"Hafa dei!" means hello in Saipan

This was on the "Old Man by the Sea" hike. Old Man by the Sea is an enormous rock formation that looks like the profile of a man's face. Pictures of it to come soon.
Our friends Laura and Josiah- both counselors in the public schools here on the island. They went to college with us, and it was through them that we got the idea to move out here.
In the background is "Bird Island"- I've only seen if from this distance so far, but Brian's been down there to check it out, and said it has some amazing snorkeling places.
Below, making flower leis for the arrival of our friends Elizabeth and Josh a couple weeks ago. We made them out of real plumeria blossoms that we had picked from local trees. They smelled so good.

Here's some things that have happened since we moved to our little island:

- Brian started school this Monday, though his students won't arrive until next Tuesday. He's working with one of his good friends, Josiah, who's also a counselor at that school- Hopwood Jr. High

-I've started my classes for nursing. Right now, I'm just taking the prerequisites that I'll need for the program, which I'm hoping to enter next fall.

- We've moved into the most awesome little one-bedroom apartment. I think I love it so much because of it's convenience... something that our other apartments in Taiwan lacked at times. Also, it's got these great vaulted ceilings which make it look bigger than it really is. We were really lucky because it was fully furnished with everything we needed when we moved in: bed, dining table, couches, washer/dryer, dressers.... even a TV. We can see the ocean from our front door, and it's also the same complex that our 4 friends from college live in. We both have to drive kind of far each day to our schools, but everything else about it makes it totally worth it.

- Truly, it's seemed so much like home coming here. People keep talking about having culture shock living here, but it just seems so "American" compared to living in Asia last year!

- One of the very best parts: We've found a church that we really like: Saipan Community Church. We've met a lot of the people there already through various contacts on the island- and it's been so nice to become involved with a church family again. We've joined one of the church's Small Groups on Monday evenings, and it has a lot of people our age in it. It's really such an answer to prayer, after how hard it was last year to find a church in Taipei. Having a church family is such an important part of our lives, and we're so grateful to have it again this year.


Rachel W. said...

Woohoo! It sounds so wonderful! It would be so much fun to see the ocean everyday, and making leis sounds like it would REALLY be fun! :D

Brian and Rachel said...

the leis really are so pretty- i would mail you one but they wilt within 24 hours! :)