If you happen to be on Saipan this Sunday, May 29th…

Grab a radio and tune in!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local author and entrepreneur to appear on “Your Humanities Half-Hour”

SAIPAN, CNMI— The NMI Council for the Humanities will feature author, entrepreneur and former Saipan Tribune columnist Walt F. J. Goodridge on its weekly radio show this Sunday, May 29, on Power 99 FM from 2:00 to 2:30 pm.

Goodridge will discuss the personal journey that led to his life of writing and travel. He will also share ideas about how writing in this age of advanced technology and global connectivity can empower local writers and artists to share their work and passion beyond the CNMI.

“Writing, blogging and a little internet savvy can expose the work of local writers and artists to a global consumer audience,” says Goodridge. “My goal is to share some success stories, some ideas and some secrets that I and others are using to do just that. It’s much easier than people realize.”

Originally from the island of Jamaica, Goodridge is a former civil engineer who hated his job, followed his passion, walked away from his career and, in 2006, “escaped” from New York City, where he lived for most of his life, and moved to Saipan. He is the author of 20 books, several blogs, and is the founder of the WeLoveSaipan.com website.

“Your Humanities Half-Hour” is supported in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is directed and hosted by noted media personality Catherine Rosario Perry. The weekly show features local and visiting humanities scholars, students, community organizations, and other special guests who discuss humanities projects and issues of interest in the NMI.

According to Rosario-Perry, Goodridge’s insights and experiences on this week’s show will “help people to make the connection between culture and communication, to develop ways to write about, and thereby preserve the culture while incorporating technology in a world that requires certain modern skills in order to survive and prosper.”

For more information on the Council, visit www.nmihumanities.org.





Passing the time on Sunny Saipan

In addition to the usual jogging, writing, sleeping and shopping that I do here on Saipan, there are also a few things to spice up the weekends!

Friday evening, a quick stop at Saipan’s GIG nightclub

Watch a little dancing, inhale a bit of second-hand smoke, call it a night!

Saturday: grab an hour of direct sunlight….(note to self: take photo first, disrobe second)

Saturday evening: attended high school graduation for Saipan International School

Proud family and friends

Then, more fun at the annual Taste of the Marianas

Fire dancers!

Watched a performance at World Resort….called it a night

What do Jamaica, Mauritania and Libya have in common?

Okay, so here’s the story. Did you know that the Jamaican flag is the ONLY  flag of the 196 or so world flags that DOES NOT have red, blue or white in it? In other words, every other flag of every other country shares the common trait of having a spot of red, a dash of blue or a smidgen of white somewhere in the design!

Well, that’s what I proudly boasted to a friend of mine recently. However, I admitted to him that I got that bit of Jamaican trivia straight from an internet email that was making the rounds, so I qualified my boast by promising to verify it on my own. And this I have done.

With a multitude of official world flag sites to choose from, I chose  https://www.markfennell.com/flags/  to conduct my research. Turns out that internet email was 98.9% correct. (See for yourself!)

Jamaica’s flag is black, green and gold, and things seemed to be going quite well, until I got to Mauritania!


Mauritania’s is  green and yellow. [According to wikipedia: The colors of green and gold are considered Pan-African colors.[3] Green is also used to symbolize Islam, and the gold for the sands of the Sahara desert. The crescent and star are symbols of Islam, which is the major religion in the nation. Some writers have also speculated that green symbolizes a bright future, and growth.]

And then, there’s Libya! [According to wikipedia: The Libya Flag was officially adopted on November 11, 1977. It is the only flag in the whole world with just one single color. There are no designs, insignia or other details on the flag of Libya . The green color is the symbol for Islam which emphasizes the long devotion and respect of people to their religion. Green is also the national color of the country. The first national flag of modern Libya was adopted in 1951, when the country gained independence. The symbols and colors on the Libyan flag have constantly been changing until 1977 when the current one was adopted. The green color also stands for Gaddafi’s “Green Revolution.”


But there are two caveats!

As a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war, there are currently two entities claiming to be the government of Libya. They are the (1) Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Muammar al-Gaddafi (all green flag above), and

(2) the Libyan Republic led by a National Transitional Council.


So, if you support the Libyan Republic claim of power, then their version of the Libyan flag does have red and white in it. Which would make Jamaica and Mauritania the only countries that do NOT share red, white or blue with every other country!


Patois public service: the Jamaican word cyah

Quite a few people have recently stumbled upon my blog in search of the definition of the Jamaican patois word “cyah.” So, as a public service (and as a way of getting more visitors), I’ll do my part to help with the development of the Jamaican patois lexicon. The word cyah (pronounced key-ah, but not as two syllables) is the Jamaican pronunciation of can’t. As in, “Dem cyah find Osama bin Laden,” which, translated, would be “They cannot find Osama bin Laden.”

As a further public service, I’ve included an audio clip of how a Jamaican would say the above sentence. Don’t thank me, just send money.

Click here for mp3 audio of cyah

Chicken Feathers excerpt featured in French textbook!

[Encouragement for self-published authors] While I was in China, I was contacted by Editions Bordas, a French textbook publisher requesting the rights to publish an extract of Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan, a book I co-authored with former factory worker, Chun  Yu Wang, and that I published independently. (Order on Amazon)

An excerpt of the request letter reads: “We are currently preparing a school book entitled Missions 1re Lycée (code 732771) which will be published in paper form in April 2011 and designed for 16-17 years old pupils….

We would like to obtain your permission to use and reproduce an excerpt taken from Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan by Chun Yu Wang (Please see below) in this textbook in all formats and for all countries…..this extract will be used for our school book by students who are studying the English language….We would be most grateful if you would grant us this permission for the period of exploitation of the textbook…. Please note that the excerpt will be used for pedagogical purposes by teachers and students in the French education system.”

We corresponded and negotiated the licensing fee via email, I provided the requested information, and now, after much anticipation, the book is finally available! Here are some images showing how the excerpt is being used. Click on image to view enlarged

The topic of the lesson is understanding the “American Dream.” Here is the single page featuring the excerpt:

full two-page spread:

In the phraseology of mentor of mine, “I share this not to IMPRESS you, but to IMPRESS UPON you…” just what is achievable even as a self-published author!

I wish much success to the publishers and to the students learning English! If you read French, (or even if not), you can learn more about the publishers at the Editions Bordas website. (Thanks to Anabelle and Audrey at Editions Bordas for their help!)