Friday, February 22, 2008

Saipan Story

Precious Paradise I made it. I am here!

24 long and sleepless hours later, I am "on island!" Only it's 4 am and dark and my girlfriend and her husband and the kids are asleep, so I can't very well splish splash until later.

Yes, this is where I lived for two and a half elysian years...from 1996-98. I moved out here to take a job as a reporter and anchor. It's like doing small town news, only your audience are locals (Chamorro and Carolinian islanders) ex-pats, and contract workers from Asia (who work in the garment and hotel services industry)

To the left of that photo is Bob Coldeen, Saipan's local sportscaster icon, because he's STILL HERE!

Bob moved to the islands a million years ago as a peace corp volunteer. He met and married a Chuukese woman, his lovely wife Marta..had a family, and he never came back to the States.

And that's my co-anchor, Travis Coffman, who I believe is a bigshot radio talk show host in Guam. His story is similar. He married a lovely local girl from Saipan, Dinah, and together they have three kids.

Living here were some of the happiest years in my life. And over these last several years, I haven't been able to shake it, romanticizing a day when I can do it again.

The experience was life changing.

I think because when you live on a tiny island out in the middle of nowhere, you learn to truly appreciate what is important. For me, that was friends (who essentially become your family) and travel.

That's what I took from my time here.

Outside of being born in Vietnam, I was raised almost entirely in Houston and was exposed to very little until I moved overseas.

Living in Saipan, it was refreshing to not feel like the minority anymore.

It was great to travel to exotic places.

And nothing beats weekends spent scuba diving and barbequing with friends.

So for the next five days, until I head for Vietnam, I'll be here, in Saipan, reliving some of those moments.

This is a place that will always have my heart.

Cheers and happy training!

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."--Buddha


Baun said...

I love today's quote. Such a simple directive in life, yet so hard to follow! I think our minds are made for always worrying about this or the other that we forget to live in the moment, because the present is the only life there is.

Glad to hear you made it! Saipan sounds like such a lovely place. I wish I had a similar experience growing up. Anyway, enjoy your time there!! Safe travels.

Angelo Villagomez said...

Have fun in Vietnam.

pinkgurugal said...

hey paul!
yes, i am very lucky to have had lived out here!
saipan blogger? who dat? i'm here!

Tarabay said...

In the grand scheme of things 2 years isnt a long time over the course of a lifetime. Say someone lives to be 70, two years is a very small percentage of adult years. However those two years can change a persons life forever. Its funny how things work like that. I think its awesome that you have the opportunity to do what your doing.

Is there fried chicken "on island"??

pinkgurugal said...

tarabay -- oh.. the best fried chicken... but even better, fried spam!!!!