Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Beach


The interesting part of these blogs is the time delay. Even though I have informed Google that I am in the Northern Marian Islands, and that my time zone is GMT +10, they still post these as Western US Time. Case in point, it is is noon on Monday, May 5th here. My post time says that it is 7 pm on May 4th. So I am technically a day behind on my posting, but if i change it then the program schedules it ahead rather than posting it with the correct time. Interesting. I guess I've had to face bigger problems than outwitting a server's time clock.

Sunday was HOT! I went to children's classes at Jamal & Regula's, but the only older child was Nuri, their son, and so he and I sort of deviated from the lesson. As in, we didn't do any of it. I'm sure he probably will think back to that day, and tag it as the beginning of his moral decline. Fortunately, after classes, he went with his mother to do a home visit to Isabel and Joe, a nice Filipino couple who were at the Ridvan celebration and are very receptive to talk of the Faith. I offered Joe some reiki, because he had a growth removed from his nostrils right around the time I got here, and it still is bleeding and hasn't healed yet. I told him to just ask me and I would be glad to do it. His response was positive, in that he understood what I was describing as a type of "spiritual healing", and "what's the harm in that?" was his thought on it. But he never actually asked me to do it for him, and so when Regula was leaving to go over to their hosue, I declined to come, telling her that I was going to do other things. She really wanted me to come, and tried to explain to me that it isn't culturally acceptable to ask for things like that here. We went back and forth a little, and I stuck to my point that it was offered, and that was as far as I was willing to go with it right now. Maybe I'll change my mind as time passes. I did find out that there is another Reiki Master on the island, and she is having a level one class very soon. She is charging the students $60 and I think it is a six hour class. Interesting...

But after the morning classes, it was getting close to mid-day, and the bike ride back to my apartment was uphill. Wow! I made it, but not without getting off the bike and walking at one point. The sweat made it hard to keep my hands on the handlebars at times, and the driving on this island doesn't always make for the most encouraging bike riding experience. So once I got back to the apartment, I was ready to take a break. I had received two calls regarding English tutoring fliers that I posted two weeks ago, and I tried to call both numbers, but nobody answered at either. So I decided to take a hike down to the bay.

The night before, a new acquaintance had divulged the location of a secret beach, not far from my apartment. I wasn't sure of the terrain, so I decided against allowing Thunder to come along; taking just a towel and wearing board shorts and flip-flops I set off. It was a short walk to the landmark, a side road climbing into the jungle on my left, and I began to scan the right side of the gravel road for the surveyors flagging. I immediately spotted it, twenty feet up a sheer embankment and across a five foot wide ditch. Maybe it's just my old age, but i decided that there must be an easier way, and kept heading down the road. Eventually the embankment flattened out and I was able to get on the trail that had been described. It was pretty recently cut in some places, with relatively bright pink flagging tied at regular intervals as it wound it's way deeper in to the jungle. The trail wound back and forth and as I clambered over volcanic rocks (read: sharp!) I was glad I'd left Thunder to lay in his shade. I was skirting the base of a sheer cliff, and making turns that would defy the straight lines and angles that surveyors require for long sightings, so I'm not really sure what the trail was for originally, or who marked it. I finally reached an old dirt road, after pushing a peck of wild chickens for a hundred feet or so, I reached some very large rocks. But the breeze couldn't disguise the proximity of the sea, and so I hopped down into the ravine, and in a minute I was standing at the end of the canyon, at the head of a small, coral covered beach.

From cliff to cliff, the beach was about 100 feet wide at the ocean, with foliage and trees covering the tops of the adjacent abutments. It was indeed isolated, and I waded out into the water for a ways, I could see the better known beach far to my left, across the bay. I waded around for a while, but it didn't take me long to cut my foot on something, glass, coral, rock, and so I washed it out an returned to the beach, to lay in the sun. There's something about being on isolated beaches that lends itself to my general attitude of as few clothes as possible, and so pretty soon I was short-less and lying prostrate on the sand. Of course I was aware that this could be disastrous, but only if I stayed out too long, and that was not going to...

You know how you open your eyes, like when you used to be in school, and think, was I asleep?
Well yeah, that's what happened. So I turned over. See, told you I had a plan. Soon something suggested that I reclaim my trunks and head on in. So after a little more splashing around in the sea water, I gathered all my belongings and headed back into the jungle. It took about ten minutes to make my way along the trail back to the main gravel road, and then another five up to the apartment. It will probably be a shoe or boot clad trek next time, the uneven ground makes for an easy sprain or even scrapes on the ankle from the rocks. Thunder was glad to see me, and I spent a minute rubbing his belly, but I could feel the heat starting to radiate off of my body. Mainly the back of my knees and lower legs, and my shoulders. Fortunately, I am used to the cold water showers, and most of the time they feel very good. Of course i used the Melaleuca gel, btw I'm almost out if someone wants to send more, and today it's all good. Now I'm going to meet someone about English tutoring for her son. See if I can win her over, even though I have no education background.

3 comments:

ryran said...

Busy. Don't have time to finish reading. Will on phone later. But HEY LOOK, before I forget, news from Saipan!

Randi said...

I am just picturing how now you are even burnt on your little bum!!!! Does it hurt? lol Where do I get that lotion or gel and I will put some in the box.

ksawhill said...

Wud I telya bout sunscreen?!
Your friend is right about island people not asking, esp. those who have lived in colonialized countries. Sort of like Persian "tar-oaf". There's probably something to do with living together on an island that makes it perfectly logical to them, altho maddening to us, and our way of being direct and straightforward is considered rude, brash & abrupt. When in Rome. . .
love, mom
p.s. I'm ordering some gel.