Posted On: April 10, 2019
Yes, you read that right! Genuine Ontario maple syrup made an appearance on Saipan when my son, Jody, and I visited there in early January. Hard to imagine anything more foreign (exotic?) than maple syrup on a tropical island. But as a small token of friendship and appreciation for our long-time Saipanese friends, I had packed along about a dozen 250 ml jugs of maple syrup. The syrup was from Matthews Maple Syrup in Powassan, Ontario, a half hour south of where we live in North Bay.
I gave the maple syrup to Lino Olopai, Ping Limes, Tata Carlos Borja and members of his extended family. At the picnic on the last day of our visit, I also handed one to Bobbie Solberg, an elementary school teacher on the island. Bobbie was a student of mine when I taught English as a Second Language at Oleai school many years ago.
A Sweet Surprise from Saipan
Two months later, I received an e-mail from Bobbie after she’d introduced her students to this unusual gift from Canada:
“Hi Tom. I let some kids try the maple syrup and also use it as part of their class presentation and they love it. They’ve never tasted it before. One kid decided to move to Vermont so she can have more Maple syrup. I told them the syrup is from Canada given to me by a former Peace Corps teacher and they were like wow, that is cool.😁😁”
Here are Bobbie Solberg’s students with their little jar of Ontario maple syrup.