Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Bday, BR

We hosted a waterfight and pool party to celebrate.  There was cake and pizza and waterguns AND friends.

He is 8!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Soursop, aka Guanabana or graviola (by L.)

  Soursop, also known as guanabana, is my favorite fruit.  The scientific name for it is annona muricata.  It is truly unlike any other fruit.  There are very many interesting facts about this tropical fruit.  Here are a few facts about soursop that might interest you.

  Most people agree that soursop tastes delicious.  I don't know why 'sour' is in the name; it's much more sweet than sour.  The texture is a bit like ice cream, smooth and soft.  It is gummy to the taste, and the seeds are easy to spit out.

  Soursop has many uses, too. You can just eat it plain, or it can be made into smoothies, tea, and much more. According to some, soursop can even be used as a cancer treatment.

  Soursops are abundant here, most likely because the tropical climate here is ideal for the soursop tree.  As a result, on Saipan, you can find them at almost all of the local produce markets.  If you are lucky enough to live in (or have visited) a tropical place such as in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Southeast Asia or Hawaii then you may have encountered them already.  But unfortunately, they are rare in the Continental U.S.  Still, I discovered that you can purchase them canned, frozen or online.

  When soursop are ripe, they are a bit squishy.  Soursops are green with soft spines sticking up from the skin. The flesh is white and there are many large black seeds near the center of the fruit.  Soursop trees are tall and thin with waxy looking, oval shaped leaves.  The meat is a bit like a custard, it is sweet and a bit tangy.

  There are many reasons to like soursop, from its taste to its appearance, to its many uses.  Soursop is a delicious, interesting fruit that people all over Saipan enjoy. Who knows? Maybe you will like it too! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weekend Report

The weekend started out pretty low-key, though there were a couple of "firsts" to celebrate.  We discovered that we love soursop (guanabana).  Then I made some yummy homemade yogurt:

J. went on his first open-ocean fishing trip.  It was on Saturday, the day before Bavi hit, and he managed to take this photo before spending the rest of the trip on the floor of the boat.
J's note to self: don't go on a fishing boat the day before a tropical storm
 The "Ocean Swim" race was cancelled on Sunday morning because of, oh, 
that whole incoming tropical storm thing
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 BR did not get blown away, thankfully

 The storm hit, we lost power and had an excuse to grill up that fresh fish from J.'s fishing trip

It is so quaint to eat by candlelight

(for a few hours only and then it gets old and I pine for running water and electricity again)
 The storm took down a really big tree.  Which took down 3 others.

It kind of wrecked the yard.  (So we had to cancel the backyard birthday party planned for Tuesday)

We drove around a bit to see what the island looked like after the storm...
some flooding

the sea was all roiled up at Banzai Cliff

some folks had worse luck than us, for sure...

Oh, and we spotted a sea turtle from the top of the cliff (it's that tiny
dot in the middle of the photo)
We lost power and internet and water for about 28 hours but everything is back to normal and a crew was here today, working on clearing out the yard.  All is well on our end.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Vanuatu who are still recovering from Cyclone Pam.

Monday, March 9, 2015

These kids are so 2015...

My Valentine's Day card this year came with a space for comments:


In other news: recently BR threw together some Lego creations, made up a storyline and invited his sisters into the living room: "Hey!  Come watch my video!"  and then he treated them to a thrilling and action-packed performance with Lego spaceships and cars and Lego people.
He said: "If you liked that, there's more.  Just click to subscribe to my channel."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Saipan Wax Museum

Hardly a day goes by when I do not mourn the fact the the wax museum of Saipan closed before we ever had a chance to explore it.

If the sign is any clue, their collection evidently included wax figures of genocidal
Spanish Conquistadors invading the Marianas.  Fun for the whole family!

...But I have to wonder: just whose idea was it to open a wax museum on a tropical island, anyway?

Sunday, March 1, 2015