Monday, April 30, 2007

26 Hours in Tinian

Angelo and DianaAbout a month ago I got a call from Lawrence asking me if I would participate in an environmental forum on Tinian. How could I say no?

The forum was this past Friday. I went over on the 9:30 AM ferry with my co-presenter Greg Moretti from Division of Fish & Wildlife. As a matter of pure coincidence, Diana, Deanna, and Tony were also on the ferry.

They were going over some swimming and some gambling. We made plans to meet up when I was finished with work.

Lawrence picked up Greg and me at the Tinian dock. The people on Tinian are so friendly! We had to wait about three minutes for Law to pick us up and in that short time at least six different people offered to give us a ride.

Law is on the RC&D Board and works at NMC Tinian. Friday was the NMC CREES open house, so in addition to the environmental forum, they had some of their projects on display.

One of the projects was a dry litter management system for pigs. This system conserves water and can protect drinking water supplies. I'm not going to explain how...that's Law's job.

NMC CREES Tinian PigI think we need another picture of the pig:

Beleive it or not, Greg spent more time playing with the pig than the kids did.

During lunch I noticed something in the distance that looked like a Shinto shrine.

Hmmmm....something seems familiar about this place.

Check out this picture.

That's right, I was here about 25ish years ago with my Mom and Dad. Weird.

It's actually not a Shinto Shrine, it is a Korean Peace Memorial. It was built in 1977 by Reverend Young Shik Rhee to honor the many Koreans who lost their lives in Tinian during World War II.

The forum itself started around 1 PM and lasted until about 3:30 PM. Teny Topalian, Greg, Dr. Arkle, and James Mendiola from Rep. Aldan's Office presented before me. When it was my turn, I talked about my project with Marianas RC&D and subjected them to the Beautify CNMI! "Year in Review" video.

Here are Greg and Teny during their presentations:

Teny TopalianGreg MorettiSome people want to create Tinian's first Marine Protected Area. We were all there to offer our suggestions as to how to make this possible. My two cents was that we need to work together and I hope I offered some insights on how to do that.

That's everyone posing after the forum.

When we were finished we went to the Tinian Dynasty to check into our rooms. I found Diana and Co. hanging out in the lobby. They they had been swimming all day, so I let them use my room to freshen up.

While we waited for EJ to show up we went down to the front of the casino to take some pictures. That shiny reflection picture is pretty cool, huh?

When EJ arrived we all went to eat at Fleming's, where I was carded not once, but twice!

The second lady seemed pretty confused as to why we were taking a picture. Man, it has been a while since I've been carded!

Dinner was pretty good. I had the yakisoba. If you ever visit Tinian, I highly recommend eating at Fleming's over the Casino restaurants.

After dinner, it was time to gamble. You're not allowed to bring a camera into the casino, so I don't have any pictures.

To make a long story short, I was down $300 at one point, but I came back and went home a winner.

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