Marianas Variety

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    Monday, May 20, 2019-11:09:50P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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CNMI News

earthrise: A tree of misogyny

JAPANESE Rotarians helped me stick the sapling to the ground.  I put one as a lark when Ivan Groom was still on island doing landscapes, and Patrick Calvo had his attention on plants, but last year, the tree still looked healthy until Soudelor came calling.

The CNMI guys decided to clean up the pathway and one of the casualties was the tree.  It kept getting cropped but sprouting again.  I left the cleanup crew to make up their minds on the tree.  
Growing next to the Japanese tank at the intersection of Beach Road and Quartermaster in between the waterless toilet, the outgrowth on the stump was often recognizable from Beach Road, except the tree had been reduced to just a stump.

The cutting down of the tree that will never grow up big or tall is hardly regrettable.  The stump looks out of place and rather ugly, kept simply as a stump; had no possibility of growing to be similar to the nearby flame trees and pines.  Besides, the grass on the lawn looks fine without it.

The little outdoor amphitheater that the Patrick-Ivan duo made is a meditative stop for pathway walkers, though a tent is occasionally put up during holidays next to it, with the revelers oblivious of the effect of the trash they leave behind.

It was actually the trash that got me to stick the sapling on the ground to begin with, but the whole of the lagoon shores seems to be a repository of beer shards and empty cans that revelers leave behind.

I have written enough about the San Isidro beach on Chalan Kanoa, not too far from the Uncle Lino Olopai “Park” where kin and friends converge as a Micronesian gathering of relations on weekends.  Two buildings north of the Sandy Beach Homes where the beachfront is kept immaculate is the Surf Club.  Regularly, a tractor cleans the beach of debris and keeps it spotless so shoreline users can walk barefoot without worry of shards cutting into their arches.  Lately, workers even came out with rakes to gather and bag the shore’s algae since the place was the setting for the filming of a commercial.

Being an island known for its shorelines, snorkeling to view the fishes in the reefs within the lagoon, I had occasions to bring guests to Wing and Paupau beaches that were “pristine” in my recollection before hightailing it to China to teach at a University in the northeast by the Koreas across the Yalu.  The beaches were secluded then by my recollection, before the four-wheelers took tourists to the waters; Paupau’s northern end still provided peace and quiet.

In my last foray, Wing Beach was hardly secluded, as a female and her friend who used to come to the place a few years back recalls.  She bewailed the number of cars parked at what was definitely a 4 x 4 truck terrain but now “invaded” by folks who discovered the place, driving their rented sedans on the muddy road after the afternoon rain.

We do not mind the crowd but the abundance of sharp broken beer shards and strewn beer cans was not a happy sight to behold, particularly the ones that guests bring with them and leave behind.  

I kept my thongs on before putting on my coral reef shoes to avoid the threatening sharp edges.

That’s what keeps me around the San Isidro beachfront more frequently than I probably should, and though some trash make it to Lino’s Park when the revelers get rowdy and leave their refuse on the beach, the regular tourists just before sundown who come and enjoy the place includes young tots who frolic in the water as Mom and Pop put up folding chairs and beach umbrellas on the shore.  The sandy beach shoreline lives up to its fame.

I took friends to Managaha and noticed how the trash spilled out of the bins with soda and beer cans abundant.  Tour agents can instruct their clients to keep the place tidy and be held accountable to the client’s behavior; with the popularity and abundant presence of guests on island, we be more concerned with keeping the island neat, and not just leave the responsibility of keeping the place in order to the CNMI guys in charge of keeping the island clean.

My mention of Managaha holds true to all the beaches; they are the attraction that sustains our economy.  The visitors’ industry is the base of our island’s revenue.  There is something to be said about clear waters caressing the inner distances between our toes that tourists come to experience and pay for (and if my accounting is accurate, not exactly a cheap proposition, either).  

The island’s Bay side that heads towards the deep trench are more interesting but also more dangerous, attested by those who have waded on Forbidden Island.

This reflection comes because of a tree.  Obama’s secretary of state, and unelected president of the United States until Obama leaves office, is to this writer a casualty of America’s misogyny,
the stump that needs to be pulled out.  Hillary will grow a tree in a purple suit.  How’s that for a new start?  

We start with The Donald, henceforth, Donald Trump, no longer trumping like a joke.  He will be President.