The Journey – Day Fifteen

Posted On: October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 – Santa Fe, NM


The “official” kick-off event for our reunion was a “Celebration of Fifty Years of Friendship: Munching, Memories and Music” at the spacious home of Wayne Hill’s friends, Al Laszlo and Patty Wood. Once again, the Saipan Symphony of 18 Strings* led the assembled RPCVs and their spouses in our rousing Carolinian welcome tune, “Sugi, Sugi.” (for translation, check this post.)




Saipan Symphony of 18 Strings: Lino Olopai, Bev Chumbley, Ping Limes, Wayne Hill, Tom Zink


* Bev Chumbley plays a 4-string ukulele, Ping Limes an 8-string ukulele and Tom a 6-string guitar = 18 strings


Memories to Cherish

After dinner, it was time to enjoy a slice of the giant anniversary cake . . .

Memories: the 50th Anniversary Cake

. . . and to pose for a group photo (thank you, Tim Morris) of the Marianas RPCVs with Lino Olopai and Ping Limes, our friends from Saipan, . . .



. . . all decked out in our unique reunion T-shirts, designed by Teresa Maebori and Wayne Hill.










A Musical Toast to Our Hosts


We topped off the evening with a lively sing-along of some favorite island songs in the Chamorro and Carolinian languages. To show our appreciation for our generous and gracious hosts, Al and Patty, we sang them our spontaneous, unrehearsed rendition of “May the good Lord bless and keep you.” It’s a song written by Meredith Willson (of “The Music Man” fame) in the 1950s that made its way to the islands and became one of my Saipan favorites back in the day. Right at the end, Wayne Hill says “Thank you” to our hosts in Chamorro (si Yuus maase).