I had no idea there was more than one latte stone (sounds like an Irish guy saying laddy, not the coffee drink) site at Obyan Beach. It is right next to the small path that divers use to get to the entry point on the East part of the beach. I must have walked by it a hundred times.
Even if I had decided to walk through that part of the jungle, I probably (OK definately) wouldn't have recongized these big rocks as latte stones.
A group of Northern Marianas College students taking a Northern Marianas History class came up with the idea to restore the East Obyan Latte Site. They coordinated with Beautify CNMI and the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) to make it happen. HPO got the proper permits from the Division of Fish & Wildlife and led the restoration.
The students filmed the day's activities and are planning to put together a small documentary of the site and the restoration. They asked all of us a few questions. We were all asked, "what are latte stones, how were they used, and why is it important to protect them?"
Some of the others gave much more thoughtful answers than I. Marites said that they are a symbol of the people of the CNMI and John talked about how they are one of the few physical links the Chamorro people have to their past.
I wish I was that smart. I just said that they are limestone rocks used as the foundation for ancient Chamorro houses.
Oh, well. I'll try to be profound next time.
The students are going to upload the video to Youtube when it is finished. I'll add a link when it is up.
I really enjoyed doing this restoration. Our weekly beach and road cleanups are important (but would be unnecessary if people would stop littering or if the government started enforcing our litter laws), but it is much more satisfying to plant a tree or to improve on a long forgetten tourist or historical site.
Plus, swinging a machete is always fun.
I told the HPO people that we would love to help them with more projects like this. I hope they take us up on our offer.
I'll post more pictures later.
I'm putting an end to anonymous comments on this blog. I'm getting tired of all the SPAM.
I have two soccer games today; three if we make it to the finals.
We play Inter at 1:45 and we play the Guam Team at 3:15. Both games are only 35 minutes long and take place at Ada Field in Susupe. If we win our pool, we will play in the finals at 5:45.
Although I can't offer you hot dogs and beer today, come out and support us!
Congrats, Harry, for being named Saipan's Best Blog.
Now that the contest is over I have restored everyone's links in my sidebar, with a slight change. I have created a new category called "Saipan Blogger Recommended Saipan Bloggers." I link to EJ, Jeff, and the oversenstive writers over at Middle Road.
In my opinion, those are the three best blogs currently being published in the CNMI (excluding The Saipan Blog - Saipan, CNMI's most popular blog since ever since, of course).
Jeff and the Writers both have blogs with pleasant, uncluttered templates and the content of both blogs always makes for a good read and, more often than not, a good laugh.
Both blogs can be controversial, as evidenced by Richard Pierce hunting down Jeff early Thursday morning and by the number of comments generated every time the Writers mention my name.
EJ's blog is a different type of blog. It is not controversial, it is not that well written, and the pictures aren't really that great.
Even so, it is the funniest blog written in the CNMI...and she's hot.