mystery skit by Joh Mann. The graduating class of 1986 returned to Looneyville High for their 20 year class reunion. This was their first time to return as a class and everyone was looking forward to seeing old classmates with anticipation. As they renew old friendships bodies begin to drop. We had to figure out who the killer was. Melissa, being the great attorney she is, was psycho analyzing the characters. She was really was getting into it.

I narrowed it down to two characters and neither one turned out to be the killer. I guess I can't read people too well or maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention. It made me think about my days in high school which was way over 10 years ago. I think I was really fortunate that I never got picked on or had any real traumatizing experiences. I never did go to my ten year reunion. I just don't see the point. Besides I already keep in touch with my close friends I have made in highschool.

Anywho, I had a great time and look forward to their next performance which will be sometime in Easter I think. Our choir and the drama team is putting on an skit about Jesus. I'll keep you posted=)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Catch 30

Meet my best friend Mel. Mel and I met fourteen years ago during our freshman year in high school. Our friendship has outlasted ex-boyfriends, careers, and past hurts. She's more than a best friend. She's like my sister.

She's half Chinese and half Filipina. She's a talker! She loves to bake. She loves being a mom. She loves to camp with her air mattress. Two words: retail therapy. Her closet is organized by colors. She's thoughtful, often sending me home made cards and care packages from Colorado. I appreciate her honesty. She tells me what I need to hear not what I want to hear. She's the kind of friend that will pick up 3 am calls. She's always encouraging. Just a beautiful person inside and out.

It has been a challenging road for her these past couple of years. I have just admired her quiet strength and attitude to push forward through some of the difficulties she deals with on a daily basis. When I lived in California I would always talk to her on my cell while driving to work everyday. Since I have moved to Saipan it has been harder to keep in touch because of the time difference. So we have found a creative way of staying close with our daily lives. Everyday we email one picture. My pictures have ranged from the sunsets in Saipan, to gross teeth I work on, to what I ate for dinner, to church activities, to diving . . . And she emails me pics of her, her family, her dogs, the snow in colorado, friends.

Mel is the first one in our little click to turn thirty. My other best friend, Rae, is in Colorado celebrating with Mel this weekend. I wish I could be there=( I just feel really blessed to have such great friends. Their friendship is the best part of my everyday. Happy 30th Birthday Mel!!=)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Countdown To Diving In Paradise

I'm counting down . . . 19 more days and I will be diving in Paradise! My dive buddies and I are taking a trip to Palau. I leave for Guam on March 7 and will meet up with the rest of my dive buddies to fly out the next day. I'm so excited! Currently reading a book on Palau and what I may see underwater: deep drop offs, big fish shoals, spinner dolphins, schooling sharks, and abundant marine life on the coral-covered reeftops.
I am going to be on the other side of heaven! I ordered an underwater housing case for my camara so I can document this dive. I'll definitely post tons of pics as well as a video clips. I've heard that there is so much to look at underwater it will be hard to focus on one thing. They say I will be seeing sharks on every dive! I've been reading that Palau is famous for its steep walls, exciting drift dives, and relics from WWII. These are just a few preview pics. More to come=)