Monday, June 30, 2008


Jet Lag

It's good to be home.  Catie and Tiana are so happy to see each other that most of the time they play happily together.  Kevin and Catie are having a having a hard time with jet lag, and spend most of the day sleeping.  They should be back to normal in a day or so.  I knew Catie was really tired when she turned down an offer to see Walle last night with Alex, T and Kevin.

While they were at the movies I drove to Sandra's in the rain to pick up Jojo.  The storm had knocked out the lights on SR 436 which made driving a little scary.  The minute Jo saw me he ran outside and sat by the car - so much for loyalty to Sandra for taking care of him for a month!   

It has rained every day since we've been back, with torrential storms in the afternoon.  I got caught at Publix in a downpour today and had to borrow a bagger's rain poncho to make a run for my car without getting  drenched.

Tomorrow I'll start to pack for Costa Rica, where it's cold and rainy up in the mountains this time of year.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Then and Now

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Dankolo na si yu'us ma'ase'!

Thank you, Angelo, and all our family and friends for the wonderful time that we had during our month in Saipan. Come and visit us in either Orlando, Florida or Monteverde, Costa Rica!


This One's for Herman

Dear Herm,

One of the highlights of my trip to Saipan was meeting you, the grandson and namesake of my friend Herman Kiyu. Like him, you are kind and loving and your beautiful daughter Leah is so lucky to have you as her dad.  Jim, Alex, Kevin and Catie and I are looking forward to welcoming your family to either Orlando or Monteverde, Costa Rica!

Love, Auntie Donna


Happy Birthday Alex!

We made it home in time for Alex's 27th birthday today!  Happy Birthday Alex!!

Last night we went out to dinner at Houston's to celebrate.  We went out pretty late, as we weren't tired because Kevin and Catie and I were still on Saipan time, so in our brains it was 11 a.m., not 9 p.m.

The trip home was uneventful, and although there was very little time between our connections all our luggage made it home with us.  I slept most of the way from Nagoya to Detroit (thank you Ambien!) and Kevin and Catie watched a coupled of movies and then slept the rest of the way.

Our month in Saipan passed much too quickly and we already miss Angelo.  We watched most of the videos last night with Alex, and he said that he regretted not coming with us.  Next time we'll all come!

Jim was pretty busy while we were gone, and painted the interior of the house.  I described the colors I wanted over the phone and he picked them out.  It looks perfect.  I'll take some pictures once all the luggage gets put away.

We leave for Costa Rica on July 8th;  Alex is coming for two weeks and Tiana is coming for a month.  


Catie Has Her Own Blog!

Check it out at !

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Super Dog!

Oreo helped out at the cleanup at Angelo's house in Fina Sisu this weekend.  This is the after picture.



Wave Jungle



Old Man by the Sea

Earlier this week we went to Old Man by the Sea, a remote beach on Saipan's east coast.  We met at my nephew Norman's family's farm in Talafofo, and hiked down to the beach in the pouring rain.  The kids had a blast swimming and catching fish with their hands, which they then put in tidal pools to create their own mini aquarium.   Six of Norman's seven children were with us, four of Cindy's, Michael's three and my two made for a fun afternoon at the beach. Kevin and Catie are going to miss all their new cousins and nieces and nephews.

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We went to watch Angelo play soccer yesterday afternoon after Wave Jungle, and Kevin and Cindy's boys ran off to explore the WWII era Japanese bunkers next to the field.  Kevin gashed his leg when he slid down the side of the bunker and fell off.  Luckily, he had his first aid kit in our car and was able to patch himself up pretty quickly. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008



Catie had a lot of fun with my godson Diego's three youngest daughters.  They went with us to Wave Jungle yesterday, and then joined us at Angelo's soccer game.  Catie and Nala were both wearing the same shirt - pretty amazing when you consider that Catie got her shirt in Orlando and Nala got hers in Saipan, and both shirt were made in El Salvador.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Catie's New Best Friend

Catie's new best friend on Saipan is Olympia, pictured above.  She is the granddaughter of my friend Julie, who is Ramon's first cousin.

Catie can't wait to go to the Novena every night so that she and Olympia can hang out.  We're supposed to go to Olympia's Nana's house today so they can play before the Novena.   Kevin is expexted at the Kiyu compound to help out with killing the pig for tonight's party.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Last Week's Activites

We've been very busy since we arrived.  Almost every day we go to a different beach, and there's normally an evening activity.  For the last week we've been attending a family novena every night. This is a Chamorro custom honoring a saint and the family gathers every night for nine nights to pray together, and then eat and socialize.  Kevin and Catie have met some new friends at the novena, and can't wait to go every night.  The final night is Tuesday, and they'll be disappointed when we have to find something else to do in the evening!

We toured more of the island last week, and climbed Mount Tapotchou, the highest point on the island.  Luckily it's not much of a climb from the parking lot! Next weekend we're going on a hike to see a B-29 plane that's still in the jungle on Topotchou.  Rotary Club had a special father's day luncheon last week, and Kevin met a visiting General from Guam.


Happy Father's Day

Alex and Angelo's Uncle Jesus (Tan Chung, first of the left above) invited us to his house for a Father's Day celebration today.   In the photo above are Ramon's brothers and sisters Jesus, Ralph, Merced, Cecilia, Connie and Father Jose.  Juan had already gone home when we started taking the formal photos.  The top picture is all the inlaws and outlaws.  It was wonderful to see everyone.


Monday, June 09, 2008


Kev Made Both Papers Today!

Kev made the front page of both Saipan papers today!  The Marianas Variety - - and the Saipan Tribune - !   In the Saipan Trubune he's in the background putting a mwar on Orea.  In the Marianas Variety he's posing with all the other winners in the Saipan Dog Show.  Go Kev!

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Sunday, June 08, 2008


Barbeque on the Beach

Angelo's friends arranged a barbeque on the beach in front of the hotel where we are staying yesterday afternoon.  We went down to the beach around 4 pm, and stayed until well after dark.  Angelo's cousin Ike Cabrera and his wife Alicia came, and his godmother Frances Borja.



Fina Sisu House Cleanup

Sunday morning Angelo and his team of volunteers met at my old old house in Fina Sisu at 8 a.m. to clean up the yard.   We worked for about 4 hours, cutting tangantangan, some of which was about 4 inches in diameter, weeds and overgrown flowers.  Kevin and Jim and were pretty amazing wielding machetes, and I assigned myself the task of dragging the trees they chopped down to the chipper.

You can see the progress we made in the first two photos;  the last photo is the "before" picture.  The jeep in the bottom photo belongs to Angelo's Uncle John, and is from WWII.  Amazingly, it still runs.

The house needs a lot of work;  the electrical wires and plumbing were ripped out, as well as all the air conditioners and appliances.  The concrete is crumbling in parts, and most of the wood has been damaged by termites.   The roof looks solid, and the foundation seems strong.


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