Riza Oledan-Ramos, writer
On the night of Sunday, August 2, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor made landfall on the island of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Though officially recorded as a "Category 5-equivalent super typhoon," speculation continues that Soudelor's winds far exceeded this category. Cars and even trucks were overturned, and it was later discovered that the wind speed recording equipment was destroyed during the storm; the highest speed recorded before the failure was 180 miles per hour. At the time, it was the most powerful storm to make landfall...ever...anywhere that year. The eye of a storm is a roughly circular region of mostly calm weather, typically 30-65 km (20-40 miles) in diameter, located at the center of strong tropical cyclones. It is surrounded by the eyewall, a ring of towering thunderstorms where the most severe weather occurs. Soudelor's core (the eye and eyewall) was smaller than the island. That's why the devastation on Saipan was so intense, and why the neighboring island of Tinian, only two miles away, was virtually untouched by the storm. Riza Ramos, her husband Ferdinand, and two children survived the devastation of that typhoon at point during which they were actually outside and unsheltered. Drinking Seawater is that story. However there is more….
— Zaldy Dandan, Editor, Marianas Variety Newspaper
[About Drinking Seawater]
Drinking Seawater, featuring images of real life on Saipan after Soudelor
150mph+ winds strong enough to flip cars!
Nothing leaves. Nothing nests!
Long lines for rationed gas photo: I. Feliciano
Librarian's review: “Keep Your Child Healthy!”
“Have you ever tried to communicate the importance of healthy practices to your children or students? This book gives you the tools for an exceptional lesson and teaches the importance of hand washing to prevent disease. I used it for grades K-5 as a whole class activity. A book like this could literally save your child's life, and reduce preventable disease transmitted via their hands over a lifetime! The World Health Organization could really use this book to spread the message of clean hands!”
--Art, the Librarian at William S. Reyes Elementary School on Saipan
Readers who can relate
Riza's friends at Bestseller Books on Saipan invite you to come browse their selection of books and pick up a copy of The Boy Who Dreamed..."
Riza's friends at the Commonwealth Health Center Giftshop on Saipan are selling The Boy Who Dreamed to Be With His Parents on Saipan!
What People Are Saying
“I just love your book and the story. It puts a face on the children who have foreign workers as parents. It is so endearing and beautifully told. I am going to ask my county's librarians to buy the book for our school libraries. Please let me know when another book comes out. Much love and best wishes to you and your precious family!”
— Wendy Doromal, activist, the UnheardNoMore blog (a forum for social justice dedicated to human rights, freedom, justice and democracy for the foreign contract workers in the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.)
“This is really great! This story is going to appeal to a lot of migrant workers kids, of which I am one. And it's also relevant even if you're not. There are many families whose parents work all week away from home, and their kids. I'm an adult with my own children now, but I related so much to Emmanuel's story. This feeling of what you love most tearing you away from those you love is something as a kid you just kind of observe and sit with, but that upon reflection as an adult, you realize what hard emotions you had to try and make sense of at a very early age. Also, this concept of your parents working because they love you is just impossible to justify in your head at that age. I just remember hearing the words but having my emotional words playing tennis with those and mine always winning. I could go on and on...I really liked it, and it sent me many years back to memories I had buried away. Riza, I think you have a great story and a huge market! The developing world experiences this daily!”
— R.R., Brooklyn, USA
“"It's been a while since a book affected me this much.... excellent and heart warming book. I really enjoyed reading it! I was initially thinking that it was a children's book, but my whole family loved it. Well illustrated and the story is filled with love and inspiration. An expression of parents' love for their kids. A must have for every family. I will recommend this book to my children's teacher. Can't wait for another best from this author.”
“This book captures a reality that affects millions of families worldwide. It's written from a child's perspective, but anyone who has ever had to feel the pain of separation from a loved one leaving to seek a better life, to work abroad, or to serve in the military will be able to relate. Sometimes it takes seeing the world through a child's eyes to make things crystal clear.”
— Walt F.J. Goodridge, author and Riza's book coach on two other projects.
Riza's friends at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library on Saipan have the book available for reading! Check it out!
Riza's friend, Emily Mitchell-Eaton, a doctoral student from Syracuse University conducting research on the CNMI immigration transition, interviewed Riza about The Boy Who Dreamed..
A child in Macau displays her bevy of books featuring GermStopper Boy
Breaking News from Walt:
A few weeks ago, a former workshop attendee and coaching client revealed that she nominated me to be considered for this year’s Governor’s Humanities Award here on Saipan. I thanked her, but I didn’t really believe I qualified because...(read why at www.jamaicaninchina.com/humanities-award)