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Monday, November 28, 2011

Blue skies in Wonderland: a beach day with my cousins

Marianas Homegrown

What a beautiful song for a beautiful day!

Penaflor cousins - Me, Rie, and Jake

The day started out really rainy, but look at that beautiful sky!

with our mer-jake

Yay for beach days!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

sketching in Wonderland

I've been a bit busy lately.  I have a few great projects going on and of course I'm also working to pay the bills, but I've been sketching a lot lately.  I just thought I'd share some stuff.

I'm working on something for a legend.

sketching at a forum

I edited this a bit.  You can see the sketch on the next page just faintly.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Life in Wonderland: The Maidens Who Saved Guahan

*color reproductions available - $10*

 I just want to share one of my latest paintings and the story behind it.  I've copied the story from Guampedia to post here.  If you're interested in reading more of our island's legends or just want to learn more about Guahan in general, Guampedia is a great site to visit.
In the story “Maidens Who Saved Guam,” a monster parrot fish is chewing his way through the island of Guam, determined to destroy the island. Night after night the men of Guam went out in search of the huge destructive fish but could not find it.
The young women would talk about the monster whenever they gathered to wash their hair and rinse it with orange peels. Their favorite spot to gather was at the Agana Springs. When they finished, the pool would be covered with orange peels. One day a girl noticed the peels floating in Pago Bay. She was puzzled by their appearance. After some thought, she surmised that the monster must have eaten a hole all the way under the island from Pago Bay to Agana Springs and that was where it was hiding.
The next day when the girls gathered at the Agana Springs they wove a net with their long black hair and then sat around the pool and began to sing. The monster fish, enchanted by the music, swam up from the bottom of the spring to listen to the singing girls. Suddenly the girls spread their net over the spring and dived into the pool. The monster fish was caught and the island of Guam was saved.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sketchy in Wonderland: More pages from my sketchbook

I've been working on my illustration skills.  I've  found out that I don't really have any. lol

my Sirena

I did this last year.  

I was bored and bit off more than I could chew.  I shouldn't have added the color.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Community in Wonderland: Hatsa i kanai-mu giya fiestan uchan

Hatsa i kannai-mu!
Wow! I had an interesting day.  Today was the opening day for the annual Micronesian Islands Fair.  Biba Micronesia!  Our art group has been meeting frequently to prepare for this event.  We came up with an activity to do with the many school children who attend the first day of the fair with their classes.

Kannai (hand) is what we've been calling ourselves.  We decided on this because hands can symbolize so much.  We use our hands to create, share, receive. I could go on and on.   Hatsa i kannai-mu means raise your hand.  For the fair, we decided to do a community art project with the kids.  We took a large sheet and painted a great big hand on it.  We spread that sheet out over a few tables and set up a paint and hand washing station. We talked to the kids about the many things you can do with your hands to help be active in the community and  let them choose a color and sent them to the sheet to leave their hand print.  All those little hands helped to create a mural of hand prints which in a way is Kannai's hand print.

eeee  kalakas!
We managed to cover the entire sheet and were planning to break out another sheet we had prepared, but it started raining. We decided it was a good time for a break and went to get some bbq sticks and check out some of the other booths.  It started getting extremely muddy and when we got back to the booth we were sharing with some other artists, our feet were mostly submerged.  We were all laughing and taking pictures of our sunken feet while it just kept pouring down uchan (rain) .

Before we know it, we were dancing the cha cha knee deep in flood water.  I'm serious, there was both knee deep flood water and cha cha going around.  I was wearing jeans and kept having to roll them up.  It got to the point where if I rolled it up any higher I'd cut off circulation to the lower half of my legs.  We couldn't just run for higher ground either.  We had way too much set up.  Plus, we were entertaining each other too much to be really freaked out.  It was an adventure!

Where did Dakota's knees go?!

scaled down sakman on the pond that was our beach park, earlier in the day

(L-R) car, Joey, picnic table
Joey is the only one that will be mobile today

The picnic area is nearly submerged up to the seat and if you look closely  you can see a happy carabao  keeping her owner dry and mobile.

Check out our friend, Rebecca Rae's site!  She has some beautiful art and amazing jewelry.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painting in Wonderland: CAHA, face painting, and haggan

Haggan  (turtle)
Acrylic on mat board

Today I finally turned in the form to register with CAHA's artist directory.  I've been planning on doing that for over a year, but I procrastinate.  I think the hardest part was figuring out how to describe my art.  I wish I could've just shown them pictures and had them write something up, but oh well.  I think going to CAHA and seeing the artwork there and at the Chamorro Affairs office got me in the painting mood.

On Saturday, I went to the Down Syndrome Association of  Guam's 10th anniversary gathering. Allan's baby sister has down syndrome and his mom is the current president of the association.  She had asked me if some of my friends and I would like to face paint for the event.  Joey and Colleen came and did some really awesome little works of art on the sweetest faces.  It was a great event for a great cause.

I painted a few faces with little turtles and that inspired me to create this.  Considering I didn't have a reference picture, this didn't turn out too bad.  It obviously could be better, but I still like her.  :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Painting in Wonderland: New Pieces :)

"Tasi's Palette"
Acrylic on mat board.
Painted at Asga' - 2nd Third Friday gathering .

"Peace of Paper"
Acrylic on canvas panel
*for sale*
"Look At Me Now"
16"x20" acrylic on canvas
*for sale*

Friday, September 2, 2011

Viewed in Wonderland: Let them return!

"Take my land,

It's called stealing!"

Rainy in Wonderland: off and painting

Rainy days are great for staying in and painting.  Thankfully, I was off today and able to do just that.  I even got to take a nap.

This piece was fun to work on.  I was thinking about that day that Nella and I went on our tree planting adventure.  I started with a paint brush, but decided to do more of a palette knife application when I was working on the hills.  I actually don't have palette knives.  Those things are expensive!  So instead I used the little plastic shovel looking spoons you get when you have gelato.  This was practice for a piece I have lodged in my brain.  I just need to see it more clearly before I try to get it out for every one else to see.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Viewed in Wonderland: Gax Fall 2011

I had an awesome time at the Guam Art Exhibit, GAX, but I didn't get a ton of pictures.  It was pretty packed and I was wine-ing it up and enjoying the great company and art.  I did find this video on You Tube though.


You can also check out the Pacific Daily News article on the event.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sharing in Wonderland: Pages from my sketchbooks

Just a few pages from my sketchbooks

I was at Ypao waiting for Allan to get off of work and decided to sketch this tree with a kite stuck in it.

I used one of Allan's skate mags to look for reference pics.

This looks super funky.  I need more practice!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Community in Wonderland: creative community

I haven't felt this inspired in a while. For the past few weeks or so I've been meeting and exchanging dreams with some artists here on Guahan. I'm a member of a bunch of online artist communities, but this is different, obviously. It's great to sit face to face and interact, collaborate, and share with a group of people who are not only passionate about art, but also community. And we don't just want to sit and talk. We are motivating each other to get out there and create for ourselves and our island.

With the help of We Are Guahan, we were able to paint another Prutehi yan Difendi bus stop. This time we met and planned first, picked a theme, and brainstormed the elements we wanted to incorporate in our mural. We learned about the village that the bus stop is in. Ordot means ant in CHamorro and is home to farms. It took a day of priming and 2 weekends to finish, but we were able to complete the mural before school was back in session. It felt really good to provide some kids with an inviting and stimulating place to start their school day.

Aside from the bus stops we also decided that we wanted to have a creative night once a month to get together and create. We are mostly made up of visual artists and one writer, but we plan to invite musicians and other creative minds to join us. The first creative night was freaking awesome. I mean, I've had painting sessions with a couple of friends at my apartment, but nothing like this. Every once in a while I'd step back from what I was working on and look around at the beauty that was being created. The energy we were sharing was so refreshing and positive. I can't wait for the next session.

Just last night I got together with a few artists in the group, and someone new, to talk about what we want to do next. After the serious (I don't even think you can call it that) discussions we decided to have an impromptu creative night. While Colleen worked on her printing, I sat at a round table with the other 3 artists and we did this crazy collaboration-ish thing.

We each started a drawing and every 10 or so minutes the table turned counter clockwise.  So we each added on to the drawings.  It was a lot of fun.  It wasn't super serious and it was pretty challenging.

I can't wait for the next session.

Check out these community art projects I found on You Tube.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Community in Wonderland: Eat Local! Grow Local!

It's been forever since I've updated my blog.  I haven't been able to sit down and write, or type, for a while.  I still don't really feel like writing, but I did want to share this recently completed project with everyone who follows my blog.  Hopefully I'll be writing more soon.  If not, I'll be posting pictures of what's happening in my community.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Community in Wonderland: I can't believe it got this bad.

I had a pretty rough day at work.  Almost everything that could go wrong did.  I was feeling really crappy when I got off.  Then I watched this news story and I realized that my bad work day was really minor in comparison to this.

I hope Rota can maintain their bird population.  I've been to the bird sanctuary on Rota and it was amazing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Community in Wonderland: Prutehi yan Difendi

Just wanted to share some pictures.  On July 4 we painted this bus stop in the Pagat area.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Community in Wonderland: Guahan's 254th on July 4th

2 Squads From Guam Guard's 254th Heading to Iraq for Security Duty 
Guam - Two squads from the 254th Security Forces Squadron, Guam Air National Guard are leaving this weekend to begin their five-month long deployment to Iraq. The Airmen are slated to deploy to Iraq after a month of training in the U.S. mainland.
They will be conducting air base ground defense missions which may include perimeter patrols and security for base entry points.
The 254th Security Forces Squadron was officially stood up in 2005. All of the more than 90 members of the unit have been deployed to various locations throughout U.S Pacific Air Forces area of operations. They have also supported such missions as Operation Jump Start in the southwestern United States and been deployed to Louisiana in support of Hurricane Katrina recovery operations.
The squadron’s first Air Expeditionary Force rotation was to Eskan Village, Saudi Arabia in 2007.
The two squads are scheduled to return to Guam around January 2012.
-from the Pacific News Center 

Please keep our soldiers in your thoughts.  Today I watched as parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends said good bye to the soldiers they hold closest.   I can't wait for the day when we are all gathered again to greet them with home made banners, balloons, and hugs.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

:( in Wonderland: this is worrisome

Fukushima: Radioactivity in Sea up 7.5 Million Times | Common Dreams

Marine life contamination well beyond Japan feared

by Kanako Takahara

Radioactive iodine-131 readings taken from seawater near the water intake of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant's No. 2 reactor reached 7.5 million times the legal limit, Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted Tuesday.

Japan's inability to stem the Fukushima leak is worrying fisherman, while Tokyo Electric has insisted radionuclides are being diluted to safe levels in the Pacific. (Photograph: Stephen Morrison/EPA)The sample that yielded the high reading was taken Saturday, before Tepco announced Monday it would start releasing radioactive water into the sea, and experts fear the contamination may spread well beyond Japan's shores to affect seafood overseas.

The unstoppable radioactive discharge into the Pacific has prompted experts to sound the alarm, as cesium, which has a much longer half-life than iodine, is expected to concentrate in the upper food chain.

According to Tepco, some 300,000 becquerels per sq. centimeter of radioactive iodine-131 was detected Saturday, while the amount of cesium-134 was 2 million times the maximum amount permitted and cesium-137 was 1.3 million times the amount allowable.

The amount of iodine-131 dropped to 79,000 becquerels per sq. centimeter Sunday but shot up again Monday to 200,000 becquerels, 5 million times the permissible amount.

The level of radioactive iodine in the polluted water inside reactor 2's cracked storage pit had an even higher concentration. A water sample Saturday had 5.2 million becquerels of iodine per sq. centimeter, or 130 million times the maximum amount allowable, and water leaking from the crack had a reading of 5.4 million becquerels, Tepco said.

"It is a considerably high amount," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Masayoshi Yamamoto, a professor of radiology at Kanazawa University, said the high level of cesium is the more worrisome find.

"By the time radioactive iodine is taken in by plankton, which is eaten by smaller fish and then by bigger fish, it will be diluted by the sea and the amount will decrease because of its eight-day half-life," Yamamoto said. "But cesium is a bigger problem."

The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years, while that for cesium-134 is two years. The longer half-life means it will probably concentrate in the upper food chain.

Yamamoto said such radioactive materials are likely to be detected in fish and other marine products in Japan and other nations in the short and long run, posing a serious threat to the seafood industry in other nations as well.

"All of Japan's sea products will probably be labeled unsafe and other nations will blame Japan if radiation is detected in their marine products," Yamamoto said.

Tepco on Monday began the release into the sea of 11,500 tons of low-level radioactive water to make room to store high-level radiation-polluted water in the No. 2 turbine building. The discharge continued Tuesday.

"It is important to transfer the water in the No. 2 turbine building and store it in a place where there is no leak," Nishiyama of the NISA said. "We want to keep the contamination of the sea to a minimum."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano apologized for the release of radioactive water into the sea but said it was unavoidable to prevent the spread of higher-level radiation.

Fisheries minister Michihiko Kano said the ministry plans to increase its inspections of fish and other marine products for radiation.

On Monday, 4,080 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive iodine was detected in lance fish caught off Ibaraki Prefecture. Fishermen voluntarily suspended its shipment. The health ministry plans to compile radiation criteria for banning marine products.

Three days after Tepco discovered the crack in the reactor 2 storage pit it still hadn't found the source of the high radiation leak seeping into the Pacific.

Tepco initially believed the leak was somewhere in the cable trench that connects the No. 2 turbine building and the pit. But after using milky white bath salt to trace the flow, which appeared to prove that was not the case, the utility began to think it may be seeping through a layer of small stones below the cable trench.

Information from Kyodo added

Friday, April 1, 2011

Viewed in Wonderland: What's in the water ...

at JFK high school?  These kids have crazy talent and motivation!  I graduated from this high school in 2002 and our fundraisers were no where near as cool as these.  Check out what the class of 2011 is doing to raise money for their prom and graduation.

These kids are amazing!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Community in Wonderland: Preserving language

I read a letter to the editor today from one of our local papers.  Allan was sitting next to me singing and playing the guitar.  He stopped when he noticed a change in my facial expression.  I was very upset and he could tell.  He asked what was wrong and I explained to him that someone's lettter to the editor pissed me off.  His response was, "Hayi?!"  Hayi means who.  The fact that he responded in Chamorro instead of English meant so much at that moment.

This is the letter to the editor:

I read with great interest the article in the 21 March 2011 Marianas Variety Guam entitled “Chamorro Language Bills to Cost Millions”.
I’m not a linguist, but over the years I have noticed some things about language around the world that GovGuam may want to consider before spending too much money on preserving a dead language.
I went to Paris, France with a French Canadian friend from Berlin NH. His grandparents’ only spoke French Canadian, his parents’ spoke both English and French Canadian and he wrote, read and spoke French Canadian as a second language.
What was interesting was that the Parisians actually understood my Boston English better than his spoken French. He read the language and understood the meaning, but the spoken words were not understandable.
The Egyptians don’t speak the same Arabic as the people of Syria or Saudi Arabia. London English, Boston English and Dallas English look the same in writing, but don’t sound the same.
The party game where you whisper 4 or 5 words to your neighbor and see what message comes back is, I suspect, how close ancient Chamorro and today’s Chamorro are to each other.
The Catholic Church tried to save the written language of Latin without much success. Latin had thousands of written documents and thousands of years of history to fall back on and it’s still a dead language.
Chamorros had no written language until the Spanish arrived. The last full blooded Chamorro male on Guam died before 1830. The Spanish outlawed the speaking of the Chamorro language for almost 100 years.
This is only hearsay, but I was told that the present Chamorro language started in World War II when the Japanese outlawed the speaking of English.
The people on Guam started speaking in a code that was not “English”. This code is present day Chamorro. If this were true “HAVE A NICE DAY” might sound something like “hafa adai” in the non-English whisper code.
If you could defrost a 400-year-old ancient Chamorro somewhere, I doubt he would understand a single word in today’s Chamorro language.
Do today’s children need an appreciation of Chamorro culture and language? Maybe! Do today’s children need to know how to live in caves without electricity, water or sewer?
Do the children of Guam need to learn how to hollow out a log to make a boat, how to make buggy whips or how to repair a gasoline engine?
If the school is going to teach a dead language, I’d vote for a dead computer language. In today’s world is there any value in learning a language that can only be used in your home?

Charles Adams

You can probably see why this upset me and why Allan responding in Chamorro made me feel better.  In our home the Chamorro language is not thriving, but it is not dead either!  The comments that followed the article also made me feel better.  Here are 2 of my favorites:

I am a mainlander. When I was a child, my father lived on Guam for a year, not military, just a guy getting off the mainland. He lived near Inarajan in a little bungalow on the beach with a mainland family and worked on a tuna fishing boat where he was subjected to the standard abuse doled out to a newbie and a mainlander. He was befriended by many of the local families there, and when he flew back he even brought me my first tuna sashimi, packed on ice during his flight. Imagine an 8 year old boy eating sashimi from Guam in the middle of the mountains in Washington state!
About six years ago, I had a chance to visit Guam. I had met many Chammoros here in California, and was able to travel there with some of those friends and experience the real culture of Guam. Amazing family meals, bbq's on the beach, I even got to hear a Taotaomona let out a yip and saw the pinch mark on my friend's arm. I searched out the place my dad used to live, and was able to pick it out by the little islands off the south coast, but most of the tidal pools and property had been changed or washed away by typhoons. So much seemed to have changed in that time, a period of about 25 years. But one thing from those photos I used to look at remained the same. The images of large extended families welcoming him to immense buffets of meats and red rice and kelaguin were a mirror image of what I experienced first hand two decades later. Even with all the social and political changes, even with typhoons tearing the landscape apart and changing the physical aspects of the island, the culture remains strong.
The point of this rambling story is that even a mainlander who only visited Guam for 9 days could feel the culture and experience a way of life that is deeply rooted in tradition. It was quite obvious to me that these families, my Chamorro brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, take extreme pride in their culture, their history, and their language. The heritage on Guam is strong, and any true Human Being with a heart to listen with can hear the reverberations of the ancient Chamorros on this island. Mr. Adams is obviously coming at this issue in a purely financial sense, and the other commenters were spot on when they attribute this to the blanching of culture in the west. It is shameful that I must be grouped in with this type of culturally empty and probably upwardly mobile capitalist.
Thank you, Guam, for the experience of a lifetime. I hope to return and enjoy the same warm island welcome and AMAZING food! (Hawai'i, eat your heart out.)   -Billy Carter
That one made me cry.  Saina ma'ase, Mr. Carter!

This next one is from local businessman, Kaz Endo.

 A Letter to Charles Adam.

I point to your last sentence in your letter as the primary reason for the need to teach the Chamorro language in both public and private schools. You wrote: "In today’s world is there any value in learning a language that can only be used in your home?"
The answer clearly is yes, there is value, if not a pressing need to preserve such a local language.
For my answer to make sense to you, you need to assume this island; GUAM is home, and not just the concrete dwelling in which we all sleep in... keep reading.
Language connects people, both near and far. Whether it is spoken in English, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, or Chamorro - the words understood 'natively' can really never be replaced with a translation. There are emotions and deeper meanings that simply get lost in translation. This is why art forms such as poetry, books and plays rarely are as powerful translated as they would be in its native form.
Language from any culture originates from the need to communicate with one's community. As long as such communities exist, that language should be preserved for the sake of the community. Language is culture and culture is language. It's that simple. If the 'Chamoru' loses their language, in a sense it loses its community. 
The Chamorro language isn't 'dead' it is rather, quite alive and being used here in Guam and around the world. Just because something isn't used in mass, does not equate it as dead or obsolete. If you have a hard time understanding my point, just think of the Chamorro language as fine wine, rather than grape juice. Although only a few can enjoy it, it is still something to be enjoyed.
But let's not be simpletons here. A more accurate analogy would be this: With the advancement of photo enhancing software that allow photos to mimic paintings or illustrations, should we assume then that paintings, illustrations and natural medium art are also obsolete and dead? 
Of course not.
Capturing images on a camera is not the same as creating them on a canvas. This rings true for language however large or small its popular use. Communicating in English is not the same as doing so in Chamorro, or for that matter in Italian, Japanese or in French!
Speaking of which ... your story of your friend (who speaks and writes secondary French) who visited Paris and found himself having more success speaking English than broken French is a prime example of my point above. 
The French would rather speak to you in broken English (by the way, many Parisians actually speak English very well), than to have their beloved language butchered by an ex-pat tourist. To the French, speaking lousy French, is like dipping 'foie gras' into ketchup — they rather have you eat fries than for you to do that to their favorite dish. 
Your failure to grasp the need of including language education for children at their developmental age, is rather understandable given that you probably were not raised with such balance in mind by those who educated you.
Learning a language should not be just for future economical advantage (i.e., learning Chinese, Spanish or Japanese). The mandate for learning a language in school should always start 'local' and move towards global requirements. The more languages we all speak, the better we all would be!
Children who live in Guam, regardless of race and ethnicity, should be required to learn, even if it be at a rudimentary level — the native language of where they live. This allows them to understand Guam's culture well-beyond what's written in history books. The ability to converse with Chamorro elders (relative or not), the ability to have a sense of unity (remember language connects people), with native residents shows respect to the host ... and in return, the host will show respect to its 'guests'.
No other country has a problem understanding my point above, then perhaps the United States of America. Why? Simple, really... Because America is a true melting pot of different cultures. Ironically, for this reason, the modern American, although patriotic, still needs to harness their roots from their family's own origins, while being American. 
This is why many people in the United States feel the need to label themselves as African-American, Chinese-American, Irish-American, French-American, Japanese-American and so on ... rather than just being 'AMERICAN.' The only American that really needs no prefix is of course the original Americans - the native indians (AMERICAN-Indians).
Chuck, I'm almost done ... keep reading ...
With regard to the recommendation that children learn a 'dead' computer language over the so-called dead Chamorro language, I fully understood your intended sarcasm, but even sarcasm needs to make sense to show the implied wit behind it!
Although computer languages are also a manmade, it is not a language that people speak to one another. We are not machines. An obsolete computer language (i.e., Basic), does nothing for a child, whereas perhaps learning Latin (your so called other dead language) can allow a child to read the works of early books and philosophies in its native and true form. I mean, wouldn't we all want to read the book of Nostradamus in his own words (Latin)? I would. Instead, I am forced to accept the English, translated version. What does an antiquated computer language such as DOS or Fortran get me? Nothing ... except, perhaps keep me unemployed as computer programmer.
Learning his or her native language or in the case of all Guam students, learning the native tongue of where they live, regardless of their own ethnic background (or future need) is truly beneficial for their overall development. We should encourage balanced spending to promote language and other academics, not use the lack of budget, as the reason to take them away.
Chuck, in the future, use analogies to make a compelling point — not red herrings. Children don't need to learn how to live in caves, but they certainly can learn to say "thank you" or "you're welcome" in Chamorro.
In closing ...
It would have been far simpler to call you an idiot at the very beginning of my letter, but clearly you are not, an idiot. After all, you articulated and pragmatically explained your position. So it was only fair for me to do the same to counter your mis-guided opinion with response just as pragmatic and hopefully, articulate.
So, there you go — You are NOT an idiot, rather — just ignorant. 
You can fix ignorance. We all can. Good luck doing it.

:D  That one made me smile!  Saina ma'ase, Kaz.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life in Wonderland: On my mind

on my mind - acrylic on mat board
When you take a break from blogging it is really hard to get back in to it.  I spend a lot of time thinking about blogs I want to write.  Then something else comes up and I get distracted.

I wish I could stay focused!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

life in Wonderland: just a random painting session.

Sorry I've been too wrapped up in life to write.  Actually, I've been reading the Artemis Fowl Series and painting.  I just haven't felt like expressing myself with words lately.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Community in Wonderland: Today is a great day

Today is a great day for those who believe in the Guamanian Dream,
those who dream of continued dependence on the military for our island's prosperity,
those who believe it is okay to sign away cultural resources with questions left unanswered,
those who feel it is easier to put our future in the hands of others rather than push for more accountability in those we vote for.

While I don't share that dream, today was still a great day for me.  Today I saw beauty in my mother attempting to cook a dish that her mother once made.  She told me that around lent her uncles would bring fish that they caught to my grandparents and in return my grandparents would give them vegetables from their garden.  My grandmother would make eskabeche with the fish and vegetables.  Today I went with my parents as they shopped for the ingredients for this dish.  I thought it was a little sad that we had to shop for fish and vegetables, but something made it a little brighter.  As she rang up the vegetables, the cashier recognized the ingredients and asked my mom if she was going to make eskabeche.  My mom explained that she was going to try to, but it was her first time. The woman told my mom to wait while she rang up another person after us, then she closed her lane and took my mom to the side and gave her some tips on how she makes her eskabeche.  How beautiful is that?  Thank you Betty at Hagatna Payless.

Shortly after reading the article about the programmatic agreement being signed I went off on an adventure with Nella.  We planned to walk from Gun Beach to Hilton.  I was very upset around the time Nella arrived, but once we got going I was mostly happy.  It's hard to be disappointed when you're surrounded by ocean and sky.  The walk was amazing.  I almost cried when we realized that the group of paddlers nearby were not counting in the Spanish borrowed numbers, but in the original CHamoru language. "Hacha, hugua, tulu, fatfat. . . "

My dreams do not include a firing range in close proximity to ancient burial grounds and other places of cultural significance.  They don't include the bartering of environmental integrity for the possibility of economic growth.  They don't include the expansion of dependence on the military for our survival.  My dreams are made of the things that made my day great and visions of sustainability and learning from our history.

Before I wrote this post I was mad again.  It was almost a rant.  But while writing this I realized that ranting will not do any good.  Just because I think someone else's dream is ridiculous doesn't mean I should stop focusing on my dream.  So for those of us who don't dream of living the Guamanian Dream, we just have to remember that this is not the end of our dreams.  It just may mean that we may have to dream bigger and harder.