Jun 19, 2007

Summer in Saipan

It is summer in Saipan! Unfortunately (but also fortunately--it's a six of one, half dozen of the other), I only spend maybe a week and a half of my summer in Saipan, so I haven't experienced the pleasures of summer vacation in Saipan since 1999. Still, despite a schedule so busy that I never really had a chance to watch TV or movies or even go on the internet, I was still able to find some time for some summer fun.
On the Friday afternoon before I came to the States, Babs and I took Kimo swimming at the beach near our house. Now the beach near Pacific Islands Club, about two minutes from our house is not the nicest beach on Saipan--I consider it the equivalent of the uncharismatic Gallows Bay in St. Croix--but it is close and convenient.
Anyway we'd taken Kimo swimming once before maybe a year ago and she did NOT like at all. She would pull on the leash, try to get out of the water, and whenever she would come toward us she'd do anything to avoid having to swim, including trying to walk on her hind legs and splashing frantically with her front legs to try to keep from having to swim, and then she'd leap into Barbara's lap, trembling and scared and usually scraching Babs in the process.
Well this time she did a lot better. First of all, we coaxed her into the water slowly; let her walk around in the shallows till she felt more comfortable. There was some pulling on the leash and "hint dropping" that we should go towards land, but much of the time she was willing to risk coming out towards Barbara especially if she could keep walkng on all fours. As she got acclimatized she started getting more comfortable and even seemed to enjoy the water. Eventually, she even got pretty comfortable swimming, if she had a goal to swim towards (like Babs). We're very proud of her and Babs is eager for more swimming lessons (She took Kimo out again the day before I left and she says Kimo did even better!)
Below some pictures from early in Kimo's swimming lesson (when she got better at it, I was out in the water and couldn't go get the camera lest we disrupt her progress).

"Fabs n' Babs"

A shot looking back from the beach. That's our silver CRV parked near the coconut palm.
Babs and Kimo in the water.
On Sunday, June 10, 2 days before we left we had dinner with Carol and the Paez tribe to celebrate Keisha's graduation from high school. We ate at the Magic Lamp, a Mediterranean restaurant owned by Linda Stephanian, the mother of one our former students. She is an Armenian born and raised in Iraq and is the most amazing cook. We always said she should open a restuarant and so she did! The Magic Lamp has amazing Middle Eastern food and the most diverse vegetarian menu on the island.

That's Carol and Keisha in the center. Note the beautiful Middle Eastern decor and the low tables.


Mr. Graves said...

Maybe you could buy Kimo some of those arm floaty things. They might help her feel more comfortable in the water.

I liked your pics. I was nice seeing the old beach again. Talk to you tomorrow.

Sean said...

LOL! Yeah, water wings. . .

Bev said...

love the pictures of kimo and barbara=) Hope your enjoying your vacation. Would you believe I still haven't eaten at the Magic Lamp yet?! We should plan a dinner thing when you guys and Mai gets back. Ciao