When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Feb 25, 2007

30 years on the island and then what?

I met this contract worker who fixed our house and spoke to him. I learned that he's been on the island for 30 years and still working on the island on contract basis. I just can't imagine he's survived three decades of loyalty and earning a meager living on the island. He said he's worked with construction firms that built hotels, apartment buildings, office buildings among many others in the CNMI.

His hands have gone numb for those thick callouses from the manual work he's been doing to erect towers and high rise buildings since then. I asked him why does he remain on the island when in fact he should be retiring. He just told me that he simply loves Saipan now, which he has considered his home for a long time now.

What has he benefited from this island? Yes, bigger and humble earnings compared to the country he actually is from, however, he remains to toil and squander sweat and blood just to feed a family here and back home.

Saipan is a place to fall in love with, but what does it do to take care of those people that helped built and that are still building this island? What has the CNMI done to recognize them as being instrumental in building a nation?

There are several more that have been here for over 10 years now, yet they work harder, with no retirement benefits or something that would help them retire and confidently go back home.

That man's hand and face have shriveled--from waiting to be recognized, he said.

The Reveler

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