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In defense of Lino Olopai

Dear Mr. DuBrall: I have attached a picture of Mr. Lino Olopai, as I do not believe you have ever met him because of your comments regarding him.

Lino Olopai is shown here frolicking with children at the beach. Photo provided by Valrick Welch. The students in the picture have signed media release forms. (Contributed Photo)

Lino Olopai is shown here frolicking with children at the beach. Photo provided by Valrick Welch. The students in the picture have signed media release forms. (Contributed Photo)

You suggested that Lino could make better use of his time by promoting education. A research-based fact of education is that children who come from strong families, who know and respect their culture, do better in all areas of school. An interesting, related, fact is that students who learn their parents’ language as their first language do better in reading and writing than students who learn English as their first language when English is not the first language of their parents. A research study reported in the New York Times found that students who knew their family tree and the stories that were part of their trees were more resilient to the stress and confusion of 9/11 than the students who did not know their about their families.

The research simply proves what Lino knows to be true. He tells a story about how the coconut tree is the tree of life, it provides materials for roofs, rope, cups, navigation instruments, shade, drink for voyages, seasonings, and food. He then reminds the listener that the coconut tree is the tree of life, but you really should learn about your tree of life.

Mr. DuBrall, you should be aware that when Mr. Olopai writes his letters, he is out of his element as English is not his first language and he doesn’t own a computer. However, ask the boy scouts, summer science camp students, 6th grade students on a retreat, his relatives, or any number of people that happen to be on the beach when he offers them a ride on a sailboat, what it is like to go out with him and be one with the wind and the ocean.

Valrick Welch
Capital Hill, Saipan

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Valrick Welch
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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