Book Excerpt: Tata Lino and 1968 Peace Corps Training

Posted On: February 9, 2019

Book Excerpt: Tata Lino and 1968 Peace Corps Training From Chapter 6, Moving On (pages 112-113):   Most of our language teachers spoke Chamorro as their first language. Lino Olopai and Louis Wabol were two teachers whose mother tongue was the Carolinian language. Lino was a twenty-eight-year-old husband and father of four boys who had been a Saipan police officer…

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“Upon the Hill”

Posted On: February 9, 2019

A favorite Saipanese folk song among the Peace Corps trainees on Rota during the summer of 1968 was this song, “Upon the hill lies the village of the place that I love best, In my home in Saipan.” This recording of the song was made when Tom was on Saipan in January 2019 with Ping Limes on guitar and vocals,…

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Saipan Dispatch #4: Island Images

Posted On: February 4, 2019

I looked back over my earlier Saipan Dispatches and noticed a dearth of photos. So here are a few more island images to convey a sense of the people, places and things we saw during our week on the island. Typhoon Yutu As I described here, super typhoon Yutu struck Saipan and Tinian October 24-25, about ten weeks before we…

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Saipan Dispatch #3A: “Seasoned” on Saipan (revised Jan 21)

Posted On: January 21, 2019

In my earlier post about my donation to the Saipan public library, I wanted to include the group photo at the library that I mentioned in that post, but it just arrived this afternoon. So, better late than never, here it is:   In the back row are Lino Olopai, library director Erlinda Naputi, Jody and me, holding a copy…

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Saipan Dispatch #3: “Seasoned” on Saipan

Posted On: January 19, 2019

Seasoned Arrives on Saipan (updated Jan. 21) This is a story of Seasoned and serendipity on Saipan. It began 15 months ago in Santa Fe, NM, where our Carolinian friends, Lino Olopai and Joe “Ping” Limes, came from Saipan to join our Peace Corps reunion. Lino and Ping returned to Saipan with copies of my book to bring to the…

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Saipan Dispatch #2: on the radio

Posted On: January 13, 2019

KKMP Radio Talk Show Joe “Ping” Limes is a frequent guest on a radio talk show on KKMP Saipan (92.1 FM, 1440 AM). As soon as we arrived on Sunday, Ping started hatching a plan for Lino Olopai and Jody and me to join him on the talk show on Wednesday morning at 7:30. He wanted us to share some…

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Saipan Dispatch #1

Posted On: January 10, 2019

Arrival Our Asiana Air flight from Seoul touched down on the Saipan tarmac at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, January 6. From the airport, we drove north in our rental car to Mariana Lounge, a place for travelers in transit. You pay $15 for up to 12 hours. We slept off a bit of jet lag in their lounge chairs, got a…

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Who Takes Pictures of Airports?

Posted On: January 5, 2019

I’ll get to the answer to the question, “Who takes pictures in airports?” in a second. First, an update: Jody and I are on our way — Saipan or bust! We left lots of snow and -10 C temperatures in North Bay on Thursday, January 3. We’ve transited through three airports since then and are now in Seoul, South Korea.…

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The Story Continues . . . Returning to Saipan

Posted On: December 13, 2018

  Yes, it’s true. In early January, our son, Jody, and I will be traveling to Saipan, my island home during my two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. But first, some background. And feel free to send me your comments on this. Just click the “Contact Tom” link on any page of the website.     The Borja Family…

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“Telling Our Stories” in Goderich a Huge Success

Posted On: October 22, 2018

Chicago, A Museum, and A Gift I was on the road from October 5th to the 14th, stopping off in my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, then my college town, Valparaiso, Indiana, on my way to Goderich for the author talk on the 14th. On Thursday, October 11th, I rode the commuter train from northern Indiana into Chicago to visit my sister,…

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