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BS: Studying in Guam

Naemanson 03 Jul 12 - 08:34 PM
Naemanson 03 Jul 12 - 08:15 PM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Jul 12 - 07:41 AM
Charley Noble 01 Jul 12 - 07:04 AM
Naemanson 01 Jul 12 - 04:40 AM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Jul 12 - 03:57 AM
Naemanson 01 Jul 12 - 12:22 AM
Sandra in Sydney 29 Jun 12 - 04:44 AM
SINSULL 28 Jun 12 - 10:43 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jun 12 - 10:10 PM
Naemanson 28 Jun 12 - 11:10 AM
katlaughing 24 Jun 12 - 07:39 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jun 12 - 04:19 PM
Roger the Skiffler 24 Jun 12 - 06:10 AM
Sandra in Sydney 24 Jun 12 - 06:05 AM
Naemanson 24 Jun 12 - 12:21 AM
Naemanson 23 Jun 12 - 11:43 PM
Amos 06 Jun 12 - 01:45 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Jun 12 - 12:15 PM
SINSULL 06 Jun 12 - 11:40 AM
Charley Noble 06 Jun 12 - 07:47 AM
Naemanson 06 Jun 12 - 07:02 AM
Ebbie 26 May 12 - 11:14 AM
GUEST 25 May 12 - 05:04 PM
Charley Noble 22 Jan 12 - 05:03 PM
mmm1a 21 Jan 12 - 10:17 PM
katlaughing 10 Dec 11 - 01:17 AM
Charley Noble 09 Dec 11 - 09:32 PM
Naemanson 09 Dec 11 - 08:48 PM
Charley Noble 05 Nov 11 - 09:29 AM
Naemanson 05 Nov 11 - 06:43 AM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Oct 11 - 05:04 AM
Charley Noble 30 Oct 11 - 11:55 AM
katlaughing 30 Oct 11 - 11:26 AM
Naemanson 30 Oct 11 - 12:10 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Oct 11 - 02:04 AM
Charley Noble 13 Oct 11 - 04:43 PM
Naemanson 13 Oct 11 - 09:17 AM
Charley Noble 10 Oct 11 - 08:19 AM
Naemanson 10 Oct 11 - 02:38 AM
Charley Noble 08 Oct 11 - 09:28 AM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Oct 11 - 08:47 AM
Naemanson 08 Oct 11 - 04:10 AM
Charley Noble 24 Sep 11 - 11:06 AM
Sandra in Sydney 24 Sep 11 - 10:52 AM
Naemanson 24 Sep 11 - 03:32 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Sep 11 - 03:59 AM
Naemanson 13 Sep 11 - 08:09 AM
katlaughing 07 Sep 11 - 11:17 PM
Charley Noble 07 Sep 11 - 10:57 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 08:34 PM

The new thread is at BS: Getting well in Guam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 08:15 PM

I would love to go to NZ but only at a time and in a condition where I could explore it. At this time it ain't gonna happen.

I've spent another two days pursuing medical treatment. Monday morning I called the physical therapist and confirmed they had sent the report to my primary doctor. I went to see him and spoke to the nurse who works with him. I told her the story and she said she would pull my file and they would get back to me. I lingered in town for a few hours and got no call.

Tuesday I went in to see the doctor. He had the report but had no idea what he was supposed to do with it. I went to TakeCare and asked them. They want a standard referral. They then told me that would get authorization for another consultation… in the Philippines! That was the point at which I let my frustration show. The rep hastily told me that with all I had done the surgeon I would see would definitely recommend surgery and I could get that done on the same trip. God, I hope so.

Today is a holiday (Happy Independence Day!!). All the offices are closed. Tomorrow back into it full and pushing hard.

Every time I hear someone arguing against socialized medicine they generally comment on how difficult it is to get the treatment. Obviously those people haven't had to deal with an HMO.

This thread is too long. I need to start another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 07:41 AM

we also have a few NZcatters.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 07:04 AM

We have some good music friends in Auckland, NZ, if you decide to fly there for medical services. They might be delighted to put you up.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 04:40 AM

I forgot to mention that the neighbor with the herd of dogs has built a fence to try to control them. I guess our complaints finally got through. There is chainlink in the front with stacked concrete cylinders for the back. We contributed quite a few of the cylinders.

The larger dogs are now contained. There are gaps in the system that allow the little dogs to squeeze out. Wakana has made it her quest to block up all the little exits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 03:57 AM

so much we (all) could do if we had money!


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 12:22 AM

I do have choices and on the surface they seem pretty good. I could go to California, Hawa'ii, or even New Zealand. The problem is money. Those places cost   much more to get to and a lot more for lodging and food. Trust me, when I heard NZ was on the list my heart skipped a beat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 04:44 AM

medical bureaucracy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 10:43 PM

Brett,
Is there no other option? US, maybe? Or Japan?
The Phillipines seem precarious at best.
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 10:10 PM

The animals appreciate that, I'm sure.

Our niece Heather has been teaching English in Japan for much of the year and keeps posting photos on her Facebook page of all the wonderful things she and her friends find to eat. She speaks fluent Japanese now but is looking forward to returning to Maine this August and beginning law school.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 11:10 AM

Still working the runaround but things aren't so bad here on the island. I went in for physical therapy. The therapist acknowledges that PT won't help. We did three sessions and he ran out of things to do. That does't mean he was inexperienced or incompetant. He just recognises that there is nothing he can do. He will send a report to my doctor admitting defeat. My doctor will forward that to the insurance company where it needs to be approved. Then I can head back to the PI for surgery.

And yes, Sandra, transportation, accomodations, and meals are out of my pocket.

Wakana is in Japan now for badly needed r&r. She'll be back next Wednesday. She's visiting family, shopping in bookstores, and eating in her favorite places.

I get to take care of the animals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 07:39 PM

Yes! Welcome back! Hope everything goes smoothly for the follow-up etc.! My Rog was in the Philippines in the Air Force in the 60s. It doesn't sound as though much has changed.

It is wonderful to hear from you, again.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 04:19 PM

SIGH!!!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 06:10 AM

Welcome back, Brett!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 06:05 AM

what a medical run-round! I assume your fund didn't pay your air fares & accommodation, etc?

I have a Philipina friend who I rarely see now she is has grandchildren living in a country town. When she's not visiting them she is back in the Philipines visiting her family. We've spoken once, briefly about the poverty in the Philipines but you've given me info I didn't know.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Jun 12 - 12:21 AM

Throughout the trip one theme kept running through my mind. This is the America the Republicans would build! There is nothing for the people. When children beg in the streets, when there is no police presence controlling the flow of traffic or protecting the people, when an ambulances sit tied up in traffic with the lights flashing and siren blasting only to get edged out by someone who HAS to get ahead, when there are people wandering in and out of traffic trying to sell whatever they can, when businesses (including restaurants) have to hire security guards to manage customers and banks keep their doors locked by armed guards inside and out, when you can drive from beggars to shopping mall in five minutes assuming the traffic in front of the yacht club doesn't slow you down, then you will know that the Republicans have had their way.

There is no oversight of cleanliness of restaurants, no control of traffic, the sidewalks are not safe and nobody does anything about it despite crowds of people using them, there is no system to move from one side of the city to the other quickly, i.e., no highways or other limited access transportation routes, and so much more. That is when you know that the conservatives are glorying in the running of the country into the ground.

And some of you might say we already have it in the USA. I don't know. It's been a while since I was in an American city. Maybe we are already there. I know there are areas like this in most cities in the USA. I know that there are plenty of examples of what I've listed above to be found in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, etc.

I think the difference is in the scope. In Manila it is everywhere. There were housing units (the name gives them way too much dignity for what they look like) that look like piles of broken boxes leaning over the filthy slime that fills the river flowing through the neighborhoods. You know the river is bad because you don't see any children playing in it. Or that might be because they are out begging in the streets.

This is the America of Mitt Romney and his compatriots.

(There is one exception to the comparison with America. The streets are dirty but there is no trash! Everywhere you look you see people with brooms keeping the litter under control. Too bad they cannot emigrate to the USA and teach us something about this.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 11:43 PM

OK, here is a long post about my trip to the Philippines. Some of this was written on my Nook while there and the rest is pieces of emails from me to Wakana.

I mention the peso quite often. The exchange rate is 40 pesos to the dollar.

[Written on my Nook on the first night.]

I arrived this morning around 7:10. The plane was actually comfortable. Lots of leg room but I did get an exit row.

Before we landed the two women sitting next to me warned me a bout taxis. They said the taxi is the only way to get around but to make sure I take one from airport service. They said there are plenty of taxis you cannot trust. They also told me to have the hotel call a cab for me. That way I can be sure they will take note of the license number.

After customs and immigration I wandered out to find a money exchange. A man wearing a license pouch approached me to offer taxi services. I told him I needed to exchange money first. He directed me to a I kiosk then waited for me. I was concerned he might be one of the unscrupulous cab drivers but I took some comfort in his license.

The main directed me to a room marked "Transportation Services." He and another man asked for 2500 pesos to take me to St. Luke's. I took some comfort in their licenses and paid them. They took me out to an unmarked car. I objected that the car was not marked a They pointed out the license plate and then to the plates on the marked cab. They were the same design whereas the cars driving by had a different design. I got in.

The driver was young man who spoke very little English but he still tried to talk with me. He said he had "children" but it turned out he only had one, if indeed that was actually a picture of his wife and child. The child was three years old according t him. He also managed to say "Driver hungry! Stop Jellibees?" He also said "No money." He kept repeating it until I agreed to buy him breakfast We stopped at Jollibee, a hamburger joint similar to McDonalds. He had a fried chicken dinner while I had beef tapa and rice. When we left we needed someone to stop traffic so we could back out. I had to tip the guy who did that for us.

And that seems to define the overall attitude here. Everyone is in a mad scramble for money. Children walk through traffic with their hands out knocking on car windows. People have their places set out for helping drivers park. People watch you as if you were fresh meat (though that just might be my own outlandish look and behavior).

Anyway, as we got closer to the hospital he began to try to make me understand that his daughter's birthday was coming and he had "No money." He even managed to use the word tip to get his meaning across. As I got out of the car he asked for American dollars as a "souvenir" but I pretended not to understand. I bid him good day and went into the hospital.

It turned out to be the right hospital but wrong building. It took some walking around to find the right office. And it was closed.

You see, June 12 is Philippines Independence Day. No offices are open today.

So I checked into the hotel. The room is small and the bed is like a brick but I had been up since 345 AM and I needed a nap. I slept several hours.

Later I went across the skeet to Starbuck's. I bought a dub sandwich and cafe latte and a WIFI card. I sent an email to Wakana. I stopped at the grocery store on my way back and got something to drink and some cookies.

Now I am settled into my room for the night.

@@@@@
[Email to Wakana] Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:41 PM

Arrived safely. All offices are closed. It's Independence Day for the Philippines.

Hotel room is small but has a kitchen. Seems to be clean but bed is a match for the rice cracker futon.

I took a cab from the airport. It cost 2500 pesos. The driver didn't speak much English but made it clear he was hungry and wanted to stop but he had no money. As we got closer to the hospital he started to talk about his daughter and how it would be her birthday tomorrow but he had no money. I gave him 20 pesos as a tip. He asked American money as a "souvenir." I pretended I couldn't understand him and walked into the hospital.

I'm at the Starbuck's. The hotel has no WIFI. Here I can get on the internet but it costs 60 pesos to use it.

Not sure you'd like it here. There is no secure feeling as you walk around. In Japan people look at me and I can see curiosity in their faces. Here they look like sharks trying to decide if you are tasty. I can't see how anyone would dare get drunk here.

Two women on the plane warned me to be careful on the streets near St. Luke's. I can see what they meant. Everyone is hustling for money. The streets and buildings are dirty but there is no trash like you'd see in an American city. Cars, trucks, buses, jeepneys, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles seem to follow no road rules and the lines on the pavement seem to be only guidelines. Several times I expected to crash but we survived.

So, here I am. I haven't figured out how to make a phone call. Once I do I'll give you a call. I hope you remember to check your email.

@@@@@

[Email from Wakana] Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:40 AM

Hi.

I'm glad you are safely in the Philippines.

I just remembered you could send emails using your Nook. Sorry, I'm late.

What a difference when you are not at home. I closed the door little early last night and I talked to the cats and dog more than usual.

By the way, were you able to meet the TakeCare people yesterday? You said all offices were closed. Any way, you have the doctor's appointment today. I hope your doctor is good and nice.

I told you the Philippines is a third world country. They know the dollar is strong and they want to get MONEY. But, 2500 pesos to get your Hotel was not bad. I thought 6000 pesos or over.

If you don't make phone calls (from pay phone or hotel), please use email. I will check my email often. Also I will have my cell phone with me when I am outside or if I go out.

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] 6/13/12 - Quezon City

Quiet night. Bathroom has one of those rain showers with the huge shower head. Really cool. It also has no bath mat and a slippery tile floor. Really scary!

I got to TakeCare at 8:30. They told me I was at the wrong hospital, that I should be at the one in Global City. They pointed out that the referral said Global City. But they accepted me there and gave me the paper to see the neurosurgeon when his clinic opens for the two hours he is open this week! It's on a first-come-first served basis. I plan to be there at 2:00.

I am writing this at a little place next to the hospital. It is CafeFrance. I bought a large orange juice, a ham and cheese omelet, and a croissant for 200 pesos. The orange juice is really a form of orange drink, not really juice, but it comes in a glass with a narrow waist that is easily 10 inches tall. The omelet is good as is the croissant. And WIFI is free!

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Wed, 2012/6/13

Good morning! I am glad you checked your email. It's good to know you are well.

I could not meet with the TakeCare office yesterday. Just like them to set an appointment for a holiday. After I drink my coffee I will go up to the office to check in. They open at 8:00.

It was a quiet night last night. I watched some TV and read for a while. On the way back from Starbuck's I stopped at a grocery store but they had very little for sale. I bought some water and C2 and some cookies. I bought couple of magazines, Time and Newsweek.

My coffee is almost gone. Time to go.

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Wednesday, June 13, 2012 3:08 PM

Hi,

I was a good boy! Honest! It wasn't my fault.

The doctor's office opens at 2:00. I had nothing to do but wait so I decided to wait in his office. I got there about 12:45. You'd have been proud of me.

There was a note on his door saying his clinic would not be open today! Remember, it's only open once a week!

I went to TakeCare to notify them. They will try to hook me up with another doctor. They told me to go wait for them to call. Remember Hawai'i?

I am frustrated and angry and working hard not to show it.

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Wednesday, June 13, 2012 10:35 AM

Hi,

You did get my long email. You answered telling me you were cleaning up around the mailbox. I guess it wasn't that long.

I met with the TakeCare people this morning. They said I was in the wrong hospital. We got it sorted out. I will see the neurosurgeon this afternoon.

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Thursday, June 14, 2012 10:04 AM

Hi,

I went over to the TakeCare office first thing. I took them some pastries from CafeFrance to let them know I had nothing against them personally. I told them about my trip to Hawai'i and asked for their help. I told them the scar on my wrist came from a very painful and unnecessary procedure because I could not get an MRI.

I hope that will make them work harder.

I have to get back to the hotel

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Thu, 2012/6/14

Hi,

Last night's call cost over 3,000 pesos! No more calls. Sorry.

I saw a doctor today... finally. Apparently TakeCare requires doctors to try a few weeks of physical therapy before they will authorize surgery. Dr. Lipana says physical therapy will not fix the problem but we have to do it anyway.

So, I will come home tomorrow as planned. I will get the physical therapy in Guam and then have Stratton request the surgery. Once that is approved I will come back here to get the work done.

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Friday, June 15, 2012 9:47 AM

Hi,

In about an hour I will check out and head for the big mall near the airport. I will spend the day there.

My flight lands at 4:00 AM. I cannot wait to see you again and hold you and touch you.

@@@@@

[Email to Wakana] Friday, June 15, 2012 12:41 PM

Hi,

I checked out of the hotel and took a cab here to the Mall of Asia. I am here for the day. It's a huge mall. I've been walking for the last hour and still I am nowhere near my arrival point. I am now at the food court, or maybe only one of several food courts.

As I walked I passed several familiar fast food places but none are represented here. Some of the names I see are Kamay Kainan, Tom Yum Thai, Hecky's Lechon, Laoag, Fat Boy's, and Pinoy Toppings. I haven't had a real breakfast yet but I an not hungry. Later I'll go somewhere to eat and sit for a while. I might go to a movie just to kill some time. I have 10 hours till I have to be at the airport.

Security is a big deal here. Last night when I went to WalterMart (I love that name) a security guard searched my bag. Here they search it before you can enter the interior of the mall. Almost every store and restaurant has one or more guards, mostly acting as door openers but in uniforms and armed at least with a Billy club. I went to bank this morning and as I waited my turn at the ATM I noticed there was one guard outside the bank armed with a shotgun and another armed guard inside who only unlocked the door when the outside guard nodded.

The ride down here was a whole other experience. The cab driver danced his car through the traffic with a combination of horn, accelerator, and brake. At one point he passed a bus by running half on the sidewalk. There was no attitude of hurry or anger, just concentration and quick looks using mirrors and turning his head. The military would be well advised to start the training of pilots by having them "fly" through Manila traffic.

I never saw any evidence of highways. The drive to, and the later drive from, the hotel wound through the small streets of the cities. The only open roads similar to a highway were the bridges over the larger rivers.

On today's drive I noticed a few billboards for hotels that extolled one virtue I've never seen advertised before. The hotels included the phrase "NO BROWN-OUTS" in their ads. Apparently they have their own back up generator.

I guess I'll go find a bathroom and then see what is playing at the movies. More later.

@@@@@

[Notes written on the Nook] 6/15/12

I went to the movies. Lockout is a crumby movie. Wakana will miss nothing.

I had a pork dish for lunch at the food court. It was very good. It's now 2:22 and I have 6 more hours to kill. Nothing to say.

Random Observations

Driving to the mall we passed the Cultural Center, a large blocky building. The sign, chrome letters on a concrete or stone block. The letters are whole but the block is dark with mold.

In the three cab rides I've taken I do not remember any rough patches of road. The streets are in pretty good shape. I say the streets are but the sidewalks leave a lot to be desired. On my walks between the hotel and the hospital the sidewalks are narrow and broken and filled with obstacles. At one point, the narrowest sidewalk, there is a square block of concrete sticking up about four inches. It was the base for a street light. I know what it was because the jagged twisted metal of the pole still sticks up out or the block about six inches, maybe more. Remember, you dare not put a foot in the street! After that there are uneven points where new parking areas might have thrown up a mound of asphalt. Oh, and the drivers park on the sidewalks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 01:45 PM

Hafadai, Brett!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 12:15 PM

it has been a while!


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for the update, Brett. Maybe a surprise gift for Wakana is in order?
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 07:47 AM

Brett-

Nice to get an update.

We also lost one of our adopted cats to feline leukemia. But we did manage to keep him for about 6 years and he seemed happy until his last day. We still miss the big lug.

Off to Mystic tomorrow.

Any chance that you will be revisiting the States this summer?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 07:02 AM

Hi guys,

It's been a while since I checked in. As of yesterday it's been a year since Dad died. I have survived another year in high school. The girls were unable to drive me away. Now Wakana and I are on summer vacation.

The problem with my fingers that I complained about last September was finally diagnosed as two or three disks in my neck. I will go to the Philippines next week to see a neurosurgeon about the problem.

In the meantime the problem has become pretty bad. It is spreading to the middle and index fingers. I am back to typing with just the index fingers, can't trust the others to go where I want them.

Wakana is fine as are two of the cats and the dog. Neko, unfortunately, has feline leukemia and is getting skinnier and skinnier. Wakana will not give up on her.

Mika has grown huge. I have a picture of Wakana holding him. His forelegs and head are on her shoulder and his body stretches all the way down to her waist.

Shawna is doing very well. Wakana took her to school when she went in to clean up her room. The other teachers were amazed that she was the same dog as before. She looks 100% better, healthy and shiny and fat...ter.

Not much more to report. I bought a Nook to use for my travels. I loaded it up with books and enjoy reading them even though I had to give up the scent and feel of the real thing. Lugging the nook is easier than lugging enough books to keep me happy on long trips. The downside is that Wakana keeps stealing it to play Bejeweled. She would not dream of spending the money on her own gadget but will run my battery down, happily oblivious to the rest of the world. She needs her own.

I'm tired now and will end. I'll check in again later and try to keep up the thread.

Brett


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 May 12 - 11:14 AM

I'm reading a book published in 1997 in which there is a large section about Guam. Written by Oliver Sacks, it is 'Island of the Colorblind'. Sacks is/was a neurologist studying several plants in Micronesia that appear to result in serious ailments.

Interesting stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 12 - 05:04 PM

Hey, Brett, your school year should be winding up soon. Any plans for a visit to the States this year?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 05:03 PM

Brett-

Did you and Wakana survive the Christmas holidays?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: mmm1a
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 10:17 PM

How are things in Guam ? I Don't really post alot but I have enjoyed reading your posts about your life in Guam. I know that I will never get to see alot of other countries, so I realy like hearing about them from people who live there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 01:17 AM

Brett, it's so good to hear an update from you. Life seems to be such an adventure living there, from the way the government operates to the interesting and challenging students, and the entertaining critters!

Did you ask Santa for iPod? Maybe he could do a flyover? Really glad that you have a car now that you like.

It's also good to hear Wakana will be able to slow down after she's done with the college.

What is it about critters that they enjoy rolling around getting themselves so dirty? I've seen horses do it, dogs do it, cats, etc. but not a white cat. That must make quite a picture.

I really enjoyed the Guam pictures and old maps etc. that you sent in the last PowerPoint. It's neat to know you have found another great cache.

Isn't February in Maine close to Maple sugar time? Or is that still too early? At least her husband will be jumping in with both feet, eh?**BG** I hope you get to see them sometime this year.

Take care and thanks again,

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 09:32 PM

Brett-

Thanks for the update.

Sounds like you're both hard at work but finally getting some satisfaction from it.

How are your wrists now?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 08:48 PM

When you are busy time sure slips past. I'd rather watch it drift by me like a slow moving river instead of the tsunami it has been lately.

I bought a Hyundai Elantra. It's short and sleek and has lots of science fiction lines and all the bells and whistles. I now can hook my iPod directly into the stereo system except that the iPod died about a week after I got the car. I miss it.

And I cannot get another one on the island. You see, last weekend GovGuam finally paid back the income tax refunds from the previous two to three years. And everyone went shopping. They used the shopping malls to hand over checks and then mailed the rest of them. The lines curved out of the buildings and around the perimeter. Some people stood in line for two days. I waited for the mail and got mine the following Tuesday.

So the banks were crowded and the stores were crowded and now there is little left to buy. It's a good year to be a retailer on Guam.

My classes are going well. The girls are good students in general. I say in general because there are always a few rotten eggs. I'm especially having fun with the Guam History and Culture class. In fact it distracts me from the American Government classes I should be teaching. I spent several hours this morning downloading pictures from a cache I discovered while looking up something else. Good stuff.

Wakana is very tired. Working two jobs is getting to her. This will be her last semester teaching at the college. She really needs to quit working 11 hours a day in the classrooms and then another 3 to 4 hours at home.

Animals are all well except that Mama Kitty and Neko refuse to accept Mika. He is bigger than them now and a formidable cat. He keeps trying to play up to them and they keep hissing and growling at him. His new favorite thing is to find the dry mud in the dooryard and roll in it. Dirt really stands out on a white cat.

Kelli is leaving England. She and her family should be back in Maine by February. I think it's a dirty trick to bring her husband and child to Maine at that time of year but that is the plan and she's sticking to it.

Next week is Wakana's last before Christmas Break. I don't finish until the following Thursday. I can't wait.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 09:29 AM

Brett-

How about one of these: click here for photo

But don't forget to rewind it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 06:43 AM

I just calculated the amount of rainfall for the last six months. In that time we have been blessed with 79.09" of rain. The back yard is sopping wet. I need my four wheel drive to get around in it as I need to use the back yard to turn around.

My ex-wife is in the hospital with heart trouble combined with a fever. Though I make as though she is the devil herself I do hope she is OK. My daughters would be heartbroken if their mother were to slip away.

We are in November, the month of holidays. Of course there are Veterans' Day and Thanksgiving but I work for a Catholic school so we also had November 2, All Souls' Day, off. Then December 8 we have the Feast of the Immaculate Conception off as well as Christmas break starting on December 22. I estimate we have 28 school days left in the semester.

I've been shopping for a new car. I don't like letting go of the pickup but it only gets 21 miles to the gallon. A new Hyundai gets upwards of 40 gets up to 40 miles to the gallon. It will take a bit longer to scrape up a bit more money to get a decent down payment together. Currently I'm considering the Elantra. I hate car shopping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Oct 11 - 05:04 AM

I hope your hands (slowly) get better


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 11:55 AM

Brett-

It's a dreary march, our quest for empire, with many a twist and turn.

And we still have not learned the lesson.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 11:26 AM

Brett, it seems the USA was consistent, if nothing else, in its "conquering/vanquishing" of indigenous cultures wherever it landed. What you've written could be the history of Native Americans/First Nation all over, again. What makes it even more interesting, from a study standpoint, imo, is it being so contained and so removed from the "mainland" of the USA. I echo your sentiments about the actions of the majority of those who went before us. It is a good and right thing you are doing...the people's history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 12:10 AM

I guess I was jumping the gun on thinking the feeling was coming back to my fingertips. I guess I'd have to say there is no substantial change.

And the lack of control and tremors in my outboard fingertips seems to be getting worse. It's difficult to type and playing the guitar is completely beyond my ability.

Still, there is no snow predicted in the near future (nor in the distant future). We've had a lot of rain this season. The other day I was almost bitten by a mosquito! But December should bring us an end to the rainy season...

I've been trying to put my lesson plans together for Guam History. I am not good at seeing the themes of historical perspective I guess.A textbook makes it easier because someone has already done that for you and laid it out in the chapters. I am working from a people's history of Guam. I need to find those themes on my own.

And what makes it difficult is that I am teaching a culture that is not my own. There are subtleties I cannot see. In fact, when working on it I just get so angry at the self important white idiots who thought they knew better and who considered the island their own property to use as they pleased without consideration of the people to whom it belonged.

In 1898 the Navy "captured" the island from the Spanish in a series of events that would make a good comedy. They came, arrested the Spanish officers in the government, raised a flag then took it down, got on their ships and left. The island was left without a government for the first time since 1668.

And the USA didn't bother setting a government in place for the next 14 months. And then the guy they sent out here was a jumped up martinet who had no idea of what the place was like or what was needed to be done. He arrived, banned alcohol, ordered unmarried couples to marry, forbid the sale or transfer of land, kicked the priests off the island and then told the people they had freedom to worship as they pleased, and he forbid the fiestas that were the center of village life. He set up schools where they kids could learn English and get rid of the abominable language of their parents, he forbid the people from selling produce or alcohol (their only traditional sources of cash) to the ships that came to visit, and he set up a new tax system and began confiscating land if the people didn't pay their taxes.

Essentially the Naval governors did whatever struck them as needed doing. They issued orders and, because they were naval officers they expected them to be carried out.

In 230 years of Spanish government the local people were not as regulated as in the years of the naval governors. In an early petition to the US government asking for a civilian government they made the comment that they had been better off under the Spanish.

I'm just disgusted with my forebears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 02:04 AM

I'll second that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Oct 11 - 04:43 PM

Brett-

"And the feeling is coming back to my fingertips"

That's very encouraging news.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 13 Oct 11 - 09:17 AM

Surgery was two days ago. It was endoscopic which means they didn't cut the hands open. Instead the doctor cut two holes, one in my wrist and one on the palm of the hand, and reached in with tiny instruments to cut the sleeve and release the pressure on the nerves. I now have two band-aids on each hand and my palms and wrists are badly bruised and sore. And the feeling is coming back to my fingertips.

Of course, that isn't why I went in to see the doctor in the first place. I have minimal control on the pinky and ring finger of each hand. They tend to quiver and go to their own places. The doctor says it MIGHT be the result of the carpal tunnel and it MIGHT clear up in about six weeks.

For now I have to avoid lifting anything heavy (i.e., 10 pounds or more) until the incisions heal. That's pretty much everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 08:19 AM

Are they doing both hands at once? I was thinking they usually do one at a time, given you some time to recover full use of the hand in question.

I'm also thinking it actually didn't take Dahlov that long to recover full use of her hand. If it were my hand, I'd probably remember better!

Good luck with the surgery.

We did our last boating for the summer with a friend; it was 80 degrees F. in October. Quite lovely!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 10 Oct 11 - 02:38 AM

Good ideas. I am planning to do something with Google Earth but it will probably not be in this semester. Maybe with the second class in the second semester (Guam history is a half-year course).

I have been going through the notebooks/journals I assigned the students. It's a long difficult process but one which is almost done. I only have one class left to do.

Tomorrow is the surgery. I don't think I can use my hands tomorrow but I hope to be back at work the day after. Somehow I have to lug all these notebooks back to school.

Happy Invasion Day!


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 09:28 AM

Brett-

The Atlas project sounds like a great way to get your students involved. Have you thought about adding images of each location via Google Earth, or collecting vintage photographs? One could also do a Power Point presentation of the resulting atlas, as I've done from my Facebook album Steamboat Days.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 08:47 AM

best wishes for your surgery


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 08 Oct 11 - 04:10 AM

We are at the weekend that separates the first quarter from the second. I have a ton of work to do, literally. I have all the students' notebooks to grade. It took five reusable grocery bags to get them all home. I have to get them graded before my surgery on Tuesday. Sigh, I don't know if I can do it but I'm certain taking time to write this isn't helping.

Last quarter I had the kids build an atlas of the island. The telephone book has maps of all the villages so all they had to do was start with that and identify 11 features with pictures and a paragraph or two. This quarter I am going to give them a list of things to go ut and find. They will have to add them to their atlas. I foresee them doing this exercise at least twice or maybe even three times between now and Christmas which is the end of the Guam History class.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Sep 11 - 11:06 AM

Brett-

There have been great advances in carpal tunnel surgery in recent years. My mother had operations on both wrists and was delighted with the results. Total success in outcome is probably related to early intervention but surgery will at least relieve pain and prevent further damage.

Hoping for the best!

Today we're off to another Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 24 Sep 11 - 10:52 AM

fingers crossed, best wishes for a good recovery


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Sep 11 - 03:32 AM

Last Wednesday I went to see Dr. Landstrom. He is a hand surgeon (one of the best in the USA). He had the results of a series of nerve conduction tests. He tells me I have severe carpal tunnel in both wrists and possible nerve damage. He is scheduling me for surgery at the soonest possible date.

The good news is that he will do arthroscopic surgery that will not require a lot of cutting and sewing.

Bu he does not know if I will be able to play the guitar when he's done. If the nerves in my wrists have been compressed for less than six months then they might regenerate. If longer, they won't. And the lack of control in my fingers might be caused by something else farther up the nerve system, possibly in the neck or inside the skull.

Start saving your money. I might have to sell my guitars... (Attempt at black humor)


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 03:59 AM

Guam Visitor's Bureau

lot of interesting stuff to do - including this

War Dog Cemetery
Located at Naval Station. Those interested in visiting the Cemetery
must call Naval Station Pass & ID Office at 339-6217, 7:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. Instructions will be given to address a letter to the Commanding
Officer stating purpose of your entry on base.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 08:09 AM

If you are interested there is a new website by the Guam Visitor's Bureau at http://www.visitguam.org. I stopped by there yesterday to see what kind of free stuff I could score. I also wanted to ask if they could have someone come talk to my students about the role tourism plays for Guam.

Tourist businesses have really suffered since the March disasters in Japan. Tourism is way off and there is no prediction for when the numbers will come up again.

On top of that there are some congressmen in Washington wondering if maybe they should cancel the build-up (i.e., moving the Marines from Okinawa to Guam). There are a lot of people here investing heavily in anticipation of those people coming here. If it doesn't happen the island faces an economic crisis that will hit here a lot harder than the current recession is hitting the States.


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 11:17 PM

Brett, I think your teaching strategies are BRILL! Those kids are lucky and they will remember you and, what you've taught them, forever. Any chance of being able to see your power point slides?


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Subject: RE: BS: Studying in Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 10:57 PM

Brett-

The hurricane was no more powerful than a regular nor'easter, maybe a little more rain.

Now we're getting some more rain this evening from what's left of tropical storm Lee. Time to bail the boat out again!

Charley Noble


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