Tag Archives: Saipan

It’s MLK Day in the Marianas! Who you gonna call? The Jamaican on Saipan!

1. “Marianas Stories” host, Catherine, had to re-upload the MLK interview video for technical reasons. Please like/love/share/comment again at the new link location! Thanks!

NEW LINK LOCATION ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/670humanities/videos/473130970051332/
MLK Day special! Catherine Perry of the Northern Marianas Humanties Council asked me to share a few of my thoughts about civil rights, human rights, my travel experiences, life in America and life in the CNMI from a non-American, Jamaican on Saipan’s perspective on Martin Luther King Jr day in the US and its relevance to life in the CNMI! Watch and share on Facebook:

"Marianas Stories" with Walt Goodridge

"Marianas Stories" on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day features Walt Goodridge and a discussion on civil rights in our nation and our community.

Posted by Northern Marianas Humanities Council on Sunday, January 19, 2020

2. Here is the same “Marianas Stories” interview on Youtube for easy sharing

3.I may now have become the de-facto “go to guy” for things MLK!
Here’s ANOTHER MLK Day piece with KSPN-2 TV News reporter, Sally Limes features my thoughts on MLK Day in the Marianas:

p.s.

If you’re curious about news on Saipan in general, here’s the full 30 minute news broadcast for that day:

 

Walt F.J. Goodridge!

 

The Maasdam 24 see Saipan in a Day

[Photographs by Ferdinand “Ding” Ramos]

“It was a dark and stormy night…” Oops, wrong opening line. (Sorry, Snoopy.)  Ahem. It was a bright and sunny day,  and the Holland America cruise ship, Maasdam, was scheduleed to dock at the port on the island of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on Sunday, Sept 8, 2019.

As an island consultant, I’m occasionally asked to provide information on the islands to visitors.

This time, my photographer, Ding, and I showed up at 7am to be sure that THIS time, the ship would, indeed, dock. (Yeah, that’s a whole other story for another time!)

Maasdam at the dock. Check.

With that little detail confirmed, we headed back to the airport to pick up the vans for our arriving guests.

Invited guest guides for a day, Robert Hunter, and Gary Liddle and I discuss logistics.

While awaiting the paperwork, world renown author, ethnographer, oral historian and “birder,”  Rlene Santos Steffy, arrives from Guam. I had the pleasure of meeting Rlene on Guam during my recent Guam Writers Workshop Learn more at : http://guamwriters.com/

Gary, Rlene, Robert and I chat while we wait

The paperwork is completed, vans are assigned, drivers are briefed, microphones are checked, signs are posted in the windshields….time for a convoy!

“Pig Pen this here’s the rubber duck And I’m about to put the hammer down.” (10 points if you know that reference!)

Once at the dock, guests begin exiting the ship after passing through US Customs, and we load up the vans. Two of my guests, Lorrin and Nina Lee, are on a three month tour (see Lorrinlee.com), and were the first of my guests to sign up way back in March!

Finally, we meet! (See www.LorrinLee.com)

We head out to our first stop: American Memorial Park.

 

First stop, American Memorial Park…Welcome! Introductions….and the strict rules of my tour! (You’ll have to sign up to discover just what those rules are!)
Watching “An Island Called Saipan” at American Memorial Park

 

Post-documentary debriefing and preparing for day’s tour

 

Robert Hunter, Director of DCCA (Department of Community & Cultural Affairs) shares facts and triva about wartime Saipan

 

Pointing to the Court of Honor (currently under construction)
Visiting the Chamorro & Carolinian memorial
Yeah we got a little ol’ convoy Ain’t she a beautiful sight
At the Carolinian Cultural Center

 

Robert gives background on boat building and celestial navigation
At the boat house, one of DCCA’s projects

 

At Ladder Beach

 

 

As Lito Airfield
What on earth is everyone staring at???

Answer: One of the largest war time structures on the island: the Bomb Magazine at As Lito airfield.

Inside the Bomb Magazine
The sad, yet beautiful Banzai Cliff

 

Gary holds court at Suicide Cliff

 

Looking down at the suicide leap from another vantage point

Then we went In Search of Amelia Earhart

The Old Japanese Jail
Going back in time through the corridor of the jail in search of Amelia Earthart
Read more about Amelia on Saipan here: http://www.discoversaipan.com/amelia

By this time, the “Saipan in a Day” adventure is officially ended. Robert and Gary have departed and taken our visitors back to the dock, However, a smaller group of WWII buffs are treated to a special private collection of relics and artifacts from the Japanese era and Battle of Saipan.

a unique collection
Guests enjoy interacting with the pieces
Explaining the uniqueness of this particular relic

 

The Maasdam WWII History buffs on Saipan

 

We say our goodbyes!


“What’s that?  Yes, you can definitely write a TripAdvisor Review! I’d be honored and it would help a lot! Thanks for asking!”

Maasdam departs Saipan

“As the sun sank slowly over the horizon…” Oops, sorry, wrong epilogue…Wait! That one fits! As the sun sank slowly over the Saipan horizon, Maasdam pulled away from the dock, and sailed off into the sunset on its way to Guam!

“We’ll catch you on the flip flop
This here’s the Rubber Duck on the side
We gone – Bye Bye!”

Thanks to everyone who made this tour special and run smoothly!

Don’t miss out on my videos on Youtube!

Auto-subscribe to Youtube Channel

Subscribe to the blog and receive an alert when I post again!

Hanging around Saipan in 2019

Hope you don’t mind. I’m just testing out my “autopost” plug-in on my Jamaican in China blog. Through this feature, I can post to my blog (as I’m doing now), and it automatically posts to one or more of my Facebook pages. (So, if you’re reading this in your Facebook feed, that should mean it worked!) I’ll just share a few shots taken around Saipan recently!


Fellow author Lindsay, the ladies of Healing Stone, and me!


John Castro and me while, Satawal canoe maker toils in background


Konstantin from Ukraine takes a shot of Forbidden Island


Eber and Jay from the US mainland explore Fabian Indalecio’s unique Battle of Saipan/WWII relic collection


Fabian educates visitors to the island


Where on earth are you likely to see a convoy of pink Mustangs??? If you answered “Saipan,” you’d be correct! (the road to Banzai Cliff)


It was exceptionally clear day last weekend, and you could see the outline of Farallon de Medinilla from Suicide Cliff at the north end of the island! Can you see it?

Just a few shots of my life on Saipan! Enjoy the update!

UPDATE 1: Oh, speaking of updates, did I mention I turned down a book deal recently? Why, you ask? Well, the publisher made the fatal mistake of….. Read the full story here in either of Saipan’s newspapers:

http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/editorials/113104-feature-little-flights-of-fancy

https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/your-little-flights-of-fancy/

UPDATE 2: Here’s the latest video in the DiscoverSaipan “Garment Factory Era” series: Scenes from the Floor!

 

Saipan: the history, the mystery, the culture and the cuisine!

One of the great things about my life on Saipan is the broad cross section of unique personalities I have a chance to meet and spend time with!

Earlier this year, Michelle and John got to experience Saipan’s history with a ride in an actual WWII jeep courtesy of local resident, Juan Villagomez. John’s father worked on the Manhattan Project during the war, so he wanted to get up close and personal with Saipan’s and Tinian’s history!

Michelle, John, Juan and Luise Villagomez, Alexandra (front), and me!

I also had a chance to hang out recently with Konstantin Symonenko from Ukraine….


Konstantin discovers the mystery of Forbidden Island

Konstantin, among other accomplishments, has the distinction of being the first Ukrainian to have visited all the countries in the world! It’s an accomplishment that was verified and documented as blogged about on his http://konstantin.travel  website:

 

“Today the representative of the National Registry of Records of Ukraine directly on Easter Island, handed me a diploma as the first Ukrainian to visit all the countries in the world.

Konstantin got to experience Saipan’s culture with a visit to the DCCA boat house to watch a canoe being constructed…


With John Castro at the boat house

John and me….A Sattawal navigator works in the background

Another guest, Neal P., has visited 297 of the 327 destinations recognized by The Traveler’s Century Club (TCC)! Saipan was his 298th and he’ll hit 300 soon and be part of the Diamond club! Congrats, Neal!

Neal got to experience authentic Chamorro and island style cuisine at JC Cafe on Tinian…

 

at the Street Market on Saipan….


Red rice at the Street Market

…and at Twenty-Two Rams (Owners of the restaurant are brother Michael Salas and cousin Ed Cepeda.)

Lunch at Twenty-Two Rams. Located in the CDA complex in Oleai at the old Boka Boka restaurant location.

Delgadina Matagolai, Manning Salas, and Mom Sophia M. Salas.  (Michael and Ed not shown) “Thanks for stopping by our family restaurant!”--Manning

Stay tuned for more!

Don’t miss out on my videos on Youtube!

Auto-subscribe to Youtube Channel

Subscribe to the blog and receive an alert when I post again!

Pole Cats and Window Kings!

(Caught your attention, didn’t it?) Another brief photo installment in the “This man has got entirely too much time on his hands” file for those who said they haven’t heard from the Jamaican in China (and on Saipan) in a while!

Here on Saipan, I’ve discovered a new genus and family of mammal I’ve christened the Marianas pole cat.


Wandering kitten seeks refuge in a post-typhoon, not-yet-erected  concrete pole in the village of Susupe

 


Mariana Kingfisher poses regally on window sill


Seconds before takeoff!

Stay tuned for more real posts soon!–W

Don’t miss out on my Jamaican in China videos on Youtube!

Auto-subscribe to Youtube Channel

Subscribe to the blog and receive an alert when I post again!

 

 

Remembering Saipan’s Garment Factory Era–from my personal files

The Garment Factory Era on Saipan lasted from Oct 14, 1983 to Jan 15, 2009. It employed approximately 20,000 workers and brought in revenues of close to 1 billion dollars in taxes and fees.

I’m  about to upload a series of Youtube videos with some of my personal pics and videos of remembrances of what life was like on the island at that time–including times spent hanging out with the factory girls (and guys) from when I arrived on Saipan in 2006 to the last closure, and beyond!

And if you weren’t aware, I wrote a book about that era (Chicken Feathers & Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan with former factory worker, Chun Yu Wang)–that remains the only firsthand account of what life was like for factory workers during that time– and that has been used in three universities stateside in either “Textiles” or “Women’s Studies” courses, and has been excerpted in a French textbook in a section on “The American Dream,” and has over 160 reviews on Amazon!)

So, without further delay, here’s episode 1 of the “Remembering the Garment Factory Era” series:

Subscribe to the discoversaipan channel so you’ll be notified when the next in the series is released!

 

 

Watch Ward & Kimie on their Saipan Amelia Mystery tour!

I’ve recently been creating post-tour videos for my clients to help promote my newly revived DiscoverSaipan Youtube Channel

Here’s the latest of four, featuring Ward and Kimie, who came from Japan with a particular interest in learning more about Amelia Earhart’s connection to the island! They got a special treat and private audience with a Saipan celebrity as part of their adventure!

 

Don’t miss out on my videos on Youtube!

Auto-subscribe to Youtube Channel

Subscribe to the blog and receive an alert when I post again!

Sands of Time….Yellow Beach Battle of Saipan

At the request of a mainland-based Army Officer, historian and militaria collector one of whose  current projects is collecting sand from historical WWII sites, I collect sand from the historic Battle of Saipan landing beach known as Yellow Beach (San Antonio  Beach). Don’t worry, I’ve gotten the okay from the Division of Coastal Resources Management and Fish & Wildlife that the “no take” policy only applies to Marine Protected Areas and other specific conservation spots.

 

 

Don’t miss out on my videos on Youtube!

Auto-subscribe to Youtube Channel

Subscribe to the blog and receive an alert when I post again!

 

 

China Travel Channel created a video for me!

A few months ago, I gave some producers from the China Travel Channel a tour of the island. Just got an email from Alex with a gift! Using some of the shots of us together, they created a short promotional video I can use to reach more of the Chinese tourists Saipan is attracting!

Subscribe so you’ll never miss another post!