Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I watched the Simpsons movie tonight and I laughed my head off! Definitely a must see for a good laugh. One word: sequel. There were some funny parts while the credits were displayed. Almost everyone missed it cause they left so early. I wasn't much of the Simpsons fan until I found a bunch of youtube videos on dentistry and dental hygiene.

The SDA Dental clinic is in the process of remodeling its operatories and lobby. The walls are painted a latte color and we have installed new flooring. All thats left to be done is the carpet. Did I mention the lobby will have free wireless for our patients that are waiting to be seen! I'm contemplating framing a couple of scuba diving pictures on my walls. Its starting to feel like a place of my own. I'll post pictures when my operatory is finished.

As I lower my patient chair into a working position the patient can see a poster pinned on my ceiling. Its a picture of flowers and a saying "today in itself is a gift". I agree that the saying is true but its kind of cheesy on my ceiling. The patients seem to like staring at something other than my eyes fixated on their teeth. Back in the states we had plasma tv screens on the ceilings for patients to watch and listen to. Talk about spoiled dental patients, eh? If I had a tv screen on my ceiling I would play this little clip that teaches good oral hygiene while I am cleaning the patients teeth =) heh

Monday, July 30, 2007

Grant's Grotto

My number one reader demands more entries from me! lol This one is for you Mng J!

On myspace they have a section that asks "Who would you like to Meet"? My answer is anyone that can teach me something new. There are a couple of great life lessons Grant has taught me. One of them is you snooze you lose! The other lessons I learned from him you'll have to read about when I blog about my personal influences: the catalysts in my life.

I think its really tempting to take Sabbath naps after church especially after a long hard week at work and all the activities during church. Grant helped me reevaluate why Sabbath is so special and that it shouldn't be wasted on sleep or you'll miss out! Nature is a place that I feel like I can experience how awesome God is.

This past Sabbath was special because of Mai's homecoming and because we are trying to do everything before Rosana leaves next week for Texas. After church Mai, Rosana, Lorene, and me went on a Sabbath hike to the cliffs in the Dan Dan area. This was the first time for me to ever lead out on a hike. I'm usually the follower so I was alittle nervous because I usually get lost. Ok, I lied. I always get lost. Whatev.

So you take the road towards Dan Dan and then turn left on Sunset Road. You can just park the car where the road bends and head down the existing trail. Everything went really well except that there was one part where there was ALOT of overgrowth. Hmmm, that wasn't there before! lol The overgrowth was taller than any of us for sure. I couldn't tell where the trail kept going. So of course the girls made me go first and I was taking us through a jungle of tall, dry, and itchy overgrowth. What I really needed was a machete!

After falling a couple of times I finally found the rock path that lead to "Grant's Grotto". I named it Grant's Grotto because he took me there on a hike one Sabbath afternoon. There's a big drop off and the waves were crashing below. You could see Lau Lau Beach and Forbidden Island ahead. It was such a beautiful day for a hike. We sat on the cliffs, took pictures, and chatted about life.

There were a couple of times of complete silence, each of us in our own little worlds. I just kept thinking about how God is bringing me to places that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever be. Seriously! I never thought I'd end up in Saipan!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Personal Influences: 52 People Who Have Changed and Shaped My Life

I found it challenging to compose a master list of people who have influenced my life. There are so many that I considered. I think everyone I have come across throughout my life has impacted my life in some positive or negative way. For this post I chose to focus only on the positive influences in my life. The number 52 was random and just how many names I ended up with. Most of these people I still keep in contact with but some I have lost touch with. I’m so blessed and grateful to have these people in my life even if some were just for a season in my life.

So inbetween my scuba diving and other random posts I will be writing about each category and how each of them touched my life. By the way I stole this idea from Sean.

Influence: Affect, Have an impact on, Impact, Guide, Determine, Control, Shape, Govern, Decide, Change, Alter, Transform.


Antonia Cabanatan
Eddie Cabanatan
Ginger Ath
Sitha Ath
Edward Cabanatan
Janice Cadavona
Jourdanne Cadavona

Spiritual Influences

Pastor David Asscherick
Pastor Michael Knecht
Michael and Gemma Mercado

Teachers and Mentors

Nicholas Caplanis, DDS, MS
Chuck Dart
Sylvia Davis
Mairlyn Heide, MPH, RDH, BS
Shirley Lee, RDH, BS
Joni Stephens, RDH, Ed.S
Kristi Wilkins, RDH, BS
Lane Thomsen, DDS, MS

Formative Friends

Nicole Cayabyab
Raelene F. Delamen
Brandy Humphries
Michelle S. Kim
Olga L. Loreto
Angelica Martinez
Susie Nguyen
Janssen and Jennifer Sacro
Michael A. Sacro
Sheila M. Sausi
David F. Soliven, Jr.
Erween Tangunan
Maggie Woods


Rosana Beharry
Lori Cerna
Missy Chamberlain
Atsuko Eck
Genevieve Koh
Britney Gleason
Grant Graves
John Moreno
Angelo Villagomez

Inspiration for 2007

Maria Agulto
Maritess Castillo
Cinta and Gus Kaipat
Sean and Barbara Maycock
Melissa Nguyen
Mai-Rhea Odjyar
Crystal and Ken Pierson

Friday, July 27, 2007

Welcome Back Mai!

I love Canadians! We missed you and are happy that you are home. Ready for round two? I can't wait to go scuba diving with you =)

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. " Jeremiah 29: 11 & 12

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

5:30 AM Crew

Early morning conversation between EJ and me at Marpi pool.

Ej: You ready?
Me: (sigh)
EJ: Let’s go girl
Me: How many meters did Coach Mike say?
EJ: 1900 meters
EJ: 400 meters warm up, 900 meters alternate easy, moderate, and hard swim, 300 meters . . . blah blah blah
Me: I may die in the middle of this.
EJ: (laughs)

Swimming is s-l-o-w-l-y starting to grow on me. It’s definitely my weakest link while training for the upcoming triathlon. Towards the end I always feel like I can’t make it. I guess that’s the greatest challenge though . . . overcoming my doubts about myself. So I’ll tri harder and I’ll keep going. Note to self: Don’t ever give up.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sweet Melodies and Saipan's Sunsets

Saturdays have been really busy for me. The Women’s Ministry is leading out on weekly hospital visits with patients at CHC after church. We had to write an official letter to the hospital administration to ask permission to be there. Finally we secured a time frame to visit with patients on Saturday afternoons.

A small group of us sang and prayed for several patients this past Sabbath. We visited my coworker’s mom who has been in the hospital for almost a month now. While singing to her suddenly a burst of tears was streaming down her face and she let out a faint cry. It made my heart skip a beat. I can only imagine the burden of pain she has been carrying. Her daughter, Auntie Mary, was there wiping her tears away and holding her hand. I'm happy that we were able to spend some time with her even if it was only for a little while.

The family unit for the Chamorro's is smiliar to the Filipinos. We've got alot of extended family. Everyone seems to be your "aunt" or "uncle". I love how we value family and are there when we really need each other. At least that is what my family is like.

I took a breather . . . and watched the sunset behind the Aquarius Hotel to close out the Sabbath.

The sunsets are my best part of my everyday and are reminders that God wants me to be happy no matter what I decide about . . .

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My New Camera

It's Sunday's What is it?! Inspired by Deece. I didn't plan to do this. Its only because Saipan's Sexiest Blogger and Moretti were "impressed" with my skills. Actually more like poking fun at my six pictures. Yes, I only took six pictures during our hour dive at the Grotto.

So I got my new camera and the majority of my pictures looked like this one. (sigh) So I stink at underwater photography. I'll have to keep practicing. I was alittle distracted underwater and even came down with a spell of vertigo. I was about to clear my mask but then my anxiety crept up on me because I just froze. I gave Moretti the sign to resurface. Saipan's Sexiest Blogger followed us up. I'm really not this much drama underwater guys! lol

Anyway, I took a quick break and we descended into the Grotto again. It ended up being a great dive after all. We saw two sharks, different species of Nudibranchs, and a ribbon of Nudibranch eggs. Check out Saipan's Sexiest Blogger and Moretti's blogs for better pics. Here's a couple of my "good" ones=) I love Nudibranchs.

After the dive we just snorkeled while waiting for Blalock to finish up. He can stay underwater for about 2 hours on one tank. Amazing. Here are some pics of some of the locals climbing on to the rocks and jumping. The water was so calm.

Blalock claims there are more "stories" to tell about our dive but there are no stories!! You really have to watch what you say and do around bloggers! ! Anywho, I had a blast diving with these two characters.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday Round up

This is my lazy version of blogging bullets style! Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been busy!

• I’ve moved! This past weekend Rosana helped me move my stuff to my new apartment. I won’t say exactly where it is because that wouldn’t be safe. I’ll just say that it is close enough for me to go running in the morning on Beach Road and its close to work =) I’m excited that I’ve got a washer/dryer in my apartment so that means no more laundry drop off for me. The bonus is that I have an oven! I moved the majority of my stuff over but I am still living out of two apartments. I should be settled at the end of this month. I’ll post pictures of my cute, cozy place later.

• We tried to dive Wing Beach this past Sunday but the waves were massive. I think the window of opportunity has closed. Boo who! So instead we dove Objyan East with the Piersons and the James on Sunday morning. Visibility was poor and water kept leaking into my new mask. I was clearing my mask all morning and messing with my hair making sure nothing was caught in my mask. My eyes were stinging from the salt water. I just wasn’t feeling it on Sunday. I didn’t even see a turtle but Crystal did.

• On Sabbath four small groups of church members headed out to Kagman for our weekly outreach. The SDA Church is getting ready for our evangelistic series in October. Two ladies, sister Betty and sister Hatsuko, attended the Bible Worker Seminar in Guam this past June and are here to help with the groundwork. We walked the streets Sabbath afternoon of Kagman visiting with the locals to offer prayers and bible study. For the most part the residents were receptive to what we had to say and said that they would come. Now I know what it feels like to be a Mormon or Jehovanah’s witness that goes door to door. Probably the worst things about going door to door are the stray dogs that chase you. Praying for our outreach ministry here in Saipan.

• News on soccer. So our team “Guns and Roses” or “Taya Talent” – nothing talent is undefeated! We haven’t lost yet NOR have we even really won! Ha! We tied both games so far! I played middle right back for the first time today and actually liked running up and down the field instead of just defending. I think I’ll take soccer a little more seriously and who knows . . . if I’m good I’ll try and join the women’s soccer league.

Photo Credit: Bree Reynolds

• Still waiting for my new camera (sigh)

• My best friend ,Michelle , is engaged and is in the process of picking out our bridesmaid dresses. I’ll post a couple of pictures of some dress choices for us to wear and you could help me chose which one would look best. The Wedding is in May 08. Congrats Miche! xoxo

EJ and I are planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand in January!

Phew, I think I caught up.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bubble's Last 8

Boni , EJ ,and Deece tagged me to list my last random eight. So here they are!

1. Last Music Concert I went to: Jack Johnson (San Diego, CA) I love a guy who can sing and play the guitar! I want to see
his concert in Hawaii =) My favorite song so far is Banana Pancakes

2. Last Purchase: My Canon SD 850 camera, underwater
housing unit, and 2gb memory card. It is suppose to arrive on either Saturday (fingers crossed) or maybe Monday.
3. Last time I got pulled over: Last year for sleepy driving From the OC to Loma Linda. The cop thought I was drunk but I
was not.
4. Last TV Show watched: Curb Your Enthusiasm (Larry David is so funny!)
5. Last drink: Iced Green Tea Latte at The Bean’s Coffee shop (mMMm)
6. Last Song played on my ipod: Sweetest Thing by U2
7. Last time I cried: While I was chopping onions to make eggplant curry. Note to self: wear scuba diving mask while chopping onions.
8. Last phone call received: My 2 year old niece, Katelynn, is my 5:30 am daily wakeup call. She says “hello!” and
everything else I cannot understand! Isn’t she the cutest ever? You will not be my friend if you disagree =P heh

I'd like to tag Crystal, Sean, Grant, Mai, Brit, Greg and Rosana. Go Go Go!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The coolest thing about traveling and living abroad are the people who cross your path. Some friends remain close. Some drift away but they leave an imprint that changes you.

I had a chance to hang out with Steve and Miwa Nguyen the night before their farewell party. Steve was a formal dental patient of mine that actually found out where I worked through my blog. Throughout the year I got to know Steve and Miwa through blogger meetups and other Beautify CNMI activities.

We ate dinner a Japanese restaurant in Garapan and had ice cream at the Big Dipper afterwards. We laughed alot and talked about "Oishii"! They are such a sweet couple and I think its a real loss for Saipan that they are leaving. It's understandable though that they simply just want to be around family since they have been away for quite some time.

If anyone has left a legacy on Saipan it is Steve. Steve is 100 % all heart. He saw a great need in Saipan and decided to do something about it in order to improve the quality of life for those that needed support. He created CAMI-CNMI. I just really admire his leadership and his heart of gold.

Steve and Miwa I wish you safe travels. Cheers to new beginnings and adventures in Texas!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Six Month Hygiene Recalls

(sigh) I had a patient like this today. It was kind of comical but annoying at the same time. I'm starting to burn out.

I am starting to see my patients that I saw six months ago. I'm so happy to see a regular recall patient because it means three things. Their exam, probing depths, and xrays are up to date. Thats a very BIG thing. They are definitely alot easier to clean than say a pateint that hasn't been in an over a year to thirty years. Its also nice to see a familiar face and to catch up on what they have been up to.

In the dental world its my patients that make or break my day. With that said, I think it is insane to believe that people's habits will change no matter how encouraging you are. There might be an exception every now and then but for the most part . . . nothing changes. (sigh) So I have surrended and accepted that I should just keep doing my part at the office and leave it up to the patient if he or she wants to take care of their teeth. I use to get frustrated when they would come back and I would see that nothing about their oral condition has changed . . . but not anymore. Insanity and hygiene go hand in hand. I found this quote on insanity.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein

Out Of My League

I have discovered that I stink at soccer. Monday night was my first soccer practice of the season with my team. We warmed up, did some drills, and then played a friendly game with the other team. While I was on the field I kept thinking to myself that I would rather be playing volleyball or scuba diving right now. The whole point for me joining was to try something new and to make new friends.

My last memory of playing soccer was when I was in the sixth grade. My classmate kicked the soccer ball into my face and I fell flat on my back! I saw stars and my darn coke bottle glasses broke. I swore I'd never play again. So I am wondering how the heck I got myself into this! Our team is suppose to be all about having "fun". I guess I'd do anything for a tshirt that says "nothing talent" in the native Chamorro language. Half the team are bloggers and I have made some other new friends. If you're bored Wedneday night come out and watch us play at 5:30 pm. on the field near the airport.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I Found Eggs!

Friday night after vespers I went night diving with the Crystal and Ken at Lau Lau Beach from 9-11pm. I really wanted to catch the coral spawning. We went just beyond the reef and stayed pretty shallow. We saw plenty of eggs on the surface of the ocean but I didn't get a chance to actually see the coral release the eggs. I waited around some coral a bit but I saw no action. I think I saw the pink eggs on the coral but heck I'm not an expert so I'm not sure! I think it was suppose to look like this video clip that I found on Youtube.


Visibility was poor and there was a bit of a surge that night. I ended up feeling sea sick on the way back to shore. To top it off my batteries died in my flashlight and I forgot to bring a back up one. But still, night diving is exciting! Sure you still have a creepy feeling in the back of your mind that something scary may be lurking in the darkness but that's what makes the experience worth it-finding something unexpected.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Egg and Sperm Party

Summer means different things to different groups. For students and teachers, its vacation time, for the corals of Micronesia, its time to spawn!

Corals are animals, and like all other life forms, must reproduce. I found out that some coral colonies die each year from both natural and man-made causes, including typhoons, crown-of-thorns starfish, coastal runoff, sedimentation, anchor damage, and sewage impact. Unless these corals are replaced through successful reproduction the reef goes into decline, and the important functions and benefits of the coral reef are lost.

Last night Greg invited me and John to meet up with some other people to check out the Egg and Sperm Party at Lau Lau Beach! We opted to snorkel instead of dive since we were staying pretty shallow along the reef line.

I've done a night dive before so I wasn't scared at all about the darkness or being in the ocean with all the freakish animals that come out at night. We geared up and headed out with our fins and flashlights in search of the Egg and Sperm Parties!

Mtn. Tapachou and Harry's strobe light served as a beacon back to shore. The water was a perfect temperature and the ocean was pretty calm. Our flashlights illuminated the coral underwater. We swam to the left and right of the reef in search of coral spawning. But unfortunately nothing egg and nothing sperm! Grrrrr. We are going back tonight to see if we can find some. We were out snorkeling from 8pm to 10 pm. How cool is that? Snorkeling underneath the stars.

There was a point that I was just floating on my back in open sea water . . . just stargazing at over hundreds of stars and hearing the waves gently crash on the reef! He's an amazing creator! I can't believe where God has brought me!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th Of July

It's a happy fourth of July for me since I get the day off from work! I never get the fourth off in the states! I love Saipan and her holidays.

I went running this morning at six and saw a bunch of locals camped out on Beach Road towards Garapan. The kids were already out swimming in the lagoon and the men were out fishing. Some funny locals have even roped off areas with yellow caution tape. I guess the annual Fourth of July parade will be going at three pm today on Beach Road and then the festivities will continue at the carnival. Its kind of like the Rose parade of Saipan. It better be a good show since they have been camping on Beach road since last Thursday.

I can't believe its July already. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was preparing for myself to move from California to Saipan. My one year anniversary for me living in Saipan will be in September. Time is flying by too quickly.

Anywho, I am off to the Lighthouse clean up and then hanging out on the beach! Happy 4th!

Photo Credit: Angelo V.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Weekend Island Tour

Its always exciting to see a new face on island. Roy Kim MD was doing some medical relief work at the Guam SDA Medical Clinic and decided to visit Saipan for a weekend. I think its safe to say that he loved Saipan more than Guam or Rota after this weekend.

Our weekend started off with a dive on late Friday afternoon at the Grotto. It's been really hot lately so I was dreading climbing up and down the 100 grotto stairs with my wet suit and dive gear on. So this time I opted to dive without a wet suit and I loved it! I just felt so light and unrestricted. Think I'm lazy about the 100 steps? You climb 'em!

Roy won't admit what number this dive was for him since he had just gotten his open water certification in Guam this past month. I'm thinking this was his third or fourth dive but he did really well for an advanced dive site! The sun was starting to set so we didn't get to see the light shine as vibrantly through the three exit holes like usually. Visability was poor but atleast we saw one white tip shark and an eel.

On Saturday, we went to church together. Any missionary who visits our church we ask to do something during church service on a last minute notice. Thats just the way it goes. Pastor asked Roy to tell the children's story and he so graciously accepted. He did a great job.

Ken took Crystal, Rosana, Roy and I on an island tour. We hit a bunch of hot spots that I had never been to like Tank Beach, Marine Beach, and the caves off the road going towards Lau Lau Beach. My favorite spot of the day was Forbidden Island lookout. We were planning to hike Forbidden on Saturday but it rained all day.

We would have went on another dive on Sunday but Roy was flying back to Guam already in transit to dive in Palau. Lucky guy. I want to go back to Palau!
Photo Credit: The Pierson's and Rosana.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Young And The Restless

There's no doubt in my mind that my teenage years were some of the most trying times of my life. In my early teen years I had kinky hair, wore coke bottle glasses, and was extremely shy. I avoided alot of school/church functions because I hated being in crowds. Dumb, eh? Till this day some of my very best friends laugh at me and can't get over how "different" I look and act. If anyone was going through an awkward, fugly stage it was me!

More importantly as I look back, I remember that my walk with God was pretty nonexistent. Sure I was born and raised in a conservative SDA family but I didn't really start knowing God until about two years ago. Before I wasn't excited about being in church nor did I really realize the importance of having God in my life. I think I missed out on alot. I also think that if I were more equipped spiritually, I wouldn't have made some of the dumb mistakes that I made.

Learning how to become a youth leader here in Saipan has been challenging for me. I was a bit anxious to teach because I didn't know what it was that I could offer them. But God has a way with using anyone to accomplish things. So how do you get teenagers to want to come to church? How do you get them excited about God and what He can do for them? It's called putting their faith into action and getting them more involved in church and the community. I'm still praying about it.

So for now, I am just spending more time with them and trying to get to know them better. They're brilliant kids and so full of life. We study the bible together. We sing praise songs together while Kuya Ernie and Joy play the guitar. But I am most excited that they are starting to open up to me.

So here is the first activity I planned with the youth. We went bowling and had a blast!

Afterwards we headed out to the carnival. Joy and I rode the Octopus ride but I'd prefer to call it the "death ride". I felt like throwing up afterwards. I guess thats what I get for trying to be the cool aunt. Still had a blast though!