Nov 2, 2007

October Overview

Okay, get ready for the Sears catalog of blogs. This thing is HUGE and very pic heavy. It's as full as the month of October has been. It was a very busy month and as you scroll endlessly down the page, you'll see why.

October 1-5, Week of Prayer

The kids sit listening attentively as Pastor speaks and. . .

. . .leap to life during song service.

"M" breaks it down from the Word. Almost looks like he's preaching doesn't it, rather than simply reading the Scripture.

Actually, there was very little preaching and a lot of praying during our fall of week of prayer. Pastor Eliki decided to focus on actual prayer, and so every morning after a brief thought from Pastor, we'd divide the school by class and meet together to pray. My favorite memory was on Thursday when we prayed "popcorn" style, with the kids in grades 7-10. Their prayers were so spontaneous, authentic, and faith-filled. It's funny, because I don't recall being particularly spiritual when I was their age, yet they never fail to move me with their storied "faith of a child."

Jessica Lee's Birthday, October 14 (I think)

Jessica celebrates her birthday with a new skateboard!

I believe our ESL and Bible teacher, Jessica Lee's birthday was on the 14th but I'm not sure because her birthday was more like a "season" than a specific one-time celebration, with several birthday moments throughout the weekend. The picture above was taken at her birthday dinner at the SM's apartment on Friday, October 12.

On Sunday, October 14, we finally began our confined water dive classes, with a full day in the water at Sugar Dock. It didn't really "all come back to me" despite my previous certification in Chuuk, but it did come fairly easily and I found I was able to accomplish all of my required skills without too much difficulty. I find that diving seems to heightens all aspects of sensory experience and bodily function. I don't know what it is about it, but I find during and after diving everything my body does feels more richer and more intense, from breathing (of course) to hunger to, yes, even going to the bathroom! (yikes!)

One of our dive instructors, Dennis Chapla.

Here I am with my dive belt on and my scuba gear ready to go!

Divers Before

Divers After: Here we are, newly baptized, after our first time in the water on scuba.

After our first day of diving, Jessica, Judith, Mai and me headed over to Big Dipper to celebrate our accomplishments and the ongoing Jessica Birthday Season. I didn't have a dry shirt, as the one I'd planned to use after diving got soaked by a passing rain shower, so I fashioned a rather flamboyant "shirt" (or really let's be honest, blouse) out of Barbara's favorite pink beach towel.

Jessica celebrates the big Two One by indulging in some ice cream.

10th Grade Field Trip to Tinian, October 16, 2007

Our transportation. Imagine getting into your car, driving really, really fast and then slowly lifting off into the air. That's what riding in a plane of this size is like. Many people find it very frightening--after all you feel every bump and sway--but I found it exhilarating.

On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 I took my 10th grade literature class to Tinian to visit historic North Field and the site of the atomic bomb pits. The Enola Gay,as well as Boxcar, took off on their respective atomic missions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan from the airfield in Tinian in 1945. The student's had just finished reading Hiroshima, John Hersey's riveting account of six survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, and I thought that this trip would provide a unique glimpse of this historic event from the American perspective. Historic Preservation officer Carmen Sanchez took us on an informative and insightful tour of the key sites, and went the extra mile by dropping us off at a good restaurant for lunch and then taking us back to the airport (after a detour at the ferry dock. We had planned to fly over and float back, but Coast Guard restrictions require all ferry passengers to have ID with them and one of our students didn't bring any ID so we were forced to fly back).

Here we are in-flight. That's "The Vice President" in the co-pilot's seat, "The Treasurer" in the back. Our pilot just happens to be a Seventh-day Adventist who's been assigned to fly in Saipan for a month or so.

Some views of Saipan from the air. That's Lau Lau bay above, and the southern end of the island, where we live and work below.

Tinian's North Field from the air. During the tail end of World War II this was the busiest airport in the world, with planes taking off constantly on bombing runs to Japan. Now it is unused, with the modern Tinian airport decidely more sleepy and located further south.

"Violet", "The Treasurer" and "The Vice President" pose in one of the old Japanese bomb shelters on Tinian.

The atomic bomb pit for "Fat Man",the A-bomb dropped on Nagasaki

Here I am posing with a full-scale replica of "Little Boy", the bomb that leveled Hiroshima. The bomb seems pretty big, but when you think about the amount of destruction caused by this one object, it's seems "Little" indeed. Below is a shot of the replicas of both bombs. They were located, strangely, in an out-of-the way empty lot behind the employee's barracks for Tinians single modern attraction, the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino. Carmen says they were put there instead of at the historic sites because they were painted the wrong colors. And they do look awfully cheerful for being weapons of mass destruction.

The flight back. This time, I got to sit in the co-pilot's seat!

Here we are just before take off. They keep the door open until right before take-off as the plane has no air conditioning and would get very hot in the cabin while taxiing on the tarmac.

Spirit Week, October 15-19, 2007

Our annual Spirit Week was lots of fun, as always. Unfortunately, I didn't participate personally this year very much as I had field trips on two of the days and didn't think of a good costume until it was too late on a third.

The winner on Monday, Bad Hair and Pajamas Day

Tuesday was Cartoon and Superhero day. The winner for that day was the girl dressed like Mickey Mouse on Mai's right.

"Violet" and Judith represent peace and love Sixties style on Wednesday, "Decades Day"

This young fifties guy was the winner of Decades Day

This is Thursday's winner, in a gorgeous cultural outfit, on "Dress up Day"

Olympic Game Day (Part 1), Friday, October 19

Once again I was in charge of the Gray Team for our annual game day--which this day stretched over two days, with the team games on Friday, and the track and field events the following Thursday afternoon. The Grays didn't win this year, but we did place third!

Giving it the Gray Gusto, we pull for our team in tug of war.

Team games on the field. I love this picture because of the fellow in the white's dramatic pose during the skittle-carrying game.

Olympic Game Day (Part 2), Thursday, October 25

The 100 yard dash.

That's me taking a turn at the hurdles (I lost to one of my 8th graders), and, below, using the bullhorn at the starting line. I loved talking into that thing! Probably a lot more than people enjoyed hearing me.

Check out how far these boys hurled their frisbees during the frisbee throw. All the way across the field and then across the street!

One of my 9th grade boys during the jump rope contest.

Kagman Evangelistic Series, October 20 thru the end of the month

Under the big tent.

This was the event that by far took up the most time during the month of October. Every night from 5:30 to 9 or 9:30, by the time you took into account travel time. It was so big that it deserves it's own entry, which will be coming up next.

With so much to do this month, some things, like cleaning up the kitchen, fell by the wayside. Barbara made a vegetarian dish for the attendees to sample almost every night, but there wasn't much time to clean up and still get enough sleep to make it through the next day. So eventually, the kitchen devolved to this:

I find, however, that neatness really soothes my soul, and so I knew that we would have to have a haven from all the chaos that's engulfed our house for these past few weeks. So the Friday before the evangelistic meetings began, I took some time to clean up our bedroom, so that when we came home exhausted from a very long day, this was the sight that welcomed us:

And with that, October is Over!


Mai said...

Great overview, Sean! I loved reading about it from your point of view. It was a pretty crazy month, but it was pretty fun! Now that it's over.....November is looking pretty full, too! Oh, and I'm glad you liked talking into the bull horn thing....if it wasn't you, it would've been me, so I was very grateful for your help!

Mr. Graves said...

When I logged onto your blog this morning, I was pleasantly suprised. Great pics. I like the one of you post scuba diving. Very cool. Sounds like you had a great October. Praying for ya.

Bev said...

Holy cow! October was a crazy month for you! can't wait to dive and do the turkey trot with you guys!=)

Aya said...

remember when we wanted to go to rota or tinian for a "9th grade trip" ? I wish we did it our year! I'm glad you finally go to take your class out there though! I really really miss all of it though, and especially being your student! I'll be emailing you when I can to let you know what's been going on too! Take care...and btw, great layout =)