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News From Guam

Naemanson 19 Jun 03 - 10:12 PM
wysiwyg 19 Jun 03 - 11:34 PM
katlaughing 19 Jun 03 - 11:50 PM
Ebbie 20 Jun 03 - 12:16 AM
Mark Cohen 20 Jun 03 - 01:32 AM
Allan C. 20 Jun 03 - 06:17 AM
Willie-O 20 Jun 03 - 06:30 AM
Brían 20 Jun 03 - 07:08 AM
Alba 20 Jun 03 - 07:22 AM
Charley Noble 20 Jun 03 - 08:27 AM
Bat Goddess 20 Jun 03 - 09:03 AM
GUEST 20 Jun 03 - 10:30 AM
Cool Beans 20 Jun 03 - 11:35 AM
MMario 20 Jun 03 - 11:41 AM
catspaw49 20 Jun 03 - 12:18 PM
Naemanson 25 Jun 03 - 01:04 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Jun 03 - 07:26 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 03 - 11:04 AM
SINSULL 25 Jun 03 - 05:56 PM
Naemanson 26 Jun 03 - 04:11 AM
Charley Noble 26 Jun 03 - 08:31 AM
katlaughing 26 Jun 03 - 11:26 AM
M.Ted 26 Jun 03 - 12:32 PM
Naemanson 27 Jun 03 - 02:37 AM
MMario 27 Jun 03 - 08:10 AM
katlaughing 27 Jun 03 - 10:45 AM
Giac 27 Jun 03 - 12:30 PM
Naemanson 27 Jun 03 - 07:49 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 03 - 10:29 AM
SINSULL 28 Jun 03 - 12:09 PM
Naemanson 28 Jun 03 - 05:18 PM
Mark Cohen 28 Jun 03 - 08:45 PM
Nancy King 28 Jun 03 - 09:57 PM
Ebbie 28 Jun 03 - 09:57 PM
CarolC 28 Jun 03 - 11:40 PM
Naemanson 29 Jun 03 - 02:47 AM
Mark Cohen 29 Jun 03 - 02:51 AM
GUEST 29 Jun 03 - 01:24 PM
Leadfingers 29 Jun 03 - 01:55 PM
Naemanson 29 Jun 03 - 07:57 PM
sed 30 Jun 03 - 07:21 PM
GUEST 30 Jun 03 - 07:37 PM
Charley Noble 30 Jun 03 - 08:29 PM
SINSULL 30 Jun 03 - 08:47 PM
open mike 30 Jun 03 - 08:51 PM
Naemanson 03 Jul 03 - 06:54 PM
open mike 03 Jul 03 - 08:07 PM
Alba 03 Jul 03 - 08:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jul 03 - 12:13 AM
Naemanson 05 Jul 03 - 06:04 PM
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Subject: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 10:12 PM

I considered making this a BS thread but this will be a musical journey as well as a life journey. For I have discovered "...thar's folk music in them thar islands!" I heard some bluegrass and other music on the local NPR station and called to talk to the DJ. I have no transportation until August when my little pickup arrives so we will be hard pressed to get together. Apparently he and his band are taking a couple of months off. But there's hope.

And, of course, I'll be headed for Australia and New Zealand while I am here so the Oz Mudcats can expect to see me sometime in the next 6 months or so.

Guam is a fun place to visit but I haven't made up my mind about staying. But I have been here a week now. Only 103 weeks to go… (Just so you know, I had to stop and do the math. I am not counting down the days.)

I haven't done much here yet but go to work and then back to my room at the end of the day. But I did get out this weekend, in a rental car, to see the island.

This is a very beautiful place. There are mountains. The pictures I downloaded from the web do not do them justice. The southern villages are merely groupings of houses in a general area, no real formation or plan. There are beautiful homes and there are squalid homes. They nestle side by each in the villages with neat yards bordered by overgrown piles of junk. Many homes and businesses were damaged in the typhoon last December and have not yet been repaired.

The northern villages are more urban in nature, with businesses creating strip malls and gas stations all over the place. There are real shopping malls up there as well as the tourist areas in Tumon. The tourist area is aimed largely at the Japanese so the businesses have signs in Japanese and English. There are Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Australian channels on the TV. There is even a channel called The Visitor's Channel that shows what to do and where to go on Guam. It is broadcast mostly in Japanese though so I cannot figure out how to find the things they advertise.

But things are not very rosy in Guam right now. I went into the tourist area and the place was a ghost town. Between the sagging Japanese economy and fear of SARS there are very few tourists in town. Guam is hurting.

I am living in the Bachelor Officer's Quarters out on the end of a road by the quarry on the base. I am surrounded by lawn and jungle out there. This is a good thing and a bad thing. I have re-injured my knee and it is proving to be a bother. Take my advice and purchase stock in any company that makes Ibuprofen. But I am buying a bicycle today and hope to be able to get out to the mini mart, a restaurant, and some of the other services available here. I am looking forward to that. Without transportation I exist on cereal and PBJ sandwiches.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 11:34 PM

.... thinking of you ....

~S~


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 11:50 PM

{{{{{{BRETT}}}}}} and big smooches, too! Thanks for letting us know how you are and for the tour. Sending some good, healing thoughts for your knee and spirits and for a more varied diet!**bg** Goodonya for finding the music!!

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 12:16 AM

Thanks for the look. Stay in touch; I'm sure we'd all love updates. The best of luck to you.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 01:32 AM

Brett, let me know if you plan to wander over to this part of the Pacific...we now have a monthly open-air bluegrass and acoustic jam session here in Honolulu!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 06:17 AM

Really do appreciate the update, Brett. I'm especially liking your personal glimpses. What a treat!


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Willie-O
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 06:30 AM

Yeah, keep those cards and letters coming, big guy.

W-O


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Brían
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 07:08 AM

It is very nice to hear from you Naem'. The Press Room seemed strangely empty without out you. In fact as everyone was in Mystic it was strangely empty. So are you going to trade in your guitar for a banjo?

Brían


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Alba
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 07:22 AM

Helllllllllo Brett.
Sounds like a bit of adjusting time will be required (from Maine to Guam, well of course it will! LOL) but I have Faith in you to seek out and find the Positives which will help to dispell any negs you may encounter.
It is great to hear about the Music...that must have been a bonus for you.
Thinking of you and sending you Healing energy for that damn Knee problem.
The Bike will be a help in getting about and it won't be long till your Truck is there and that will make a big diffrence I'm sure, especially to your menu. Nobody can survive on Cereal and PBJ sandwiches alone!:>)
It is great to hear from you. Looking forward to your next post.
Best Wishes coming at ye
A:>)


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 08:27 AM

Great to hear you're still in good humor. A good sense of the absurd should help float you through the next few weeks until you establish your base camp and friendship circle.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 09:03 AM

A friend once told me about a summer she existed on cornflakes and gin . . . (is there a song there someplace?)

Hey, the bike sounds like a good idea! To help take off the pounds that PB&J will put on. Might even prove more practical for local travel than your pickup.

Really good to hear from you -- and scaring up some music shouldn't be too difficult. There seems to be music everywhere including a number of homemade bands in Antarctica. The music you find should be "hotter"!

Linn


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 10:30 AM

hey Dad! good hear you're doing well. :-) i'm dutifully practicing my flute and printing out all the music i can find online. :-)
talk to you soon.
love
kelli


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Cool Beans
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 11:35 AM

If you run into Manny Crisostomo, the most famous person in (on?) Guam, tell him his old compadres in Detroit send their good wishes.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 11:41 AM

Are the reports about the snake population dnesity greatly exaggerated?


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 12:18 PM

Me and Mario need to know!!!

Hope it goes all your way Brett. Bound to be some problems at first but let's hope they work out quickly. Stick with creamy PB just in case you prone to diverticular problems......ne need to add in anything like that too!!! (:<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 01:04 AM

I am getting closer to getting online from my room. Hopefully tonight I can really get things rolling. I will be spending the next two days in an orientation and tour of the base and the island. I will eat some more Chamorro food and see some of the sights. I wonder if I should post some pictures somewhere? Or maybe I'll wait till our Northern climes are covered in snow before I send in pictures of me lolling on the beaches.

Mark, I expect I will be sending some quality time in Hawaiilater on this year. There are a number of meetings that may require my presence. Hold open a place in the circle.

Cool Beans, I work with a Fred Crisostomo. I'll ask if he knows him. Is there any real world name I can give him?

Yesterday I sat down to lunch with some of the office staff. they invited me to share their meal. It was corned beef hash cooked up with onions and hot peppers served over rice with fine dene sauce. Fine dene (pronouced feenay dehnhe)is a vinegar and soy sauce mixture with a combination of onions, peppers and spices in it. Very tasty. None of them had ever heard of eating hash and eggs for breakfast.

I mentioned a number of the stories I'd heard before arriving on the island. We all got a good laugh out of them, including the snake density. While the brown tree snake is an ecological catastrophe none of the locals have seen them more than a few times. One of the gus mentioned being bitten once but you have to go looking for them to find them. On the other hand I have seen the rare Guam Rail, a flightless bird, twice now (at least I think I have).

I'm planning to go snorkeling this weekend. I hope it doesn't rain on me... [GRIN]


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 07:26 AM

How great to hear from you, Brett! Keep this thread alive- we want more! And pictures now would be great, even if it is in the 90s here in New England!


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 11:04 AM

The colors ARE unbelievable, aren't they? The turquoise water is amazing. The reef fish are amazing, too.

Seems most of what I heard in the way of music when I was there was Jimmy Buffet. I asked once about 'local' music and got more specific...Chamorro or islander music...and I was able to turn up a tape of a local guy singing Freddy Fender in Chamorro. That's about as far as I delved into the music.

Swimming is good exercise for leg muscles, so maybe your knee would benefit from snorkeling. If you're into the whole fishing thing, get a spear (but stay in the shallow water while spearing...sharks). That'll supplement your diet. Check out the edible varieties at a local fish market first, though.

I was there just as video cams were becoming a big thing and wished I'd had one. If you can buy or borrow one, I suggest making a list of what you find exotic right now, before you become accustomed to it, and get some film of it. Like the local 'convenience stores' with the eyeballs in jars and dried fish hanging from the ceiling and signs in ten launguages. And is the Colonel Sanders statue with the slanted eyes still outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Agana? And the Oriental-featured John Wayne statue outside the Agana shooting club? Stuff like that. You get used to those things after a while, so if you find it unique now, maybe write it down for later photographing.

I remember a lot of signs on the island like "No beer sold to miners". One time I was in line and looking over the shoulder of a short woman who was reading a letter, left to right, some oriental script, and when she saw me looking over her shoulder, she hugged the letter to her chest, like I could read the damn thing.

Strange the things you remember. I sure wish I had photos or video of the things I saw there, though. So you might want to give that a thought...taking pictures.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: SINSULL
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 05:56 PM

Cereal and PB&J? Don't they deliver pizza and Chinese there? Careful of Colonel Sanders. Rabbit in Australia, cat in NYC... brown snake in Guam?

PM me with an address and phone #.
Mary


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:11 AM

I'm finally on line at "home". No more posting from work!

Guest, you are right. I need to make a list so I can film it later. But then, until I get off the base I cannot see much that strikes me as unusual. The base is a microcosm of the god ol' USA. There are some sad people who come to Guam and never leave the base.

Sorry Sinsull, but I didn't eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in Maine. I'm sure not going to eat it here in Guam when I can get so much else.

The people here apparently don't have traditional music. Much was lost while the Spanish owned the island. There was a concerted effort to stamp out the Chomorro culture. The Chomorros lived in a matriarchal society with clan villages when the Spanish arrived in 1521. By the time the US took Guam in 1898 the old life style was gone, all the surviving chamorros had been rounde up from all the Marianas islands and installed in barrios on Guam. Whole islands had been decimated by disease, warfare, and forced removal.

But there are many customs and practices that have survived. The elderly are still honored. The fiestas, now often a religious celebration, appears to be a hold over from the earlier tribal practices. A Chomorro will not go into the jungle without a mometary hesitation while s/he appeases the old forest spirits. And while in the forest there is no loud talking, singing, or any other behaviors that might anger those spirits.

I just spent the day in an orientation class and I learned a lot. I'll spare you the details of the services available on the base and give you the neat stuff about the island.

Guam is near the peak of the world's tallest mountain if you measure from the base at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. That mountain, Mt Lamlam, is over 38,000 feet tall. The peak is 1,338 feet from sea level which makes it only 190 feet lower than Maine's tallest peak. But there's no snow on this one!

We are in Typhoon Alley. We are always in COR 4 which means we are always within 72 hours of typhoon conditions. (COR = Conditions Of Readiness) There is no month of the year that has not seen a typhoon so you cannot say there is really a typhoon season but June to December is generally considered to be the season.

There are two climate seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season only averages 4 to 6 inches of rain a month. The wet season runs up to 14 inches a month. Basically it rains almost every day but there are rarely days with a heavy cloud cover. The rains come in squalls that last a short time and move on.

Guam was the site of the banzai charge of WWII and the last. It was also the place where the last Japanese soldier surrendered in 1972. However, as it turned out, he did not go into the jungles when the Americans landed and drove the Japanese army into the hills. Rather, he deserted when the bombs started to fall. He stayed in the jungle for all those years because he was ashamed.

All the land mass in Micronesia, if accumulated in one place, would only equal 2/3 of the lad area of Rhode Island.

Those are the bare facts. We had presentations by representatives of various commands and facilities available to us on the base. Some of the women who spoke to us are very beautiful. The Chomorros are descended from the Australasians rather than the Polynesians. These are the same people who crossed the land bridge and became the American Indians. Having learned that I can see some physical features they share.

These people are very friendly. One of the presenters saw me come into the dining room at the club and invited me to join her and her friend for lunch. She didn't know me from Adam but that meant nothing to her. We were also advised to make a point of going to some of the local fiestas. We were told to take something, soda, chips, or a dish of food. Note, this is a village affair and back home would be a relatively private thing. Here they say we will be welcomed, pushed to the head of the food line, and be handed a large plate of food to take with us when we leave.

Tomorrow I get off the base again to see more of the island. We are going on an orientation tour. I am really looking forward to this. More later.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 08:31 AM

Brett-

It's hot and humid here in Maine, two days in a row over 90. Guess we'll have to live in the van for a while...

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:26 AM

It's sounds beautiful, Brett. I love your descriptions and it also sounds fascinating. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:32 PM

Don't forget to take your instruments to the fiestas!


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 02:37 AM

I went on a tour of the island today. What beautiful place. I heard some wonderful stories from our Chamorro guide, Dave, and saw some dynamite countryside. I have now seen brown tree snakes, latte stones, Spanish forts, Chamorro arts and crafts, and tourist junk shops. And I have eaten more Chamorro food.

The first stop of the tour was at the museum on the base. It is, unsurprisingly, devoted to WWII on Guam and in the Pacific. They have exhibits of weapons and photos of soldiers (Allied and Japanese) and combat conditions. There are uniforms and models of ships and aircraft. And out front they have a Japanese two man midget submarine.

Then we stopped at the USDA shed where we got a lesson in the animals of Guam and the brown tree snake. They showed us pictures of the birds of Guam, a live monitor lizard, and a live snake. The monitors here on Guam apparently get up to 5 feet long. They have very sharp claws and will scratch pretty badly if cornered or annoyed.

The snake population is controlled around the ports, shipping and airports. They have traps baited with live mice. The mice are in a separate compartment in the center of the trap. The snake climbs in, cannot reach the mouse and cannot get out either. They say they catch about 12,000 snakes a year. They brought out a live specimen, he looked to be about 4 or 5 feet long. It was hard to tell because he kept writhing about the man's arm. They showed us the teeth and the fangs.

Every ship and plane that leaves the island has to be inspected for snakes. The use small dogs, Britanny and Jack (something) terriers. We got a demonstration of the dogs at work. There were six cardboard boxes set out with snakes in two of them. Sure enough, when the little dog got to the snakes she sat down and was rewarded with a biscuit. Then they took us out back to see the snake pit. I was expecting a massive ball of writhing snakes. Instead it was a set of cages with about five of the snakes. Four of them were sleeping. The fifth was the one we had seen earlier. He was not a happy camper and kept striking at us.

After that we drove down around the southern end of the island stopping at various scenic overlooks. We saw Ceti Bay and Umatak with it's Spanish fort, Cocos Island, the Inarajan tide pools, Talofofo, and Ylig River. Then up through the middle of the island up to Two Lovers Point, a scenic overlook high on a cliff. Then it was off to the Chamorro Village for lunch. The Chamorro Village is a misnomer. It is actually an outdoor shopping area with touristy shops and restaurants. I got a fiesta plate consisting of rice, pancit, shrimp kelaguen, cole slaw (made with red cabbage), chicken and pork barbeque, and an item that can only be described as a shrimp flavored hush puppy. Other choices appeared to include whole tilapia (fish).

At Two Lovers Point I went into a gallery of Chamorro arts and crafts and saw some wonderful stuff including some original old artifacts, machetes and woodworking tools, and old carabao driven plow, and wood carvings and ceramics. I bought a book about Chamorro master craftsmen (men and women).

Later at the Chamorro Village I made an important discvery. I found a CD of traditional Chamorro chants but I'd spent so much on the book I couldn't shell out the $35 for the CD. However, I know it's out there so I am on my way.

After lunch we drove up to the Plaza de Espanol where we toured the old Spanish governor's house and then we walked over to see the latte stones and some Japanese caves. The plaza included the gardens, now just grass and hedges, and the original chocolate house where the governor would serve hot chocolate to his guests. The latte stones are the foundation stones of the old Chamorro homes. They were of different heights depending on the social status of the owner. These were seven feet high. There were 8 of them in 2 rows.

Then we were off to the heights to look down on Tumon Bay where the invasion came ashore in 1944. It's quite a view from up there. You can see the whole sweep of the bay with Agana laid out on the shore.

And, finally we came home. I had to wait out a rain squall before I rode my bike back to the room. I got here just in time. It is raining now. It was a wonderful trip and I am very glad I went.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: MMario
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 08:10 AM

CARABAO plows? on Guam? Really?

never mind - just looked it up - my mistake in spelling.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 10:45 AM

Latte stones? Did they serve up real latte?**bg** I'm loving this travelogue and the CD sounds wonderful!!


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Giac
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 12:30 PM

Thanks, Brett! Talk about taking a trip and never leaving the farm ... **Grin** Sure do appreciate the tour.

How does the air smell? And, is there thunder, lightning and wind, or just straight down rain?

Glad you're enjoying the place -- and equally glad there aren't more of those snakes.

Mary


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 07:49 PM

Carabao are a small domesticated water buffalo. They were brought in over the years to help with farming and now are kept by some families as pets. I saw two on the trip. They were tied out in yards.

The air has an odor but I've been unable to dfine it yet. I've heard people in the tropics talk about the odor of the jungle being an odor of rotting vegetation but that is definitely not it. The air is humid and heavy so that may be part of the problem.

There are thunderstorms but none that are really terrific. I have heard thinder rolling but not seen anything yet. I asked about it once and didn't hear anything that would indicate a dramatic weather event. Generally the only weather event that people are concerned about is the typhoon.

Interesting point, the locals universally do not like the heat. I am talking about people born and raised on the island. In fact, our guide yesterday mentioned that he grew up here without a/c and never noticed the heat until he started living in air conditioned cool air in his home and car.

Unfortunately, Kat, there was no latte at the latte stones [grin]. Actually the word is pronounced LAT'-ee. Maybe that's why there are no coffeeshops named after them.

The latte stone shape is everywhere on the island. Even the bus stops carry that shape.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 10:29 AM

I remember flowers strung around the horns of the carabao. Photos of things like that is what I mean. I brought back a couple recipes from Guam...like the kaliguen. You might want to get the recipes of the things you like. A lot of it's really simple stuff. Like the one (forgot it's name...maybe just sesame noodles)...angel hair pasta with soy sauce, honey and sesame oil and a few sesame seeds. Served room temp. Good, inexpensive and exotic dish to take with you to functions when you return to the states...conversation piece.

I enjoyed the small Filipino restaurants. All kinds of exotic food, and at the first one I went in the owner said 'You want that fried rice with or without?' 'With or without what?' (Incredulous look from owner) 'Spam.' Seems Spam made such a hit in the islands during WW2 that it was incorporated into the local haute cuisine.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 12:09 PM

How is your Knee, Brett? You mentioned re-injuring it. Wonder if the natives would like to try some Maine treats...maple sugar candy, blueberry anything, lobster, Shepherd's Pie.

How are your instruments handling the humidity? How are you handling the humidity?


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 05:18 PM

Last night I got some bad news from home. My daughter's best friend, the kid I always considered daughter number 3, has been diagnosed with leukemia. She has begun a 6 month battle back to health. I was up half the night crying.

I thought there wasn't much I could do from the other side of the world but this morning I sent her an email reminding her that I am awake while everyone on her side of the world is asleep. If she wakes in the night and needs to talk to someone I am here. That makes me feel better at least. I hope she takes me up on it.

The guitar I brought with me is doing fine but it hasn't been out of the air conditioned room for any length of time yet. The real question will be after a typhoon during that stretch when I have no power and no a/c. My other instruments are in a wooden crate on the slow boat to Guam.

I got out to see a movie yesterday. During the orientation on Thursday we were briefed on a bus system run my the Navy. Not only does it get people around on the base but it runs up to other bases and goes to several areas in town. I went up to the Guam Premium Outlet (the GPO as it's known locally) to see The Hulk. I had dinner in the food court where I finaly ate kim chee and then I wandered up through the mall. There were jewelry shops and clothing shops and all the usual mall treats but it looked somehow different. It took a while to figure it out but it doesn't have the same stamp to it that malls on the mainland have. I have been in malls from California to Maine and they all seem cut from the same set of cookie cutters. This one is very different in style and the stores that make it up. It seems to shine more than the others I've been in, as though sparkling reflected light was important. And the stores were not the usual mall fare. Here the stores had more brilliant colors and were brighter than I am used to seeing.

Guest, there is a book of Guamanian recipes available in the local bookstores. Maybe I should get one of those. I like your idea for using Chomorro food for pot luck dinners in the future but it won't be kelaguen. [Grin]


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 08:45 PM

Brett, what exactly is it you're doing there? I know you told us on a previous thread but I've forgotten. (Or is it one of those jobs you're not allowed to talk about?)

By the way, Guest, Hawaii has the highest per capita consumption of Spam of any of the 50 states. (A local favorite is the Spam musubi.) For the same reason....tons of the stuff shipped over during WWII.

Snorkeling in the rain is fun...the only bad part is that there's often no sun, so you can't see as much. I went swimming with spinner dolphins last weekend on the leeward coast of Oahu--can you find those in Guam?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Nancy King
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 09:57 PM

Wow! I'm learning a lot! Thanks for the travelogue, Brett! It's true I haven't given a whole lot of thought to the nature of things on Guam before, but I'd always pictured it (in black and white...) as bare and rocky and full of Japs and GIs. All those movies, y'know. Thanks for setting me straight!

Hope all goes well for you --

Nancy


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 09:57 PM

And Alaska is #2 in the consumption of Spam. For the same reason, plus being canned, it didn't spoil enroute.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 11:40 PM

Great thread, Brett. Thanks for posting it. So sorry to hear about your daughter's friend.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:47 AM

I am a contract specialist for the Navy. In other words I buy stuff with the tax money you pay into the Government. And before someone brings up the $400 toilet seat I would like to point out there is only one organization responsible for that and it is the one who passed the laws I have to conform to. If you want details on how the system works PM me and we'll start a (long) correspondence.

And yes, there are Spinner Dolphins here. I am working on figuring out when the boat trips go out from the base dive shop so I can start snorkeling. This weekend I was going to go down to Gab Gab Beach for my first snorkeling trip but it is closed. Last Wednesday someone drowned there and the safety officer has closed the beach till further notice.

Mary asked earlier how my knee is holding up. I'm sorry I seemed to ignore your question. It is doing better. I don't know if it is the healing, the exercise, the glucosamine, or a miracle but it is better. It still bothers me bit not as much as earlier this month.

I just got back from a trip to the Navy Exchange. That may not sound like much but it was on the bicycle and is the longest trip I have tried to date. I went to the furniture store, the Exchange, the Commissary, and the Dive Shop. I took my backpack and came back with it full to bursting and my legs aching. I was sure I was going to be sunburned but I seem to have escaped that so far. I am getting browner though.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:51 AM

Oh, and Brett, it might make you feel a bit better to know that the cure rate for the common forms of childhood leukemia is pushing 80% these days.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 01:24 PM

Maybe they used bogus octopus in your kaleguen. Got to use the real thing, you know. No Spam. We have an annual Spam-o-Rama locally, by the way. Like the Pillsbury bake-off...new recipes using Spam. Spam-berry pie, Spam-scicles...things like that.

The color thing in the mall...the colors ARE brighter there. It's either an atmospheric or optical-anatomical thing. I'd still be there if I were a painter. Gaugin saw the optical phenomenon. And the lay-out of the mall...you're in the Orient. Well, sort of. Like the last line in the movie, when Jack Nicholson is having trouble adding things up...'It's Chinatown'.

Check out some of the big Japanese hotels in Agana. They have penthouse bars overlooking the bay...sip a spam and soda and watch the sunset. Wander around the hotels...some of the Japanese tourists there have never seen an Occidental in their lives except when they got to the airport in Agana. It is REALLY strange to have an elevator door open and have someone gasp and bow at the same time. I think 'mushi-mushi' is Japanese for hello, and I used to bow back and say 'mushi-mushi, y'all'. Guam is like the ultimate multi-cultural theme park.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 01:55 PM

Good luck with the tour mate . I did fourteen years in the R.A.F.and
managed to get out to Singapore and Hong Kong So I can appreciate a lot of what you are experiencing.We had the same sort of clowns who never went off base too but it is well worth getting out and seeing how the locals live.Food and life style differs so much round the world.Keep the Saga going mate and have a good time.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 07:57 PM

The big hotels on hotel row have suffered quite a bit lately from typhoon and loss of tourism. Hotel row is a ghost town these days with stray couples wandering hand in hand but nothing like what I am used to seeing back home in the touristy areas. There are no crowds.

As a result Guam is suffering terribly. There is a lot of typhoon damage that isn't getting cleaned up and that contributes to a general atmosphere of decay. The local government is going through a series of forced cost cutting measure. People are hurting.

Thanks, Mark, for your words of encouragement. We have our hopes up and are rallying to the cause. She is one of the Wanderers, six of us who played D&D in a family game that ran on for at least 8 years, from when she and my daughter were only 11. She is my older daughter's best friend and an incredibly talented artist. At the games she used to pick up tiny scraps of paper, candy wrappers, etc., and fold them into tiny origami figures. Her character sheets are always covered in intricate doodles of characters and weapons. She's quite a kid and I expect this fight will add something to her art.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: sed
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 07:21 PM

How many of the locals ride bicycles? Are modified bicycles used to haul cargo as well?


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 07:37 PM

Too bad about the hotels. Nice ones. Should have good deals on rooms and happy hours, then.

The dogs...snake hunters. Jack Russell Terriers, most likely. Bred as tree climbers to go after squirrels and such. I bet they ARE good with those snakes.

I need to pull up a map of Guam and refresh my memory. There were a couple of great little beaches down south...off the path. One wasn't much good for snorkeling, but the layout and sound...coral cliffs and a surf sound like inside a conch shell. One of the more amazing acoustic experiences I've ever run across.

Let's see...there was a 'shell club' down south that met once a week. Nice folks. Learn a lot about marine life there. Should still be going on and easy enough to find.

And I remember a local event...maybe connected with Discovery Day...where they had a big deal tree-climbing contest. That was a hoot. Contestants from all over Micronesia. Climb coconut trees on a slant of about 45%. Race to the top. Lots of rivalry between Guam and Palau, etc.

Oh, and coconut crabs. I never saw one, but I saw the holes at the bases of coconut trees. Some of the locals said they were as big as cars, but there are some small cars there. The crabs come out at night and crack coconuts in their claws. Or was I being set up for a snipe hunt? Never had the guts to go out at night and thrash around looking for crabs that could eat me, but I wish I had made the attempt...must be an amazing sight.

Coolest thing I did on Guam was hitch a ride on a sea turtle. Snorkeling in the bottom of a bomb crater when one approached overhead, and I hurried up and caught on to it...just barely, they swim fast. Then there were the dark blue starfish. Some friends and I got GREAT pictures with them...just holding them up and smiling with the mountains and sea in the background.

The bomb craters...shelves of white coral going out a couple hundred yards from land...coral a couple feet beneath the water. Then the big drop off to turquoise water...sharp division line. But on the white shelf, turquoise circles where the American shells fell as the US took the island back from the Japanese. We found an old Jap gun emplacement at the edge of the water...little cave area with the big metal gun-ring still in the floor. And ammo still in the coral as you snorkel. Rifle cartridges dropped by troops coming ashore.

The sense of isolation really catches up with you when you get bad news from home. That's why tours on Guam are short for military and non-military. Lots of teachers go there from the states for the experience, but once you touch down on Hawaii and then travel on west several more hours, you KNOW you're way out west. And all that water you flew over. Gives you a real sense of remoteness.

The computer should help now, though. Voice chat might be a good thing to look into. Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 08:29 PM

Guest makes a good point about "news from home." When I was in Ethiopia in the Peace Corps in the 1960's, we'd hear about things happening back home: cities burning in race riots, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy being assassinated. Word of mouth still reached us but we felt really out of touch, on another planet so to speak. Some times that was a good feeling. When it's a family crisis, it's not so good.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 08:47 PM

Have you done any work yet? You are over there on my tax dollar, right?
Mary, working on being a female curmudgeon.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: open mike
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 08:51 PM

i think that6 would be Jack Russell Terriers.
My daughter's boy friend is Chimorro and the
food his family eats has a lot of coconut milk
in it! one of the best things he makes is egg-
plant in coconut milk. yummy. and lots of fish!!
Good luck to your daughter's friend.
glad you can offer might time counselling services!
what is your work there? a two year committment i
take it? I can ask Nick about his relatives there.
i believe one uncle or cousin teaches scuba diving.
enjoy your stay! thanks for the travel diaries!
Laurel


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 06:54 PM

Well, it's the Fourth Of July Holiday. For those of you on the east coast of the USA it is still Thursday evening but here in Guam I woke up to rain. However the squall has moved on and it is hot and humid out there. The weekend lies before me and I don't know right now exactly what I'm going to do.

More later. Have a great holiday, everyone.


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: open mike
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 08:07 PM

If you see any members of the Funes family...say hi from Laurel in CA!
I am just now reading an interesting book--you might also find it of interest. It is The Isand of the Colorblind, and contains almost 100
pages about Guam. Author: Oliver Sachs, a psychologist/Psychiatrist
/neurologist who has written several other books: Awakenings
(from which the movie was made, Man who mistook his wife for a hat, Anthropologist from Mars, Seeing Voices, and others.
Is there a library there? If so they should have a copy!
If they don't--they should get one!
I have seen one of those crabs--
unfortunately it was made into a clock..
a very large clock!
I also saw a miracle cat who stumbled out of a carge
container which had just arrived in CA from Guam...
it had survived somehow inside with no food or water
for how ever long it took the boat to get the cargo
here...it was a long time...some weeks i think...
the original incredible journey!!
apparantly there is an unusual incidence of color
blindness on Guam, and also a syndrome called Lytico-bodig
which presents as a ALS (Lou Gehrig's type paralysis)
or another form shows up with tremors and dementia.
I have not gotten to the Guam chapter of the book yet,
but Dr. Sachs is a huge fan of Cycads, a primitive species
of tree, which are found in abundance on the island.
Thanks for keeping us posted on your experiences there.
Laurel


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Alba
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 08:21 PM

Happy 4th of July Brett. Hot and Humid forecast for Maine...90's tommorrow!
Whatever the Day brings...Have a great Holiday.
Thinking of you.
A


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 12:13 AM

Brett,

It's hot and humid here in Texas also--so you're in good company. Have a good July 4th--it's one you'll remember, that's for sure! I'm really impressed that you went ahead and made this big move. What an adventure!

SRS


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Subject: RE: News From Guam
From: Naemanson
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 06:04 PM

Well, this weekend wasn't much to write about. It rained most of the day on the 4th but the weather cleared off enough for the fireworks display. The fired them off over Polaris Point and we watched them from across the bay. My friend Jon and his family took me down there to see them. It was the most elaborate display I've ever seen but that isn't saying much. I've never seen the fireworks displays in the big cities.

Yesterday I rode the bus to the GPO and walked down to the Lone Star Steak House where I had the first real sit down meal I've had since I left Maine. Then I bought a pair of Teva sandals, went to see a movie, and headed home.

This morning I woke to rain again. I guess they were serious when they said we were in the rainy season.

I haven't been able to get back to the Chamorro village. I want to pick up some bits and pieces to send home but without transportation that is getting to be a bit of a problem. I may rent a car next weekend.

Thanks for the holiday greetings. Laurel, I'll keep an eye out for that book. It would be interesting to see what he has to say. Alba, your weather sounds hotte than here, and I can get out of it with all the air conditioned buildings. Stilly, I too am amazed I went through with this. When you consider that adventures are long periods of boredom interspersed with moments of excitement and interest then this does qualify.

I hope to get to Gab Gab Beach today with a side trip to the base marina to check on boat rental.


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