I thought I would post a few of the pictures we took when we went to Saipan this week. We were to inspect the missionary housing and vehicles but we also got a lot of free time to explore the island. We drove from one end to the other and pretty much saw it all. Saipan is a lot cleaner than Guam, less traffic but also less available in the way of shopping. We decided we liked Saipan.
I will just randomly post the pictures and give a short explanation. It will go much faster in posting that way. I take forever to organize them otherwise.
We took a fairly small plane out of Guam headed for Saipan. It was a bit of a drizzily day but we managed to avoid getting wet.
This one is for you Dad. It was our first sight of Saipan. We had flown over Tinian a few minutes earlier but it was not very picturesque.
This is just to show that looks can be so deceiving. From the outside this apartment complex really looked nice. We were very surprised when we entered inside. It left a lot to be desired. I won't post pictures in case the elders ever check out our blog.
This was taken along the pedestrian walkway by the beach. It goes for miles and miles and was really pleasant to just sit and look out at the ocean.
We went to the Northern Mariana Islands Museum. It is full of artifacts showing the cultural heritage of the islands. This model of a Chamorro dwelling answered our questions about the "lattes" that the structure sits on. These were made in two parts - the base and a bowl like structure.
You can find replicas of these all over Guam.
This was taken at the Last Command Post. It was a Japanese lookout built in the side of a hill. We had to climb steps to get up to it. There were remnants of the stands for large guns.
At the base of the hill they had the guns seen in the next picture and some old rusted out Japanese tanks.
This cliff area was called Bonzai Cliff. After the American troups defeated the Japanese and took over Saipan, there were thousands of men and women who leaped to their death from this cliff because of the things they had been told about the Americans. Mothers held onto their children and just ran off the edge. It is a beautiful area but so sad to think of what took place here.
This was an island that we could see off in the distance. There are a lot of tiny, uninhabited islands all over the Marianas. Just look at the color of that water. It was so pretty that you would catch yourself just staring at it at odd times. I never grow tired of the views here.
This was on March 9th. To those of you who are unfamiliar with the significance of that date it was my 60th birthday and this shows where I went for breakfast. There really were not that many choices.
To end I will relate an experience we had while visiting the elders. They had an appointment with two single sisters and so they needed to have a couple go with them. They invited us and I am so glad they did. We met in the most humble of circumstances. Sister Pat lives and works out of the same one room abode. When we arrived she and her investigator friend were preparing a meal in her outdoor kitchen. She showed us into her home and we sat and waited while they finished cooking. She soon brought in a feast. There was enough food for twice as many people as were there. She just kept dishing up spring rolls as the elders would finish. After consuming a lot of food the elders finally were able to show Vee the DVD they had obtained in the ladies native Thai language. We had a discussion after the film had finished. The Spirit in the room was just wonderful. We felt so good about having been there. It probably was the highlight of the whole trip. I hope that we will be able to have more experiences like that.