Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A School Night

On Tuesday evening after a long day of teaching, tutoring and getting organized, I decided it was high time that mark and i go out to the beach right behind our apartment and watch the sun set for the first time since being here... so that is just what we did... i was beautiful, and i hear there are even more beautiful sunsets... but to me this will be hard to beat... enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Apartment for those of you who have not seen.

My Last post and i will be completely caught up! Wahooooooo. Here are some photos of our in progress apartment for those of you who have not seen pictures. We are still continuously looking for things to decorate with and get rid of the bare white walls... but i think after all of our adventures and travels this year we will be in business.
Our living room.
Part of our bedroom.
Kitchen/Dinning Room

Guest Bedroom... ohhhh we have an extra bed, any visitors? Any takers?

Well this will be my last post until i take pictures again, which wont be very long... I hope you have enjoyed these photos of our life on Saipan!

We are completely enjoying our new life here on the island and have made many new and wonderful friends through the school, church, bible study and outdoor adventures... 

Please continue to keep us in our prayers. I will be heading to the Doctor on Thursday after receiving my files from the states this last week. Please continue to keep me and my health in your prayers and guidance for mark and i as we figure out what to do and what steps to take!

Please let us know how you are doing!

 B & M

Aug. 24, 2008 Another Sunday Afternoon Hike.

This past Sunday we are again invited to go out with our friend David from church. David is leaving Saipan in 1 month after living on the island for 16 years. David has been an amazing guild and has taken us to some amazing places... hopefully we will be able to take some of you to these awesome places! 

This last sunday we trekked to three different place. The first place we hiked to was Naftan Point. A place on the island where you can see all of our neighboring island Tinian. Tinian is the island where the Bombers took off in WWII. 

mark and I at Naftan Point... Jackie just so happened to be poking mark with a spear Jake had made. =)

Ninya, Me, Amanda and Jackie - the ladies of the hike at Naftan Point. Part of Tinian in the background. 

Our next part of the hike was to an old grotto that no longer had water in it....

The grotto from the look above. 
A look down into the grotto with the ocean in the way back. 
Our guild Dave and friend John inside the grotto.
Mark and I in the grotto with the water in the background (to sunny of a day to get the water in)

Our next part of the hike was to Boyscout beach... Mark enjoyed the scuba diving. But we were only there a few minutes until the tide began to rise. 
Mark at Boyscout beach.

Our last part of the hike was to the Coke bottle graveyard. This once was an american camping ground in WWII. Today you can now go back and dig up old ink bottles, medicine bottle and old coke bottles from WWII. You are lucky to find anything still in one piece.... but when you do it is very neat. I hope to go back and look for old medicine bottles. 
Part of an old coke bottle. The green ones are harder to find in tacked, the clear bottles are a little bit easier. 
Mark just so happened to find 3 clear bottles and one green bottle in tacked... the earliest date on one of the bottles was 1941 and the oldest 1945. You should have seen the years of mud pour out of them when we got them home and began cleaning them. They are still soaking.. but we have a green one!
Old coke bottle pieces.

A Date at the Beach...

Since being on the island, Mark and I haven't had alot of time for just the two of us. We have are usually with great friends exploring and being led which has been an amazing time. But last weekend we decided to take Saturday and play the real tourist game. We first headed down town (garapan) where we hit the shops and looked at all the beautiful clothing, etc...  Ate lunch at Subway and then headed off in our boonie car to find some new and amazing beaches. But when we arrived at Ladder Beach we were sold! This beach if definatly smaller then most and there is hardly any sand, but it was beautiful. It had waves, beautiful shells and amazing bolders and cliffs to look at.... The sand was not sand but pieces or coral and broken up shells... The day was also made perfect because of the light breeze, blue skies and the sun being out... 
Here mark has some sea glass and coral... along with an itsy bitsy hermit crab... just seconds after taking this shot, the crab commited suicide... it crawled off of marks hand and fell the ground, from at least 3 feet up... 

You can somewhat see the blue waters and coral reef in this photo. 

The Coral/Shell beach. 
Just hanging out. 

Simply enjoying her date with her wonderful husband.... 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Sunday afternoon hike through the... JUNGLE.

We have become great friends and hiking buddies with a man named David. David has lived here on the island for about 16 years and sadly will be moving back to the states in October. But before he left he wanted to take anyone who was willing on some amazing hikes. This way he would be able to revisit all the amazing things on the island one last time, but also to show us new Howlies all the amazing and hidden spots to go... this was our first hike... 

2 miles long in the jungle.

We came across an old bomb from WWII just lying next to some rocks, as you can tell mark was pretty excited =).

This is our hiking group for the day... Mark, Me, Jackie, Jake, Joel, David, and John another man from church! Look at that sweat on us!
We even came across a star fruit tree... so we took some home =). 

Our New Ride and First Back Road Trip.

So after being apartment locked because of having no car, we finally decided we had to give in to buying a car... so after test driving a few, we obviously picked the most islandy one you could get... rust spots, etc... but needless to say it runs great and has been a blast to use in the last few weeks. It has taken us places we couldn't get to by foot or car.... 

Hang Loose! 

One of our first places we went was Tank beach... i felt like i was in a picture of Hawaii, but this was so much cooler! It also had amazing shells all over it!

The First Week of School.

Well we are already starting our third week of school, but the last two weeks have defiantly had it's ups and downs. All in all, i think Mark and I both are enjoying teaching at Saipan Community School very much and love all of our students. I have had my moments of wanting to send them all the to the office, but I think the rough patch it almost over.. they are very cute though =)... Here are some photos of my class.... 3rd graders...
In the classroom. 
Some of the boys on the playground... i have 13 boys and 4 girls... 
Me and my class on the beach right behind the school. 

After the first day of school the Van dams and Sawyers felt it was good time for us to go and relax a little and take some time off from thinking about school... So we hit up a resort just down the road from us for half priced drinks and appetizers... the Pacific Island Club... 
Jake and Jackie...

Acting like third graders =)

And a normal photo op pose around the island by tourists... This is one of my favorites =). 

Please continue to pray for the staff and students at SCS... we have had a great start to the year and would love for it to continue this way! 

Arn't my students cute?

All in One Weekend...

On our first whole weekend of the island, Sandy, The pastors wife and kindergarten teacher was wonderful enough to offer us her car to go and tour the island... needless to say we took her up on it and enjoyed the islands beautiful surroundings... 

The grotto is a big giant cave with water inside of it along with other caves that lead out into the ocean... some of the best diving and snorkling takes place here in the crystal blue waters....
The grotto from up above...
The blue waters of the grotto, i actually took this picture!
Next was our hike to Bird island... I took a fall on the hike down, but it was well worth it. There are also hermit crabs on every single beach... they arnt as exciting now that we see them all the time =). 

Bird Island, this is a bird sanctuary... you arnt allowed on it, but you are allowed on the beach next to it. 

Mark and I at Bird Island.
The snorkle kings, Mark and jake.

Suicide Cliff... This is where hundereds of islanders commited suicide, along with throwing their young ones off the cliff right before WWII. They would rather die then be on island when the americans came.. they thought we were going to eat them. 

View from the top of Suicide. 
A view of Downtown Saipan, Also known as Garapan.

My Favorite Flower. 
Managaha Island, only 3 miles off of the shore of Saipan, no one lives there but some of the best snorkling goes on there.. there are even little sharks swimming around. I cant wait. 
Jake, Jackie, and Mark in our nice island car . 
A Banana Tree!


Needless to say, we are enjoying ourselves =)

Signing off until next time!