30 March 2008

Sigh of Relief

30 March 2008

Managaha Island

The house is a disaster, my clients must hate me, and I'm shy two full nights of precious sleep, but I'm happy to say that Girls Camp is now a thing of the past. It may not have been seamless, but I feel good about how it turned out.

Fortunately, I have the best group of girls in the entire world, and if this camp can, in any way, be considered a success, it's entirely because of those girls. I never heard them complain once, and they were all so anxious to help.

The highlights for me were:

1. Just sitting with the girls while they sang/harmonized and Elisa played the uke, several songs of which I'd never even heard before.

Singing on the ferry back to Saipan

2. Watching them interact with each other. It didn't matter if they were 12 years old or 18 years old, everyone got along beautifully.

3. The testimony meeting. Maybe it's cliche, but it really was my favorite part, and hopefully the girls feel the same. Before camp, I was concerned about how to make Girls Camp a spiritual uplift. I know that's kind of the point, but I didn't want it to be forced or contrived so I tried to keep it simple. Our theme was "Like the Stars" so we designed several tea light star lanterns and arranged them and ourselves in a large circle on the beach (no bon fires allowed). Then, before the testimonies, we all just laid back on the sand under the huge expanse of stars and sky and listened to the ocean waves and a few songs from the Jenny Phillip's CD, Steadfast and Immovable.

Another highlight that the girls are still talking about was our extremely successful "snipe hunt". As you may know, snipes are attracted to toothpaste so each of the girls had to put toothpaste on their face, while the snipes (large, violent birds) made obnoxious noises and threw rocks at us.

I also enjoyed watching them do all of the cool things that you can only do on an island (and certainly not in Idaho), like...
...find bright blue starfish...


...play in the ocean...

...play beach volleyball...

...bury yourself in the sand...
...check out exotic sea life (you can't see it in this shot, but they were looking at a poisonous sea cucumber)...

...sit on the dock and watch black tip sharks swim beneathe you (4 to be exact)...

...break open coconuts and drink the milk...

...climb coconut trees...

...wash your dishes on the beach...
...and wake up to this!...
All in all, it was a pretty cool experience. No camp experience would be complete, however, without a little bit of drama. Ours came in the form of pouring down rain, both mornings. Lucky me, I was sleeping in Eric's tiny hiker's tent and, genius that I am, I forgot to bring a blanket and pillow. I used my towel as a pillow, and I was fine without a blanket the first night; in fact, I was hot, but the 2nd night I rolled into a puddle and had to sleep in wet clothes with nothing but a damp towel as a blanket. After a while, I couldn't take it any more so I squirmed into some dry clothes (which isn't easy to do in a compact tent that's maybe 3' high at the highest point and only about as wide as I am if you take the puddle into account). Then, I blanketed myself with about 4 articles of dry clothing. I'm guessing I looked a little silly, but at least I managed to warm up and fall asleep after that.
Now I get to go snuggle up in a nice soft bed and sleep peacefully.

23 March 2008

Mt. Tapochau

23 March 2008

King Fisher Golf Course

Quick trip to Tinian

On Tuesday, the four of us decided to hop on the ferry to Tinian. Tinian is in the middle of the 3 main Mariana Islands, just south of Saipan, and has a lot of WWII history.

Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino


Tinian Blow Hole

This is the spot where the "Fat Man" (and nearby "Little Boy") atomic bombs were loaded onto the Enola Gay.

House of Taga

Taga Beach, Tinian

How is our form?

Snorkeling with Ma & Pa Nellie

Just for a laugh.

Mary getting attacked by a killer starfish.

Some fishies we saw snorkeling on Managaha and Tinian