Even prior to our arrival on Tinian, the hospital staff and friends made in May have been keeping an eye out for housing for us. We have had many leads and have looked at quite a few houses. Ultimately, Ben Manglona offered us a one-bedroom apartment at the Lorilynn (formerly a hotel) on a month-to-month basis, which we eagerly accepted. We absolutely love staying at the Fleming Hotel, but it’s difficult not being able to just eat a peanut butter sandwich. If you ever visit, the food at the Fleming is magnificent. Every single meal we ate was great! The Fleming staff is friendly and attentive, and by the time we checked out, we were all great friends and the staff knew as soon as we sat down in the restaurant to bring a pitcher of water, because the Clawsons drink a lot of water!
We have some concrete leads on places to live but the homes are either currently not available or not ready to rent. So we sit in our apartment waiting.
My gratitude to Ben as he showed us the apartment on Sunday and told us it would be ready on Tuesday—even though Monday was a holiday. There was still some painting to be done as well as clean up. When he called on Tuesday morning and told us the apartment would be ready at 10 AM, I was astounded. We came to the apartment and what a transformation! It is beautiful. My compliments to Ben’s hard-working handyman who worked so hard for us.
Then I sat on the bed. I had heard about the Dynasty beds that are so hard they are like concrete, but I had never been on one. Well, the same bed must be in this apartment. When you sit on the bed, it does not give . . . at all! Luckily, we had packed our inflatable mattress in our suitcase and it saved the day. The mattress was placed on top of the concrete bed, and we both had a wonderful night’s sleep. Forethought comes to the rescue!
That was one of the hard things about coming to Tinian—what to bring and what to ship. We had been here in May and had checked out what was available on both Saipan and Tinian, so we had some idea about what we might not be able to get here; or would be too much of a bother to acquire. So some things went into boxes and some into our suitcases. We tried to think of the things we would need in the first few weeks before the majority of our boxes arrived. We debated about the mattress and finally decided to bring it in a suitcase. Good thinking! My mother, who had lived in Mongolia for about three years, told me that she and my Dad had the same problem and found they had the same problem—what to take/send and what to find there. They had a thriving black market in Mongolia and found most of the things they looked for. I don’t have a black market here (that I know of anyway) and have not found the need for one. I may not have the variety of choice here, but I can find pretty much everything I want.
So, we’re in our own place. It’s nice to be settled and have our things out of suitcases. The boxes have started arriving, pretty much intact (more later). We have free basic cable and our electricity is part of our rent, so I can have air conditioning! Best of all, we have maid service once a week . . . Kevan is ecstatic!