Here comes our much awaited event!!!........
and CULTURAL FOOD FAIR
Central Ball Field
Witness the thrilling kite-flying demonstration
by the Korean Kite Fliers,
colorful kite parade,
exciting kite-flying contest.
And there’s more……
Savor the delectable taste of our cultural food
We don’t want you to miss this fun-filled event,
so come and fly your kite with us!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Here comes our much awaited event!!!........
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The workshop is free and will be on Thursday, Feb 28 and Friday, Feb 29 at Brilliant Star School form 4 - 5:30 PM on each day. Everyone is welcome.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I got an invitation from a boat captain to take a trip up to the Northern Islands. I'm dying to go again, but I get horribly seasick. I went up about 13 years ago. We went to Anatahan, Alamagan, Pagan and Agrigan -- all the inhabited islands. Most of them had about 5-10 people living on them. They are beautiful islands -- absolutely spectacular, mythical. They must be some of the most remote and untouched parts of the world. I bet most of them have had less than 100 humans visit them over the past 100 years. This trip includes Maug, which is the summit of a volcanic crater. This is what it looks like from the air.
My last trip was a five day trip, and I spent those five days hanging over the side of the boat "feeding the fish." I took all the anti seasickness drugs, but I managed to break through them, while still suffering from all their side effects -- my mouth was dry, I couldn't see, I couldn't pee, and I was puking my guts out. I was a sight to behold, drapped over two bags of rice with my head in a bucket. When I returned, and people asked me about the trip, I would say, "It was a once in a lifetime trip." But I so want to go again.
Apparently there is some drug out of Europe that sailors use a few days prior to their trip and about three days into the trip that kills the nausea and seasickness. It's not approved in the US. I'm trying to find out more about it, but no luck yet. I don't even know its name. If I can figure out this seasickness thing, I'm going back to the Northern Islands.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
We all have it: the story we tell when someone asks, “How did you end up in
I’m fascinated to hear the other stories out there, short, long or medium versions. So, I’m turning this into a game of tag. I’m tagging Angelo, Jeff, Boni, Bev, Brad and Bree to write about their
I’ve always wanted to work internationally. I grew up in a Bahá’í family, and there were two messages positive that infused my childhood. One was that the highest station for a human being was a life of service to others. The second was that it was a praiseworthy act to leave one’s homeland to serve in a place where one is really needed. The possibility of living internationally was something I grew up with. It was actually something I aspired to.
In the winter of 1992, as I was finishing my ophthalmology training, I was also in the midst of a huge personal crisis, wondering what would be the next step in my life. I prayed and meditated a lot, but I didn’t get very far. At the time, my sister, who is an attorney, was working at the Bahá’í World Centre in
I returned to
I was starting to hear back from the hospitals around the world. Everywhere wrote back saying, “We’d love to have you. We cannot pay you a penny.” Thanks to my parents, I was lucky enough to get out of medical school without any debt, so I didn’t need a high paying job, but I did need to make some money. There were two places that could pay “subsistence” wages – a hospital in the
But I still wasn’t sure if I should get further education or go to
I finished my training on June 30, and three weeks later I boarded a plane for
The year in
By the end of my year in
I had sent
I was initially hired by the CNMI government on a one month contract as a consultant – to treat patients, but to also look at ophthalmology needs in the CNMI. At that time, the place was flush with money, and the hospital had been bringing a couple of ophthalmologists here from San Diego, and paying them insane amounts ($500,000 for five weeks work – I saw the check with my own eyes). I offered to work full-time for half that amount, but of course, there were ceilings on government employees so that wasn’t a possibility, even though it made complete sense.
Anyway, my consulting contract was renewed a couple of times while the government worked to create a full-time position for an ophthalmologist, and within a few months I was hired as an employee of the Commonwealth Health Center with a usual salary.
I enjoyed my work there, and during those five years I built The Center for Eye Disease at CHC. It was fun. I published a couple of scientific papers, attended conferences at the CDC, and worked on public health issues. But, there was a limit in terms of how much I could improve things. The hospital couldn’t budget for the more advanced technologies I needed to raise the level of care, and each year there were worries as to whether or not funding would be available for my position.
By this time, Mara and I had decided to make
I have a couple of other “
Friday, February 22, 2008
- 3 AM: Child 4 awakens. I can't get back to sleep. Welcome to the day.
- 5:45 AM: Drive to Garapan for 6 AM run. Running buddy sleeps in. I'm too tired to run alone. Drive back home.
- 7 AM: Drive to San Jose for radio interview with Harry Blalock on KZMI for Kite Festival March 1
- 8:30 AM: Parent-Teacher Conference for Child 1
- 9:15 AM: Go to the office to examine patients I operated on yesterday
- 10 AM: Take Child 3 to dental appointment
- 11 AM: Take Child 2 and 3 to ENT appointment, get X-rays, schedule hearing test.
- 12 PM: Drive Child 2 to San Vicente to play with a friend.
- 1 PM: Arrive back in Garapan for 1 PM meeting
- 2:30 PM: Take Child 1 to jewelry making workshop
- 3:30 PM: Parent-Teacher Conference for Child 3
- 4:30 PM: Prepare to take Child 1 to dance class. Child 1 decides not to go, no arguments from me. I lie down to take a nap.
- 6 PM: Wake up, eat, drive to Garapan for 6:30 meeting.
- 8:30 PM: Meeting over, Mara and I drive to Hyatt to walk in the gardens and chill. Get tour of new spa. Very nice.
- 9:15 PM: Get home, end of day, good night.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Baha'i Fast is a period of abstaining from food and drink (yes, drink too) from sunrise to sunset on each of these 19 days. You get up before sunrise, eat and drink, and then don't eat or drink again until the sun sets. I've been observing the Fast since I was 15 years old. It's not meant to kill you. You're exempt if you're younger than 15, older than 70, pregnant, nursing, menstruating, traveling or engaged in heavy labor. It's meant to be a period of turning inward, of spiritual recuperation, self-reflection. It's also meant to be a time of heightened awareness of the suffering of the poor.
It's an important part of the year for me. It's not easy to be sure. In fact, even Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith, described it as being "outwardly toilsome". The hardest part for me isn't so much the NOT eating, but the eating. I often don't feel like eating much in the mornings, and by the evening, I'm pretty tired and don't want to eat. But I do allow myself to eat things during this time of year, that I wouldn't otherwise eat. Like chocolate. And ice cream.
I think one of the greatest lessons of the Fast for me over the years has been practicing self-restraint. It seems like an impossibility to not eat when you're so hungry, or drink when you're so thirsty, but you learn to practice self-restraint for a higher good. The absence of that single virtue -- self-restraint -- seems to be at the root of so much of the corruption in today's world. Self-discipline. It's a way of exercising mastery over that most unwieldy of creatures, the self.
Anyway, I'm starting to get ready for the Fast, mostly just by thinking about it, and thinking of the areas of my spiritual life that I'd like to pay focused attention to during this time of the year. Many years, a friend will fast with me for a day. I invite you to join me.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
It's not often that I get a chance to read a novel, but as I boarded the plane in Hawaii, I ran to the bookshop and picked up the first book that looked decent. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. It is one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. It's also a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Here is a passage that picks up with a child answering the door during the burning and pillaging of Smyrna by Turkish soldiers in the early 1900's. The family is hiding in their apartment, while the father, a physician, has been out to tend to a neighbor.
When they hear knocking, they jump. Stepan goes to the window and looks down. "It must be Father."
"Go. Let him in! Quick!" Toukhie says.
Karekin vaults down the stairs two at a time. At the door he stops, collects himself, and quietly unbolts the door. At first, when he pulls it open, he sees nothing. Then there's a soft hiss, followed by a ripping noise. The noise sounds as though it has nothing to do with him until suddenly a shirt button pops off and clatters against the door. Karekin looks down as all at once his mouth fills with a warm fluid. He feels himself being lifted off his feet, the sensation bringing back to him childhood memories of being whisked into the air by his father, and he says, "Dad, my button," before he is lifted high enough to make out the steel bayonet puncturing his sternum. The fire's reflection leads along the gun barrel, over the sight and hammer, to the soldier's ecstatic face.
Here's the beginning of the Amazon review:
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." And so begins Middlesex, the mesmerizing saga of a near-mythic Greek American family and the "roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time."
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I just received the alumni magazine from Northwestern University, where I did my undergraduate degree, as well as my ophthalmology training. I miss it. I miss the vibrant nature of a center of higher learning. I miss the opportunity to hear people that are on the cutting edge of their fields. I miss learning about new ideas. Well, maybe. I just remembered that a few months ago I went to a presentation by the Humanities Council by an academic archaeologist about the clay pots of the Mariana Islands. After about five minutes, I realized I had learned all I really needed to know about clay pots. The rest of the lecture was painful. The speaker was great, mind you. But the topic wasn't, shall we say, "captivating" to me. I suppose if I were at the University setting, I'd choose my lectures more carefully, (just as I now do with the Humanities Council lectures).
When I started my undergraduate career, I had visions of becoming a biomedical engineer, and I started out in the college of engineering. After the first year, I decided there was more to life than circuits and molecules, so I took a hard swing, transfered to the College of Arts and Sciences, and double majored in comparative religion and biology. The current issue of Northwestern magazine has a fascinating article about one of the folks who didn't transfer out of biomedical engineering, but who has gone on to develop what is now, the world's first artificial limb that is controlled by the brain. Nerves from the brain send signals to electrodes in the artificial arm, so when you think, "I'm going to bend my arm", the artificial arm bends. How cool is that! The full article is here. Check it out. It's a fascinating read.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
We went and saw this production of the local theater group last night. It was excellent. The story was entertaining, and the acting and singing were quite good. Apparently, the Fantasticks is the longest running musical in history. And I had never heard of it.
Anyway, if you have a chance, catch the last show -- Sunday, February 17 at PIC. Dinner is at 6:30 PM, with the show starting at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $30 per person
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Cairns is a great city, and having been there a couple of times before, we felt no pressure to see anything. We just spent our time walking around and eating lots of great food. But ouch, the declining dollar was painful. In the past you could buy an Australian dollar for sixty cents. Now, it costs pretty much a whole US dollar.
We spent one evening with old friends from Saipan, Jane and Glenn Bolton-Bound. Glenn is still making a living jumping out of airplanes with a tourist strapped to him. The next time we go down there, I think I'll jump with him. I trust him to get me down alive.
I'd post some pictures, but I can't find the cable to download them from the camera.
Marianas Eye: If reading the Saipan blogs makes you want to scratch your eyes out, this is the guy who can put them back in for you.He's been publicly bugging me to review his blog. I generally consider a "review" as something more substantial than a sentence, so I'm not up to review five blogs. I was tempted to review Angelo's blog as such:
The Saipan Blog: A blog about Saipan, that is occasionally worth reading.
But, despite Angelo's lame-ass review of my blog, I'm going to do a decent review of his.
The Saipan Blog is one of the two blogs that I read every day. You can generally count on new content on a daily basis. The posts are diverse, interesting, and have excellent subject-verb agreement. He covers topics that reflect the eclectic nature of the man -- topics such as the environment, local controversies, and scantily clad chicks. More than anything else, you get a sense of how much one person, possessing dedication and drive, can do to change his hair ... I mean the world... to change the world. A dedicated blogger, community member, and a role-model for aspiring environmentalists, Angelo's blog is informative, entertaining and inspiring. (There, happy now?)I now tag Angelo to write a real review.