Tag Archives: Popular

Local author receives CNMI Governor’s Humanities Award(s)!

A few weeks ago, a former workshop attendee and coaching client revealed that she nominated me to be considered for this year’s Governor’s Humanities Award here on Saipan. I thanked her (Thanks, Riza!), but I didn’t really believe I qualified because the period of time under consideration was “during the past 12 months.” While I’ve done some workshops and zoom classes over the past year, many of my potentially qualifying projects took place prior to the pandemic.  In any event, as we often say in JA, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” so I mentioned that I had recently created a video resumé she could reference if she needed to provide supporting documentation for the nomination.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised days later when the Director of the Humanities Council, Leo Pangelinan, emailed me a congratulatory letter on being selected for the “Humanities Award for Research and Publication in the Humanities, Outstanding Humanities Teacher, and Preservation of CNMI History.”

In preparation for the upcoming event, I ordered a few new shirts through an Amazon vendor (they were all sold out of white, by the way), had them shipped to a friend in NYC who subsequently shipped them to me here on Saipan. (Luckily, they arrived the Wednesday before the event)! I brushed the dust off my one pair of dress shoes and waited for Friday. Comes the day of the event, and I really believed I was going to be called up on stage to accept ONE award with a very long name. Imagine my surprise when I was presented with THREE separate awards at last night’s ceremony! As I told my friend, Cinta Kaipat, not many things surprise me, but THIS did! Many thanks to Leo, the entire board, Andrew (who made sure my name was spelled correctly!) and to Isaac Anderson, my photographer drafted for the night! The clip below is NOT the entire ceremony, just the first awardee, then my friend, Catherine C. Perry, then me. (A Walt-specific press release is available here: https://www.waltgoodridge.com/pressrelease/

…and, in case you’re wondering, masks were worn by most folks throughout the event (I met one lady–who was “in the family way”–who wore two masks!) but were occasionally removed for photo ops!


Emcee for the night: Romolo Orsini


Master navigators perform Phon Chant


Lino Olopai explains the chant’s purpose and meaning


All 5 award recipients with Humanities Board members


Attorney Joe Hill, the first person I met on Saipan back in 2006! I am wearing a mwar, traditional Carolinian (head lei) headwear typically worn for special occasions.


Cinta Kaipat, the fourth person I ever met on Saipan back in 2006!

 


Posing with Ralph Torres, Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands


Award number 1: for Research and Publications in the Humanities


Award number 2: Outstanding Humanities Teacher


Award number 3: Preservation of CNMI History

A Saipan-Specific Video Resumé

Here’s a video resumé of my Saipan-specific books, websites, workshops, school visits, campaigns and adventures from 2006 to the present! If you’ve ever attended or been part of Beautify CNMI, blogger, Friends of the Monument get-together, you might have been captured by the camera! (a sequel to the “What’s It Like Being Jamaican in Saipan” interview!)

 

0:33 Introduction

2:01 SECTION • Saipan-Specific Creations
Walt has written a slew of Saipan-specific books, websites, mobile phone apps and designs for t-shirts and merchandise!

2:06 Books

4:09 Websites

6:03 Apps & Merchandise

7:01 SECTION • Helping Others
Walt has conducted workshops, visited schools, created health groups in an effort to help others

7:05 Workshops

13:49 School visits

14:15 Health&Wellness

15:41 SECTION • Showcasing Saipan to the World
From the Saipanpreneur Project to the “What’s it Like to Be Jamaican on Saipan” interview, walt has showcased the best of Saipan in his Saipan Tribune column, 3rd party documentaries and books, websites, tours and in the media!

15:45 Saipanpreneur Project

16:08 Saipan Documentaries & Books

17:35 Jamaican on Pagan

19:03 Tourism (clients, cruises, vets, authors, researchers, filmmakers)

23:49 Media Appearances

26:37 SECTION • Community Involvement & Activism
Walt has launched crowdfunding campaigns and petitions, co-created a platform for bloggers, volunteered for community movements and launched the first Speech & Essay contest as part of the CNMI’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration.

26:43 Campaigns (GoFundMe, Change.org)

28:02 Community Matters (Bloggers & Tree Huggers)

31:20 MLK Day annual commemoration

36:08 Closing (patience)

What’s it like being Jamaican on Saipan?

WATCH NOW! What’s it Like Being Jamaican in Saipan?”
Leave a comment on Youtube, ask a question! If you’re Chamorro or Carolinian, let me know if I got anything wrong!

BACK STORY:
Way back around 1996, before many of us even heard about the internet, Jamaican native and techie, Xavier Murphy, got a head start and was able to secure the JAMAICANS.COM domain name in anticipation of ‘big tings to come!’ His prescience proved correct, and over the years, this wildly popular website has served as a repository of all things Jamaican for Jamaicans and the people who love them!

As Youtube, Facebook and other online media platforms gained in popularity, Jamaicans.com was there as well! Xavier’s popular Youtube video series, “What’s it Like Being [probably the only] Jamaican in ___________?” has provided a way to connect Jamaicans around the world and showcase our presence and impact abroad! Korea? Ireland? Norway? Zambia? Kuwait? Bali? Russia? Malawi? Yep, we deh deh! (Translation: We are there!)

A few weeks ago, I sat on a beach on Saipan while Xavier–about 8 thousand miles away–asked me that very question: “What’s it like being Jamaican on the small, remote, Pacific island of Saipan???” We had fun as I shared facts and trivia about my new island home, talked nomadpreneuring and escaping the rat race, and during the course of the conversation, discovered that Xavier knows one of my long lost primary school classmates and has helped me re-connect with him!

The interview is FINALLY viewable:

The Youtube version of the video has a lively discussion to join in

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=431285311574616

 

OUTTAKE
Here I am prepping the day before the interview:

Want to learn more about Saipan? Here’s a tour/documentary filmed by LaMancha Media featuring a guest tour guide you might recognize :

 

UPDATE (12 days later)

Narcisism alert! Yes, as a former civil engineer, these sorts of things
keep me awake at night. Ever since the release of the Jamaicans.com
interview video (“What’s it Like Being a Jamaican in Saipan?”), I’ve
been tracking the daily views on Xavier’s Youtube channel and Facebook page.

Here’s what my analysis revealed:

• The Youtube version had a total 599 views in the first 3 hours; and jumped to 766 in the 1 hour while I watched it

• The version of the video on the Jamaicans.com Facebook page already had an astounding 15,000 views by the time I first checked it out 3 days after upload; it now has 19,000+ views 12 days
after release.

• Here are the daily stats for the Youtube edition
Aug 30, 2021 3:00am 0 2,253/day         39 comments
Aug 31, 2021 3:00am 2,253 1,861/day     55 comments
Sep 1, 2021 9:00am 4,600 1,652/day      90 comments
Sep 2, 2021 9:00am 6,252 1,854/day      98 comments
Sep 3, 2021 9:00am 8,106 2,107/day        113 comments
Sep 4, 2021 9:00am 10,213 1,326/day         117 comments
Sep 5, 2021 9:09am 11,539 1,327/day        135 comments
Sep 6, 2021 9:01am 12,866 1,609/day       139 comments
Sep 7, 2021 9:00am 14,475 909/day           160 comments
Sep 8, 2021 9:00am 15,384 1,055/day      168 comments
Sep 9, 2021 9:00am 16,439 563/day         166 comments
Sep 10, 2021 9:01am 17,002 355/day      168 comments
Sep 11, 2021 9:00am 17,357 285/day      170 comments
Sep 12, 2021 9:00am 17,642                          170 comments

I discovered that my Canva.com account that I use for creating Youtube thumbnails, also has a graph feature. So, with nothing else to do on a Sunday morning at 6:00am:

Xavier has 25.2 thousand subscribers to his Youtube channel and this video generated an average of 1,500 views per day. If you have your own Youtube channel, this is definitely the sort of daily view activity you want to aspire to!

ANOTHER UPDATE:

26 days to get to 20,000 views! (Plus, there are an additional 21,000 views on the Facebook upload with its own set of comments.

S.W.E.A.T. Lifestyle Shorts: SUNLIGHT on the rocks!

In case you’re wondering,  being”Jamaican in China….and Beyond” is just one of my alter egos.  I’m also the “Ageless Adept,” a vegan, minimalist, self-health, natural living fanatic who promotes the SWEAT philosophy of rejuvenation and maintaining youth (SWEAT = Sunlight, Water, Earth, Air & Time). Here’s one way I fulfill the sunlight portion of that lifestyle:

After watching this video, a good friend asked, “What if something were to happen to you? It looks pretty steep and desolate there with no one around in case you needed a little help.”

To which I replied, “Well, in all likelihood, I probably wouldn’t lie there for more than 24 hours. There’s a path below the cliff that fishermen occasionally take to get to a particular fishing spot, so the carcass wouldn’t go unnoticed for too long. Now, if I happen to be on the TOP of the mountain, then I’d have to wait for someone to notice the vultures or the smell….Oh, and thanks for asking!”

Jamaican Air Macau Pilot flies me to Vietnam!

This pilot episode is literally a pilot episode! (and inspired the “Say Hello to My Little Friends” series) It’s pretty cool being flown on an international flight to Vietnam for the first time, aboard an Airbus 321 jet airliner, knowing that my best buddy–Ron McFarlane–is the captain in charge, and “dread at the controls!” It makes it a unique personal experience imagining my friend in the cockpit doing what he’s always wanted to do since he was five years old. Here’s a video recap of the whole experience featuring an in-flight interview with the captain himself with some words of advice for aspiring pilots and anyone pursuing a dream!

 

 

Reload My 6-Month China Adventure!

A few years ago, I embarked on a unique adventure and spent 6 months doing the nomad thing from Saipan, several cities throughout China, as well as in Laos and Singapore! I had a great time, met a lot of great people, and chronicled it through email updates to my mailing list of followers! With travel restrictions now in effect, I’ve created a weekly email to give YOU a chance to re-live the adventure just as if you were there! Simply sign up to the Jamaican in China “Reloaded” email, then sit back and enjoy the ride in your email inbox every three or so days!

CLICK HERE to re-live the adventure in your email inbox!

CLICK HERE to re-live the adventure in your email inbox!

and/or download the entire Guess Who’s Coming to Dim Sum PDF

When you think no one is watching

Just completed filming a comparison of my NEW Ancestry.com results with the previous 23andMe results. I trailed off my narrative, got lost in reviewing the results and forgot that the camera was still recording! So as a preview & test of the sound and video quality of the soon-to-be-released video, here’s an EXCITING 3 minute outtake of me silently staring at my laptop screen, touching my face and rubbing my nose, until I finally realized the camera was still rolling!

 

Vietnamese cutie picks me up in Saigon

 

People often ask me how different is dating and meeting people in Asia. Here’s a typical occurence:

 

Saigon, Vietnam. I’m sitting in the park at 6am this morning filming an intro for my next “Jamaican in China and Beyond” blog video. A cute girl comes up and peers into my camera, says she likes my white outfit, invites me to follow her to another side of the park. I’m a little suspicious at first about the long walk, but turns out she just wanted to be closer to her friends who do Qigong/dancing in the morning. 

We end up chatting and walking around town. She’s cute, just the face/eyes/body type I like, but seems she hadn’t really pampered herself in a while, so after buying her breakfast, I take her to a spa to have them do her nails and feet.

I was even going to do the Pretty Woman/Set if Off thing where I buy her a dress (remember the scene in Set it Off where Blair Underwood buys Jada Pinkett an evening dress for a dinner party?). Since neither her English nor my Vietnamese were up to par, we communicated by Google Voice Translate for the whole morning, and she says it’s the nicest anyone has ever treated her.

In any event, here’s the actual video of us meeting for the first time and her picking me up (turns out I’m pretty easy), and a clip from inside the nail salon We hang out some more until 12:30, but I had to leave to go get my passport from the Thai Consulate at 1pm, so we part, but agree to hang out later that day.

There’s more to the story, but you’ll have to follow my channel if you want to learn more!

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 : https://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: https://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!

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