Friday, September 28, 2007

Gone Bananas For Fruit!

If there is anything that I really miss while living in Saipan, it's fresh strawberries. Actually, I just really miss fresh fruit in general. Auntie Mary, Cesar, and I went to Pier 39 in SF to shop and walk around. We came across a section of fresh fruit and started loading up! Woo hoo! I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Fruit is expensive here in Saipan and by the time we get fruit it's not so fresh anymore.

When we reached the cashier I thought it was going to be less than $20 bucks. Turns out we ended up spending $50 bucks on fruit! Gone bananas over fruit. We still decided to indulge ourselves with fresh strawberries, grapes, nectarines, and oranges. MmMmm, I miss fresh fruit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just what I needed. More Drama!

Real Christian Theater with the kids has been so fun! We have met three times already and finally got most of our scripts last night. The directors have casted me in seven short plays! Oye! I have alot of studying and memorizing to do on the plane to California. Alot of these plays make me laugh and I have no idea how I will be able to get into character. I think its all about letting go and being "in the moment". Something that I am learning to do in my life right now.

One of my favorite actors is Mr. Bean. His timing is impeccable. I just love how natural acting comes to him and he cracks me up so much! Here's a youtube clip of him at the dentist! lol I can't wait to be a dentist.


Anyway, last night we went over our lines and I was really impressed with the kids. They're brilliant and very funny. We are going to have alot of fun performing for the kids at the public and private schools.

Another reason why I am happy is because I am leaving for San Francisco early Wednesday morning for the American Dental Association conference for a week! Did I mention that Lance Armstrong will be our guest speaker?! I am going to do my best to get him to sign my book. Looking forward to learning about the new cutting edge tools and information on Dental Hygiene. Also looking forward to the cool weather, my run across the Golden Gate Bridge, Shopping, Starbucks, and Wine tasting in Napa Valley! Peace out.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mmmm, Pancakes!

I figured the easiest way to get my kids to Sabbath School on time is to invite them over for breakfast! Breakfast at Miss Bev's! The thought of hosting sixteen young adults in my small apartment was exciting but frightening at the same time. Frightening because I cannot cook and entertain at the same time. Multi-tasking is definitely not a strength of mine.

Fortunately John was kind enough to come over and help me out. While he cooked scrambled eggs and turkey bacon, I was cooking the pancakes. I must really love these kids because making pancakes is not my favorite thing to make. I can bake, fry , and grill . . . but cooking the perfect fluffy and round pancake I stink at!

My kids are a bright and lively group. In the beginning of Sabbath school we share about how are week went. Lately they have been opening up and sharing some really personal issues that they are going through. Slowly they are starting to open up and I am starting to see a glimpse of their true hearts. They inspire me everytime I am with them.

John did the devotional that Sabbath and had the kids write some of their thoughts down on a piece of paper. The first question was think of someone who has hurt you the most. That someone was easy for me to identify. The second question he asked was think of someone who you have hurt. I have to admit that question really struck me hard. How many times have I refused to forgive someone who has hurt me when in fact I have done almost the same thing to someone else. Anyway, it just got me thinking . . .

Overall we had a great time together and I'd like to say the pancake breakfast was a success! Looking forward to spending more time with them.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Defending My Ipod Playlist

First off nothing beats the sound of nature when running. In Saipan, there is nothing as peaceful as running the trails through the wilderness and on the beaches. You are left with only your breath and your footsteps. Of course if you want a total new experience you need to run with the Hashers!! For the days when I need an extra kick to get out of bed, I run with my trusty Ipod.

I have set out to make the perfect 4-hour (alright five hour) running playlist. My playlist serves as one purpose: to distract! They need to take my mind off the marathon three minutes at a time otherwise I start to get tired.

I really do believe that the choice of your songs is important. You’d be surprised how a song can affect your pace. I tried running with a shuffled mix of songs but I found out very quickly that the order of the songs really does matter. I need structure! There must be order and it must make sense!

My #1 song on my play list right now to get me pumped up: Lose Yourself-Eminem

The other bands that follow are Staind, Incubus, Metallica, POD, Prodigy, Soundgarden, Beastie Boys, Anything electronica to keep my pace up. Hmmm, probably all bands you didn't expect that I listen to.

And then I have some pick me up songs by different artists to keep the run entertaining like Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Lou Bega’s Mambo Number 5, Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Lepard, and songs from ABBA.

Curious. What songs are on your top playlist?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crepe and Mandi Asian Spa Escapade

The other student teachers left last year and a new batch has come. It's like having instant friends. All prechosen, packed, and ready to go! I'm so happy that they are out here with me. This weekend was the first time I got to hang out with all of them at the same time. Well, actually Jessica was missing in action since she was in Guam this weekend. Our good friends, Myla and Derek, were there as well. The new SDA teachers are finally settled in after three weeks of school. I know that they have been really busy but all seem to be adjusting well.

Myla and Derek

Although I miss the other student teachers from last year these new student teachers bring on a different type of energy to our little group. Their stories of why they decided to put their lives on hold for God to teach in Saipan for a year are extraordinary. More details on that later. I am looking forward to getting to know each of them more this year. You can read more about Mai, Vero, Judith and Rikki on their blogs. Still trying to get Eva and Amy to start one.

Veroynka and Eva

We headed out to our favorite Crepe place called CafĂ© de Comer. If you haven’t been there you must stop by and order the Choco-Banana Crepe! It’s Oishii! We just had a chance to bond and talk about all the traveling we want to do this year. It’s going to be a very eventful year. Never mind that I will be broke! At least I will get to see and dive some of Micronesia and Asia before I move back to California.

Judith and Rikki

Speaking of traveling, I have just started reading a book on people embarking on journeys all over the world. Some taking up odd jobs to just get by. It sounds so appealing to just wander in different countries and live amongst the locals. Is that strange to wander like that? To not have a home or a P.O. Box for awhile? My family would probably kill me if I said i wasn't coming back for awhile but what a unique way to experience life! Hmmm, so much to consider.

I love Sundays in Saipan. Usually you'll find me diving but I have taken a little break from it for awhile. I've been hanging out at the Mandi Asian spa just relaxing and reading in the sun all afternoon. I ran into some other bloggers at the spa! It was nice to chat and catch up with all of them. Mandi's Spa has alot of beautiful decorations from Bali. It gives me a feel for what our Bali trip will be like in November! I'm so excited.

Missy and Me


Anywho, Sunday was the first time that the new student teachers got to experience Mandi Asia Spa. They really loved it especially the infinite pool on the deck below. Sipping on Green tea Lattes, listeining to Bob Marley on my ipod, and enjoying this view . . . Life is Good in Saipan. Ok, I'm recharged for another work week =)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rota Blue Triathlon

Lewie has inspired me to start training for my first tri! You know what that means, no more slacking off or sleeping in. I've been waking up at five am in the morning to swim or run. The Rota Blue Triathlon is coming up this November and I am going to sign up for it and compete. I'm so hyped up about my first tri! I just know that I'll become addicted. Here's a couple of pictures of Rota when I went diving this past March. Such a beautiful little island. Everyone is so friendly.

I started my three month training schedule last month so I think I should be ready by November. I still have to figure out the diet part though. Not sure what supplements or power gels to use. I've been mostly running and swimming for the past couple of weeks. I haven't gotten a chance to train on the bike yet because I am still shopping for one. Should hopefully get it soon. So far I am gear lusting over this bike. Its a Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc Bike.

If I can't find anything else than I will probably end up getting this one. I've been saving my pennies. I really really want this one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My One-Year Anniversary In Saipan

Break ups can actually be good for you. Once you get over the initial nausea and heartache, breakups actually force you to reevaluate everything in your life. Some people react by cutting their hair, joining a gym to get back in shape, changing the focus of their career, or even relocating to a new area. I think its pretty much safe to say that I ended up doing all of that.

I can’t believe that I’ve been out here for a year. Its all kind of a blur to me since my first year flew by so fast. I remember arriving at 1:20 in the morning a year ago not knowing who was picking me up and where I was going to stay. I was kind of scared but excited at the same time.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d ever end up in Saipan. I was living the Orange County lifestyle before I moved out here. My dream apartment was only ten minutes from Laguna Beach. I had the perfect job at a Periodontal and Implant Dental office. I had my family and friends close by. Somehow the busyness of life in Southern California comforted me. But making good money, having all the material things, and job security didn’t satisfy me. My heart was longing for something more.

When I made the decision to leave the states to do dental mission work, I applied at different SDA Dental Clinics all over the world like in Thailand, Japan, Philippines, and Guam. Saipan wasn’t even a thought. In fact, I never really heard about Saipan until my Dental Hygiene instructor brought up a job opening to me. The first person I heard back from was Dr. Ken Pierson. When Dr. Ken Pierson initially offered me the job at the Saipan SDA Clinic it was for a two-year contract. I declined and said I would only come out for a year. I didn’t think I could last being away from my family for that long. I wasn’t willing to give up more than a year of my life.

Funny how much you grow and change when you are away from everything that is comfortable and familiar to you. In the past year I have realized what a blessing it is in following God’s path instead of forcing my own path. His plans were far better than anything I could ever imagine. When I look back I realize that God really opened doors for me to be here. He’s so real in my life. I think He just knew that this was what I needed to bring me closer to Him.

I’ve decided I need a theme for this year. Matthew 14:22-32 was the bible verse that helped me make the decision to leave everything behind and to follow God. It’s the verse when Jesus met his disciples that were in a boat on a lake during a storm. Peter walked onto the water to meet Jesus. The story tells of the strengths and weakness of Peter’s faith. His faith and trust in Jesus allowed him to walk on water! I know that Peter eventually began to sink when he took his eyes off of Jesus but can you imagine really walking on water? I believe that having faith alone is not enough. That exercising your faith is what really counts. That’s the kind of faith I am striving for this year.

So even though I could have gone back after this year I decided to stay. Honestly I don't know why God wants me to stay another year. I just know in my heart that He wants me here. I Just need to stop trying to understand things and just trust Him no matter what. Never again would I compromise Him for anybody or anything.

So here I go with another year in Saipan. I’m so happy to be here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Words

Get Over It.

And then move on with your life. Thats all I would like to say for today. lol

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Change Is Good

Most people are uncomfortable with change. I think its easy to get stuck in a routine or set in your ways. I'm so tired of having a set schedule especially when it comes to training. I get restless. I usually hit Gold's Gym or Beach Road for my morning runs. Beach Road is nice for a run because of the view of the lagoon in the mornings however the fumes from all the cars passing by really bothers me.

For a change early Friday morning EJ and I drove up to Suicide Cliff and ran from the base of the hill all the way up to Suicide's look out. Its a gradual steep incline run and it's a killer on my legs. I'm so glad we did that. I love the north part of the island because its so green and it's away from everything.

When your running, there is nothing out there but you and the road. My thoughts are silenced and I am left with the feeling of numbness. Numbness is good. Sometimes I think i just need time to zone out and forget about . . . I think I have come down with a case of island fever and am longing for my trip to San Francisco. 17 more days till I can breakaway . . .

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guess Who's Back!

My partner in crime . . . Missy!

We welcomed her back from her 3 month hiatus at 1:40 this morning at the airport. She'll be working at the SDA School full time as the fundraising coordinator. Missy's really good at sales and marketing. She's a sweet talker. Last year she suckered me into adopting a small kitten nicknamed "Mylo" that they had rescued. She made him seem so sweet! I took him home that night and Mylo's true colors came out. He was evil! What a scam!

Anywho, its going to be a great year.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Real Christian Theater-Scene 1

My one year anniversary of living in Saipan is coming up next week! I have really maximized my time spent here in Saipan. Since I have decided to renew my contract for another year I have been trying to figure out what I could do differently with my time this upcoming year.

Perhaps my only regret from this past year is not spending as much time with the Youth as I could have. I have to be honest and say that I never really had an interest in working closely with the youth before. I love them but I usually gravitated working more with the adults. But things have changed over summer break. Funny how God works. The youth have won over my heart while teaching Youth Sabbath School. Needless to say, I am hooked on my kids and they bring me great joy whenever I am around them.

Real Christian Theater is starting their 8th season in Saipan and is under the direction of Sean Maycock. They are a group of talented and creative kids passionate about drama, real life, and a real God. What I love about this group is that we don't just do "churchy skits" but we focus on real life issues that the youth may experience these days like peer pressure, drugs, a broken family, disappointments, goals . . . All the kids had to audition for their parts. This year is new younger crew with the exception of one veteran, Xian Xian. This past weekend we spent together at a place called Matura on Navy Hill for our team building retreat for two days.

It was a chance for us to get to know each other better and for us to outline our goals as a team. Co-directors Mai and Vero led out in the devotionals. We played team buidling games togethe and performed skits in different groups. From the age of 9 to the age of thirty something, each team member brings a truly unique detail to the group. I feel that God will use them in a way that we never could imagine. We will be performing at the different schools in Saipan and at Street market. Our final trip will be to Palau in May 08 to perform at the schools over there. I will be helping out with props and set design as well as acting alittle bit. I am so excited about this upcoming year! Stay tuned for upcoming peformances =)