Friday, August 31, 2007

Voices 4 Him

I posted a picture of three ladies and me asking for help to name us awhile back. Thanks to all who made suggestions especially Angelo. The name that we ended up chosing though was Voices 4 Him from Crystal. There are a total of four Filipina girls including me. Our first debut will be at the SDA church on Quartermaster Road this Saturday at 11 am. So if you are awake and you are not picking up trash at Wing Beach with Beautify CNMI . . . stop by!

I'm still getting over my cold so my voice was cracking during our practices. I've been drinking alot of tea and sleeping early. Such a champion I know. Peterson will be accompanying us on his Guitar. He's awesome! He was jammin' on his guitar and singing melodies. I could listen to him all day. I'm alittle nervous so lets hope we do okay. I think its such a great song to sing and share- What A Faithful God. More on my thoughts about Faith later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What Lurkes Beneath the Ocean

Now I can officially say that I have experienced diving on all three islands in the Marianas. I went on a dive trip to Rota Island this past March and this past Sunday we took the Aqua Jet Dive Boat to Tinian Island. Rain or shine we still go diving unless of course the water conditions are too crazy. Cancelling a trip is rare. Gray skies and rain doesn't necesarily mean crummy dive conditions. By the time we get to the dive spots the rain has ceased and the water is like glass. What I have learned is to not let rain and gray skies predict what type of dive you will have because you never know! We had a great run on Sunday. Here's a picture of Crystal and our dive buddies from Guam: Eric and Dixie Fly. I love diving with them.

Its a one eyed winking creature lurking underneath the waters of Tinian! Oh wait, thats Harry Blalock! Thank goodness Harry didn't get seasick thanks to Crystal's sea sick pills. I would have never heard the end of it if he got sick! I had to remind Harry that he couldn't stay underwater for two hours like he was use to otherwise we would leave him. J/k Harry!

Our first dive site was the Tinian Grotto. Definitely not as grand as the Grotto here in Saipan but it truly has its unique features. It was nice to dive something different other than what we are use to. We found it pretty easy to navigate despite that we had never been there before. Of course my divemaster friend, Atsuko, was a great underwater tour guide. We swam through the underwater caves and crevices of the Tinian Grotto and discovered alot of macro life. You know what we were all searching for! Or atleast I was searching for Nudibranchs duriing the entire dive.

When we first dropped into the ocean the first thing we saw was about a six foot Sting Ray just resting on the bottom of the surface! What a cool sight and how lucky were we to see it! It was beautiful but all I kept thinking of was how this doesn't really compare to the huge Manta Rays we saw in Palau! Words cannot describe the feeling when a fifeteen foot wing span creature is cruisin above you! Its true that if you dive Palau you are spoiled maybe forever . . . and nothing else may compare. The scuba life in the Marianas is still really great.

Right in front of the entrance to the Tinian Grotto were Clown Fish. I think these are clown fish! My pictures of their eggs didn't turn out that great (big surprise) but you could see their beaded little black eyes.

Here's a picture of a a Halgerda Guahan Nudibranch. This is one that I see most of the time when I am diving the Grotto in Saipan.
This is a Halgerda Malesso Nudibranch. So far one of my favorites that I have seen! I love its intricate design. Can you believe there are over 100 types of Nudibranchs?! I have so much more to see!

Our second dive site was called Dump site. This second dive is unique because it has alot of plane wreckage and bullets from WWII. We were told that we could handle the bullets underwater but we couldn't bring it above the water with us. Apparently something about phosphurus and igniting a fire on the boat may occur. I didn't quite hear the entire explanation. We made sure Harry didn't put any in his pockets.
Atsuko found this Nudibranch and I have no idea what its name is! The ones that I have seen in the Saipan Grotto was more purple. This one was more on the bluish side.
I saw alot of deadly Scorpian Fish at this dive site. Love the colors and how sometimes it blends into the coral. You gotta watch out where you place your hands.
Hmmm, its a Moretti diving below me.

Phew, I'm tired. I may just relax and snorkel this upcoming weekend=)


I have come down with a wicked cold, again! Whatever it is, it has progressed in the past 2 weeks. Dag nab it, I think its time to see a Dr. I can't seem to shake it. Any suggestions for natural cures of the wicked cold?? Hmmm, what has helped so far: chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwich, laughing at the funny sayings in the Princess Bride movie even though it hurts to breathe, and great company! heh

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Twenty Something!

Crystal makes a wish before she blows out her candles! I wondered what she wished for! We celebrated Crystal's twenty something birthday this past Saturday night! Close friends were invited for a night of yummy appetizer dishes and fellowship.

Our dive buddies, Dixie and Eric Fly, are visiting from Guam for a long weekend. We went diving together along with Harry, Greg, and Atsuko on the Aqua Jet to Tinian on Sunday . . .more posts on that later!

Mai and Barbara sampling the many appetizer dishes!

I baked the breaded monzerella cheese sticks just like the ones at the TGIF restaurant in Guam! Tammy made a tasty Bruchetta, and Dr. Reedstrom's wife, May, made a really spicy tofu appetizer! Everyone's mouth was on fire.

How can anyone not love Mark James' baby face!

This years student missionary teachers at SDA School: Vero, Amy, Rikki, and Jessica. They'll be starting scuba diving lessons soon!

I have really enjoyed working and getting to know Crystal in the past year. She inspires me to grow in so many ways. Not only spiritually but also professionally as well. She's more than just my boss . . . she's my dive buddy, spa buddy, tank swim buddy, golf buddy, scrapbooking buddy, prayer buddy . . . my sister in Christ. I'm just so blessed to have her in my life.

If you wondered how SDA's party . . . this is it! lol We just have a great time being with each other.

The Veterans enjoying another year in Saipan together.

Happy Birthday Crystal and many more to come!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This is what my heart has been looking for. This is what my soul has been needing. I think of prayer sessions at church in the middle of the week as "soul food". I think about wholeness and health as three aspects: body, mind, and soul. Its been a constant struggle for me because when one aspect is deficient, I feel a loss of balance. Whenever I feel a loss of balance my focus starts to shift else where and anxiety creeps in.

I feed my body with food, my mind with His word, but what do you feed your soul with? How do you heal a broken and wounded soul? Prayer and fellowship with those who are going through the same thing I am going through has been a real blessing to me and is helping me grow spiritually.

Tonight we paired up into twos and prayed with each other about our pain, worries, and hopes. I feel God restoring my heart and my life.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Honu Honu!

I'm still dreaming of turtles from this past weekend's dive at Lau Lau Beach. This Green Sea Honu came out of its hiding while we were taking pictures of a Hawksbill Turtle! The sweetest surprise of the day. Thanks for the underwater tour Harry!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Madness

I had a great weekend but more on that later. Mondays seem crazier than any other day of the week at work. Here’s my first patient of the week. On some of my patients I take before and after pictures to show them the progress they have made. Oh and I also post to show my family and friends back home that I am working HARD and not just on a two year long vacation in paradise!!

It’s another fine example of my typical Betel nut and periodontal challenged dental patient in Saipan. Looks scary huh? I’m not grossed out at all since most of my patients look like this anyway. I like working with patients like this because you get to see the progress they go through as you work with them. After the stain removal I plan to do four quadrants of scaling and root planing with anesthetic. There’s a lot of bone loss though =( Hopefully this patient will respond well to the treatment otherwise its off to the Gum specialist they go.

Every October is National Dental Hygiene Awareness month and we are trying to focus on educating the public on the health risks of Periodontal (gum) Disease and the systemic implications. Fortunately I get to have some radio airtime on the Harry Blaylock show in October to talk about the health risks of Periodonatal (Gum) disease and why seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly can save your life.

Did you know that 75 % off Americans have some form of Periodontal (gum) Disease and don’t even know it? I’ve been reading up on a lot of studies that show a strong correlation between Gum disease and certain conditions like Heart Disease, Diabetes, and respiratory ailments. A lot of these health problems exist on Saipan. The other condition we always check for is oral cancer since Saipan has a lot of Betel nut and tobacco chewers. You'd be surprised how many cases of Oral Cancer go undiagnosed. Its scary.

More exciting news! I’m leaving this rock island for San Francisco for a week in September. I can’t wait! I’ll be attending the American Dental Association Annual Session to take some continuing education courses to maintain my RDH license. Dentists and Dental Hygienists fly in from all over the world to attend this huge convention! Besides meeting new people and seeing the guest speaker, Lance Armstrong at the convention . . . I can’t wait to hang out in downtown SF! Plenty to see and do in the bay area.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Miss You Everyday

Happy 29th Birthday to my sister, Ginger! As you can see she's got her hands full at home with Katelynn and Joshua! I'm finishing up my post on my family that has influenced me. When you read it you'll see how I have always looked up to my younger sister. I love you guys! Hope you have a great birthday Gin! Wish I could be there with you to celebrate =( xoox

Friday, August 17, 2007

Inaudible Melodies

I love the sound of the classical guitar. I've always wanted to learn how to play and now I finally am. Today was my first guitar lesson! Kuya Ernie taught Mai, Jessica, and me four chords: G, C, D, and E minor. We are starting off with simple songs for church like Above All and Amazing Grace. I've always wanted to play during church and whenever we have beach vespers.

Mai is teaching me a song on the guitar that I want to surprise my best friend, Michelle, at her wedding this upcoming May. Its that song by Ronan Keating-When You Say Nothing at all. Playing the guitar and singing at the same time may be alittle challenging but I think it'll be worth the look on Miche's face-priceless! So my goal is to practice one hour a day. Let's hope I can keep up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Boat Snob and The Triple Threat

Some of my buddies refer to me as the “boat snob”. I love shore diving but I love boat diving even more. I think we’re really spoiled with the scuba life in Saipan. Saipan has got the triple threat: Great visibility, sunny skies, and abundant marine life. I love it here.

So since my dive buddy, Greg, is slacking on posting pictures I will go ahead and post his pictures for him! We rode the Aqua Jet Boat out on a Sunday morning to Naftan Point and Obyan Beach. Mayuki was our divemaster for the morning.

Our first dive was at Naftan point. The deepest we dropped down to was 125 ft in search of the Gobi. The first Gobi we found Greg scared away because he got too close. We found another one and took some pictures of it. Mine turned out blurry. Big surprise I know! But it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to sit there at 125 ft for 10 minutes trying to get a good picture of that Gobi. So this picture will have to do.

We slowly made our way back up and found some Nudibranchs. The dive was really relaxing for me. There was no current to fight and no vertigo spells. We were just cruising over the coral snapping pictures of random things. It was so relaxing I could almost imagine that song by Bach –Vivance in the background. I’ve been listening to a lot of Bach lately.

The second dive was at Obyan Beach. On the way to that dive spot the waves were really rough! Some of the divers were starting to get sick. It started to drizzle a little bit. We dropped in and located the Black Spot Garden Eels and the No spot Garden Eels. You can’t get too close or they’ll disappear. I love my camera because it zooms in so closely.

Oh, so I start feeling narced around 100 ft. So there you have it . . . another adventure and tale told. Here are some more pictures. Photos were taken by Greg Moretti. My pictures sucked! (sigh)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Aunt Judy!

Can you think of a friend that just consistently brightens your day every time you see him or her?! Well you're looking at the person that makes me smile and laugh everytime I'm with her. You would never be able to guess her age because she's so young at heart. We celebrated her birthday by having an intimate dinner with close friends at Mark and Tammy James' home.

Aunt Judy and Uncle Dennis are my favorite dive buddies hands down. They certified me with both my open water and advanced underwater training. I was suppose to go on a scuba diving trip with them to Yap but I spent all my money on my Palau trip this past March =( We're still planning a scuba trip to the Philippines and I'm looking for a dive buddy to go with! Maybe we'll go to Palawan? I went there two years ago and it is beautiful over there.

I love Mark and Tammy! They are the funniest people to be with above and below water! There's no doubt you'll always find all of us scuba diving together on a Sunday morning. I won't start telling stories about them because I know they'll tell their "stories" about me too. So like Vegas . . . whatever happens underwater stays underwater.

A picture of the Piersons. Not only picture perfect but a match made in heaven. Seriously!

For dinner we had pasta, salad, and garlic bread. Crystal made a yummy pesto dish from scratch! Tammy baked a toasted coconut supreme cake for the birthday girl.

You can't see the view beyond Mark and Tammy's pool because it is dark but there is a breathtaking view of Lau Lau Bay. The pool looks warm and inviting right?! It was raining that night but I still wanted to check how warm the water was in the pool. So i'm standing on the edge of the pool and I gingerly dip my right foot into the pool. As I am dipping my right foot in the pool I feel my left foot start to slip and in I go! Dag nab it! Mark's tiles are slippery=( I fell in the pool with my clothes on but it didn't matter anyway since I had my swimsuit under my clothes. I gave everyone a good chuckle. Aunt Judy was so cool that she jumped in the pool with me and the rest followed! What a great night. So lucky to have such great friends out here in Saipan.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Life In My New Apt

So everybody back home is wondering if I live in a hut or something. I'm finally settled into my new apartment and I love it! I'm ready for some dinner guests! Rosana taught me how to cook authentic Indian food. Her Dal and Curry dish is way tastier than the restaurant Taste of India. Its true! But I'll let you be the judge of that. I also know how to make nan bread. So i'll be inviting people over soon.

My apartment is just a jog to the path on Beach Road and a walk to work. It's a quick drive to downtown Garapan. Some of the things I love about my new apartment are the washer/dryer unit, oven, and double full closets! Plenty storage space, neh! I'm feeling right at home and sleeping soundly. Here are a couple of snap shots.

The front of the apt.

The view walking into my apartment. I finally feel at home whenever I walk through my front door.

The Kitchen. My favorite part of my apartment. Since I live so close to work I don't go out to eat as much anymore. I've been cooking my own meals now and I try to eat out only on the weekends. This is a big accomplishment for me considering I didn't like cooking before!

My Living room. I crash on my coach during my lunch break. I went without a TV and internet connection the first year I was here in Saipan. Since I'm sticking it out another year I decided to splurge alittle. Besides, watching all the Filipino channels will help me learn Tagalog alot faster. I just realized how much crap I have. I'm going to have sell all this before I leave next year.

My bedroom where I catch my zzzzzzzzz.

My four guard dogs! Actually, they are the Pierson's dogs.

Hmmm, not really roughing it out here like I thought I would be!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Caught a glimpse of His splendor this past weekend. It was like a flash of lighting reflecting off the sky while over looking the sunset at Wing Beach. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen.

Though I have a busy schedule and lots of friends here in Saipan there are still many times I feel alone. It isn't the type of loneliness that just anything or anyone can fill. Its deeper than that. They say feeling loneliness is a part of the mission life. The strangest thing is that the times that I feel alone are the times I feel closest to God. Perhaps its because I am clinging onto Him for dear life. He is in complete control.

It will be my one-year anniversary of living in Saipan this September. I’m already looking back and re-evaluating if I accomplished all that I set out for here in Saipan. I feel that I have grown up a lot over the past year. Still my spiritual walk isn’t quite at the level I’d like it to be at. I’m still longing to deepen my relationship with Him.

We started a small bible study group Friday nights and prayer sessions on Wednesday nights. It was exactly what I needed. It’s taking us back to the basics about what Seventh-day Adventists believe and understanding who God really is. Spending time with the new student teachers is helping me refocus on what is important. No matter what I try to keep filling up my life with to be happy . . . nothing can quite quench or satisfy my thirst for something more than what this world has to offer like God can.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Drop In The Ocean

These days it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Besides the obvious bare essentials all I’m really interested in right now are warm sun and scuba life. Scuba diving in Saipan has become a weekly thing for me. Luckily I am fortunate to have so many dive buddies to share my passion and adventures with like the Piersons, Tammy and Mark James, Judy & Dennis, Missy, Atsuko Eck, Harry, Angelo, Mike T . . . the list goes on and on.

This past Sunday I set out on the Aqua jet boat with Moretti and Mayuki. Because it had been raining the whole day on Saturday I didn’t know what type of diving conditions we would have the next morning. It turned out to be an amazing day of diving after all. A blue sky was more than I could ask for.

The first dive spot we hit was Bonzai. Here’s a picture of what Bonzai looks like from below. I was just on top of Bonzai Cliff Saturday morning watching the sunrise. The current was really strong and the waves were pretty rough. I was excited to get in the water. Scuba diving has transformed me into a fearless explorer in every aspect of my life. Something that I was not before I came to Saipan.

To maximize our diving time Moretti, Mayuki, and I made it a point to be the first ones in the water and the lasts ones out. When we first entered the water we had to hang onto the rope and descend. The strong current made it really hard for me to descend at first.. Moretti and Mayuki made it down first and then I slowly followed. It was crazy but fun! Once we made it to the bottom of the anchor we grabbed on to what we could and tried to stay low. I was resisting being carried away with the current but the deeper we dropped the less we felt it. At one point the surge pushed me into some coral and I got stuck with a sea urchin on my finger tip =( It was actually pretty cool that my blood was green coming out!

Bonzai is a beautiful dive spot. There’s a big drop off and it sort of reminded me of the wall diving I did in Palau minus the sharks swimming around. There were plenty fish and coral to see. We saw two huge Napoleon Wrasses. We dropped down about 22 meters, I was searching for Nudibranchs all day. I’m a bit addicted to them.

During surface interval a lot of the other Japanese divers were sea sick and throwing up on the side of the boat. I think its really annoying when they don’t even consider that you are still in the water and the current is making their vomit flow towards you as you climb up the ladder. It’s disgusting! Anywho, I quickly got over that while snacking on my yummy Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss cookies (sorry Harry!) and I decided to go for a dive.

Our final dive was supposed to be Spotlight but the diving conditions were too rough. We ended up diving Wing Beach instead but I didn’t mind at all. Wing Beach is one of my favorite dive spots the other one is the Grotto. We had great visibility and there wasn’t really a current. We saw a lot of Nudibranchs, an eel, and a turtle! We followed the crack searching every little nook and cranny. The last time I was there on a boat dive we dove the arch. There’s so much more to explore. I want to go back!

So you see, I did take more underwater pictures this time around Harry! Thanks for naming me the Canon camera wrist model=) Thanks again to my dive master and friend, Mayuki for a great day of diving and the pictures of us diving. I still have to post my Naftan/Obyan dives.

And just for kicks . . . try flossing Moretti style.