I owe Deb Fleming a huge thanks for helping us set up meetings about the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Monument in Tinian. Here we are posing with Ike Cabrera and Dr. John Salas from the University of Guam.
Deb did all of the organizing for the meetings. She provided all of the sound equipment, organized all the people of Tinian to come to the meetings, and gave me as much fresh fish kelaguan as I could handle.
This morning after breakfast and an informal recap of the previous night's meeting, John, Laurie, and I went on a self guided tour of Tinian. Our first stop was Suicide Cliff.
I had a visitor to Saipan recently who thought the sign in Marpi that pointed to Suicide Cliff was funny. I guess I can see the humor in that. You know what's even funnier? The sign in Tinian that reads, "Welcome to Suicide Cliff."
Right, I know the history. Terrible things happened here, but...
Okay, I'll stop.
The Tinian Mayor has done a bang up job (or is it Tinian MVA?) of creating sidewalks and such around the tourist areas. Suicide Cliff was no exception.
The view was amazing. I'm not completely sure, but I had a sense that the ocean was bluer in Tinian, especially between Tinian and Goat Island.
Our tour then took us to the Tinian Shrine, which I think is properly called Ten-something Jinja (that first character is ten-). Any help with the proper name would be appreciated. The name is on this lantern:
Back in the day (was it really almost three years ago?), I used to visit a shrine in Toyama-ken. The lion at the Tinian shrine reminded of the lion in Toyama.
Now is it just me, or does this lion look like Oreo?
Anyway, I should get some lion statues to guard my house. That would be cool.
I think I saw a Tinian Monarch at the shrine. Any bird people out there want to confirm my sighting?
From there we drove over towards the end of the island leased by the media. Our first stop was Long Beach, where I saw this cool sign reminding people not to drive on the beach.
One of the things I talk about when I talk to students about conservation is using culturally appropriate conservation techniques. One example I use is a story one of my professors used to tell when I was in college. His story has some applicability to our islands.
So let me tell his story by asking a question.
In Jamaica, when officials put up a sign that reads "NO FISHING," what does a Jamaican fiserman see? Simple. He sees a sign that says "GOOD FISHING."
Long Beach overlooks Saipan. Cool.
Our next stop was Unai Chiget, which was recently fenced off by the US Military because of live ordnances in the area from World War II.
Live ordnances? Military fence?
People just cut a hole in the fence.
This was my first time visiting this beach (I think). Again, pretty cool. It is hard for my limited vocabulary to describe it, but there was sort of a reef flat or cove, which led out to the ocean or something. It reminded me of one of the islands from Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, but if said which one, I'd truly be a dork, so I won't.
This post is starting to get a little long, so I'll just finish up with a picture of me posing next to one of the House of Taga latte stones.
Next stop: Rota!!!