Introducing Mystery Class # 1
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands 15.20 N, 145.75 E
We are a class of 22 third
graders at Saipan Community School,
located on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. We are at approximately
15.20 N. latitude and 145.75 E. longitude.
Our school is a private Christian
school with 220 students in grades K-8. Our student body is a mixture of boys and
girls from Saipan, other Pacific islands, Asia, Australia, The U.S, Canada, and several
other countries. We are on the west side of the island with our playground skirting
a beautiful lagoon on the Philippine Sea.
Chamorro, Carolinian, and English are the official languages of our country, but
many other languages are spoken here due to the diverse population.
A wide variety of food can be found in homes and restaurants on Saipan. Local favorites
include Kelaguen Mannok, made with chicken, coconut, onions, and peppers, Eskabache,
with fish and vegetables. Other dishes include Chamorro Bisteck, Roast Pig, and Red
Rice. Restaurant food may be Chamorro, American, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian,
There are 14 islands in the Marianas.
The three main islands are Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Saipan, the largest island is
13 miles long and 6 miles wide at its widest point. The highest point on Saipan is
Mt. Tagpochau, which is part of a ridge running through the middle of the island.
The Marianas Trench, with the world's deepest known ocean depth is to our east.
Our climate is tropical with a
rainy season and a dry season. The temperatures average from 75-85F all year. Typhoons
often accompany the rainy season.
Many kinds of flowers bloom during the year with the Plumeria being the official
flower. A mwar-mwar (a circle of flowers), is often worn for festivals and other
special occasions. This custom was introduced to the island by the Carolinians. Each
village has an annual festival and the Flame Tree Festival is observed at American
Memorial Park each year, and is for the entire island. At the festivals, local food
is served and singers and dancers perform.
Tourism and garment manufacturing are the main industries. Thousands of tourists
visit the Marianas every year. Tourists visit historical landmarks, go scuba diving,
snorkel, parasail, or play golf.
There are still relics on Saipan
from the battles fought here during WWII. There are Japanese bunkers in many areas
of the island and three American tanks are still in the lagoon in the Philippine
The Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. Commonwealth and the residents are U.S. citizens.
The U.S. dollar is the monetary unit and the mail is handled by the U.S. Postal Service.
Technology and connections to other countries have improved greatly in the last five
years. Many people here now own computers and are connected to the internet.
We are proud of our beautiful country and hope you will want to learn more about
us. For more information about the Marianas, you can visit these websites:
Copyright 1999 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send
all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form