For one of her classes, Nel had to create a list of 10 things she loves about Guam. Sounds interesting.
Here is my list:
- family . Guam is home to the people I hold dearest. They may not all still live here. Some may not have even had the chance to visit, like my younger nieces, nephews, and cousins. But Guam is still home.
- friends . I have some of the best friends ever! And I know that where ever life takes us, we can always come back to Guam. When your friend leaves, you know they will be back, because this is home. ;)
- community . Our island is made up of many different people, many different communities, but really are all one. We see this most during natural disasters. The aftermath of typhoons are softened by the beauty of the community coming together to share and rebuild.
- resilience . We have survived colonialism, occupations, war, and natural disasters. Granny said it best, when she refused to leave her house before a storm, "This is my home. I'm not going anywhere."
- food . Food on Guam is amazing! If I had to live off the same meal for the rest of my life, I hope it'd be a fiesta plate. Another great thing about food on Guam is that there are so many choices of different ethnic foods.
- beaches . I don't go to the beach every weekend. Sometimes I go months with out visiting the ocean. Yet, I can not imagine not having her near. I can't imagine not seeing her every day.
- flora . I love the beautiful scenery our island offers us. The flame trees in Hagatna, the papaya tree in my tiny backyard, and Grandma's "heirloom" orchids in mom's garden - I love it all. Seeing ixora always reminds me of my childhood. We'd suck the sweetness out of the flower's from Granny's yard, in Ipan. And when I was in Florida, the smell of plumeria got me through my homesickness.
- matrilineality . My female ancestors where just as important as my male ancestors. It's a bit difficult to explain, but as a woman on Guam, I feel empowered. Even though we take on men's last names, I still feel that our lines are traced through our mother's and our grandmother's names.
- trips down south . Stopping at Ipan Mobil for ice cream, after a long scenic drive, is amazing. Visiting Gef Pago' for a tour of the old village, or even just for natural sea salt, is a great way to spend the day. Splashing around Inarajan Pools or watching Viva swim at one of the beaches down there is extra special. Whether I'm with friends or family, being down south has an inexplainable feeling, like finding home after a long journey.
- the past mingles with the present . While Guam has been developed and modernized, some things don't change. Subtle things hint back at our history. To this day, we still ask Guela yan Guelu for permission to enter the jungle. Latte stones stand in the midst of contemporary homes. Tanks and war bunkers are the missing pages in World History books. The sinahi hangs off men's necks above collared dress shirts. The women of Guam are still heads of their modern households.
What are some of the things that you love about your home? I'd love to hear them.
While you're thinking about that, you can listen to the Mad Caddies. :)