The Florida skies are clear and the temperature hovers right around 70 degrees. I know I've lived on Saipan too long because I am absolutely freezing. My first day back I wore a ski cap and my jacket. The second day I managed to take off the jacket. I'm just now getting used to the "cold."
I remember Abraham and Dad coming to Massachusetts in 1990 during the summer. Even in June, the lows in Massachusetts can dip into the 60s and 70s. While Alex and I were rejoicing in the thaw, I distinctly remember Abraham and Dad freezing their tooshies off. That must be why Abraham peed in my bed during that visit. Twice.
I'm heading north for a few days after Florida before returning to Saipan. Here's hoping for a heat wave.
My presentation at Rollins College was this afternoon. I was up late last night adding slides to try and fill in the assumptions I can take for granted on Saipan. For example, on Saipan I don't have to explain that Maug consists of the rim of an emergent volcano with a beautiful lagoon that is really an underwater crater. If I give this presentation on this side of the Pacific again, I'll have to add a better picture of Maug.
Other than that I think the presentation went well. I chuckled to myself as I explained the private venture bringing high-end tourists to Midway in Papahanaumokuakea. In Saipan I have to ask people to just trust me that there are people that will pay big bucks to go see some birds and snorkle. Not at Rollins. I could see Dr. Barry Allen's eyes get wide as I described the tour. I imagine he was thinking, "Alright, I'm on sabbatical in two years, I've got some room on the credit card, haven't been to Hawaii in a while...."
One of the questions I was asked was (I'm paraphrasing) "How did you get involved in this?"
I touched on it in my answer, discussing my previous work with MINA and RC&D, but if I could answer again I would say this ball started rolling when we planted that first Beautify CNMI tree on June 19, 2006. We planted four trees that day. The next week we planted 7. Then 11. Then 100. Then 250. Then we branched out into beach cleanups, painting over graffiti, protecting our coral reefs, promoting a system of parks & trails and now we support the idea of a monument.
Anyway, I went to bed late last night, got up in time for the presentation and then went back to bed after I finished. Like I said, I'm sick, tired and cold.
We're about to eat dinner. I'll probably go back to bed afterwards.