Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The first year I was out here, every once in a while I would stop right where I was standing and think back to the last time I stood in that exact place.

I hadn't eaten good chicken kelaguin in 5 years. It had been 11 years since I'd hiked down to Forbidden Island. It had been 19 years since I'd hiked the Banadero Trail.

Some of that novelty is beginning to fade.

Just the fact that I can think that thought tells me that I need a vacation.

On Thursday I will have been here for exactly 18 months. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that I've accomplished a lot in that short amount of time.

I was the starting forward in our EAFF qualifier against Guam. I was also the center referee for the first high school soccer game to ever be played in the Marianas.

I painted the Navy Hill Lighthouse. I planted a lot of trees. I picked up a lot of trash. I even organized a cleanup with over 3000 participants in a single day.

I was on TV. I was in the newspaper. I was on the radio.

I helped create the We Love Saipan Network, where over 100 different Saipan bloggers write on a regular basis about real life in paradise. I've published to The Saipan Blog, the Beautify CNMI blog, and the Unofficial NMIFA blog, among others, on a regular basis. In doing so, I helped change Saipan's online image.

I got arrested for underage drinking and driving. I learned to SCUBA. I even went to my first professional conference (I'd been to one before, but I was being paid $6.10/hour to dress up like Rafiki the baboon from The Lion King).

I was made the Chairman of the Beautify CNMI Restoration Committee. Beautify CNMI won an EPA Environmental Award and was named the Saipan Tribune 2006 Person of the Year. Friends of the Mariana Islands, another group to which I belong, won an USDA Earth Team Group Award. I was even named one of Guam Magazines "35 under 35."

I made new friends. I fell in love. I learned the true definition of having a "big family."

I also stepped on a lot of toes and I pissed a lot of people off with this blog, my sense of humor, and my "go get it" attitude (feel free to insert your own adjective to describe my attitude).

I'm tired; I need a break.

My next post will be from Thailand.


Winter Park Fords said...

Of all your accomplishments, the one that impressed my friends in Costa Rica the most was your playing on the national team. Their eyes would kind of glaze over when I mentioned environmental cleanups and EPA awards, but at the mention of soccer they really took notice.

EJ said...

You've come a long way, you deserve a vacation. I hope you really enjoy time away and reflect on your accomplishments once more and be proud of who you are even more.

Taipan said...

When are you gonna call your brother?

glend558 said...

Angelo Why don't you move the precinct one polls from my post and include them in yours? It won't be totally accrate but will still be a form to use . up to you ...Enjoy your trip...

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I'm just going to leave it the way it is. I've already got 50+ votes, and I don't want to be accused of changing it...which would happen.

I don't know how much blogging I'll get done in the next six weeks. I don't know how easy it will be to get Internet access.

I'll be resorting to the dark ages and I'll be writing in a journal again.

I haven't done that since 2003.

glend558 said...

Thanks for all your help! Have a safe and enjoyable journey, see ya on the flip side...

Hope said...

Are you leaving for good, or just a litle while?

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I'll be back.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Please bring me a pound of Baht as a Souvenir, Angelo.

Have fun and remember your malaria meds when in the jungle.

I bet you will find more internet access than you expect. If you take a good power converter/adapter you can keep your laptop charged anywhere you go and will be able to keep the journal in digital form.

As a traveler, I give you this advice. Take half as many clothes as you think necessary and three times as much money. You'll be happier.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Vizu can't be cheated by using a proxy server. Trust me, I tried with the Best Blogger poll.

The Blogger polls, however, can be corrupted by using a proxy.

In the last hour, this blog has had a large number of proxy visits and a big jump in the number of votes for Precinct 1.


You decide.

To the cheaters I simply have to ask, why?

This is supposed to be a fun poll. Why do you have to cheat?

I'm not gong to make any accusations, but I can assure you it is not Juan Santos, Pedro Sablan, or Ronnie Aguon using the proxy server.

One of the candidates got 8 votes in an hour. Hmmmmmmm.....

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

better make that 12.

Way to screw up a fun poll.


Marianas Eye said...

This may kill you, but I suggest you go on a computer blackout while on your vacation. It will free your mind you like you won't believe. That's what vacations are for -- to get away and do something completely unexpected and impossible. Expect symptoms of withdrawal the first week or two.

Oh, and what happened to the Saturday birthday bash?

Pragmatic Plato said...

"Vizu can't be cheated by using a proxy server."

It appears that the VIZU poll for Precint 1 on Glen's site is pretty much in line with your site so what are you getting at?

Scrap yours and use the VIZU on Glen's blog or are you not happy with those results as well?

Glen's Blog Vizu poll for Precinct 1