Archive for October, 2006

Always Bring a Magazine

Do you wonder what it is like to live on a small island in the middle of a big ocean? It’s a lot like living in a small town. Everyone knows everyone or is at least distantly related. Whenever you meet someone new somehow they know someone you work with or their cousin is your neighbor. In someways it seems to make life a lot friendlier. It definitely makes the politics a lot more personal.

Speaking of politics, elections are coming up for the new Governor and Senators. Billboards and signs, TV and radio commercials are non-stop advocating for candidates and recently beginning to slam candidates. As an indicator of the small town feel, I spoke to the challenger for Lieutenant Governor in line for lunch at Wendy’s the other day. We also meet two of the senatorial challengers, one while I was out running and the other at a karaoke bar (no, Wally did not sing). It’s hard not to get caught up in the elections especially when there are lots of horrendous stories about previous mismanagement and juicy back stories on the candidates. Things feel very personal.

Last week we had a taste of the reality of living abroad. We are trying to get our Guam drivers licenses and switch over our utilities. To get a drivers license you need to have a social security card, no not just supplying the number but you have to have the card. If you don’t have the card you have to have a special paper verifying your number. To get the paper you have to go to the SSA office and wait in-line to find out you don’t have all of the correct paperwork. Bottom-line: always bring your passport, a magazine, and a lot of patience. Cheers!

Gwen kissing a ‘soursop’ from our yard.  It’s a fruit.

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!!HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

HEY!!!!
Happy Halloween!!!!!!
     I’am going to be a hippy for halloween(I have a big wig)(It’s so funny!!)
??? What are you going to be ???  I’am going to a costume party!!
(not trick or treating)(but i will still get candy.)
There is so much rain eveyday and we don’t get to go outside at the school.
 
Well i have to go get my costume ready
 
BYE!!
 
ELLI!!  🙂 

The wildlife.

Have you seen a monitor lizard like this?  Also, we had our first outing last night at a work fundraiser.

My buddy Danzel, the hunter and gatherer of the office, responded to an emergency oil spill this past weekend.  A steel-hulled ship sank in the harbor during high winds.  The diesel in the ship’s tank was releasing into the water.  He and others took the agency’s boat to investigate and help with the cleanup.  A couple days later, he and another went to the shore area near the wreck and looked for signs of contamination.  During their search they came upon the lizard.  Of course, being Danzel, he decided to capture it.  It is not in a cage out back behind the building.

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We went for karoake last night.  No, I didn’t sing oldies thank you.  We did talk to a number of my coworkers.  The common theme we kept hearing is that the families are huge here.  Folks have lots of siblings.  3 kids in the family, while large in Seattle, is unheard of here.  Normally, you’ll hear about at least 5 kids and more.  One woman in my office has 15 sibs.  Incredible!

The coconut crab.

Here we are holding the coconut crab. Our friend Don and his son Logan set the trap. They have a jungle-like area next to their beach house and cracked open a number of coconuts. At night, the wear headlamps and see if the crabs are munching. This one they are keeping for a while. They have a fat tail which I’m told is buttery good. Sorry vegetarians. That’s their daughter Paige. What a cutie!

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Mangilao House

Here it is. My camera is functioning again. The mosquitos are out in droves biting all the mainlanders in the neighborhood (us).

Front view.

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Back.

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There happened to be a 2 square court in the carport. Lucky us!

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The kitchen.  No dishwasher!
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Gab Gab is fab!

The snorkeling was fabulous. We joined the Antrobus family outside the Naval Base gate to jump into their cars. Only cars belonging to people with base access are allowed. The Navy has most of the southern portion of Apra Harbor, the one and only port on the island. Apra Harbor also has probably the best snorkeling. A small beach with picnic areas and pool, Gab Gab is crawling with tropical fish and fish watchers. The surf was choppy as rainy season is bringing in lots of peripheral wind from storms passing by. The storms normally move from the SE to the NW towards the Phillipines. We’ve seen lots of high surf the past 2 weeks, and it rains almost every day. Yes, it makes us feel at home. I’m still wearing shorts to work, just not my sunglasses.

Back to the fish. The kids are outfitted with life jackets for safety and to keep them out viewing the fish longer. Alex hung out the entire time. We snorkeled for about an hour. The currents were strong in places but not enough to turn us back. I think we saw at least 2 dozen different fish, and one huge octopus. The octopus never came out from under the coral, but it’s head was larger than mine. Davis and Elli stayed out for a while too. Davis has made huge strides and only lacks the desire to stay at it for a long period. Gwen started getting seasick and opted to head back to shore with the little ones. We’ve got the bug. Saturday, we head to another beach, Ipao in Tumon Bay the resort area. Gwen is reading the Bali Lonely Planet guide next to me. We’re about to pull the trigger for a week long trip in mid-December. Yahooo!!

Here’s an old pic since the camera hasn’t been fixed or replaced yet.

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Cockle doodle doo!

We’re now waking up to the roosters.  Yes, we’ve moved into our new rental home a smallish concrete one story home in the village of Mangilao.  We’re just outside the main towns, about 2-4 miles.  There are dogs, chickens, toads, and I hear some wild pigs in the neighborhood.  The house sits on the end of little street flanked by thick jungle.  When they built these homes, they had to clear alot of brush and trees and plant some grass.  We have 4 bedrooms and 3 bath in about 1700 sq ft with air conditioners in every room.  No dishwasher though.

Yesterday, we snorkeled down south and saw at least a dozen types of fish.  Today, we hit Gab Gab Beach on the Naval base.  Apparentaly the colors and fish variety are the best on the island.  We’re all excited.  Everyone is outfitted with fins, masks and snorkels.  Hopefully the wind will be calm during low tide this afternoon.

The camera is still on the blink.  Bummer.