I don't understand it. It seems like every time I turn left or right, there is one less person there. For years, I was surrounded by a mob of friends; my best friends, at that. Now, I'm surrounded by new, unfamiliar faces that I don't recognize. Yes, I still have a couple friends around, but that doesn't make up for the fact that I have lost many.
I blame Saipan... I think everyone blames Saipan. Our failing economy forces children and their families to move to a more stable environment. Our constant power outages anger new residents, as well as old. The amount of robberies and thefts are increasing. Every. Single. Day. We just recently had a rape case this summer and it was truly devasting to hear about. Not only that, but it scared the residents on Saipan, making them too afraid to leave their houses. The residents became too paranoid to run around Beach Road or their neighborhood. The "outsiders" felt (and still feel) like they're getting picked on because they stick out like sore thumbs. All of these things prevent new comers from coming because they are so unappealing. Not only that, but they drive away old residents.
It all started with my best friends. Lisa, my best friend from soccer, left around 2006. I thought that was so devastating, but I had other friends to distract me and it wasn't that bad. Then, my other best friend left in 2008. That was hard; probably one of the hardest things I ever had to go through emotionally. Now, I don't think I'll ever be able to see her. After that, all my friends started leaving one by one. JUST this year, 7 of my friends left or are leaving. Last year, around 4 of them did. In just 2 years, 11 of my friends left. What kind of message does that send to you? Yah, there's GOTTA be something wrong with this island.
I love this island to death, I can not lie. It's the place where I was born and raised; the place where I learned to be ME. Saipan did shape me into a better person, because I was exposed it's diversity and loving culture. When I was little, Saipan was the best place for ME. A little American/Palauan girl who knew nothing about materialism, but everything about having fun and loving people. I am who I am because of Saipan; because of it's culture; because of the people. I love Saipan, because I grew up here. I just hate it because it's driving away my friends.