The girls and I arrived back from Guam last night after a week away from Tokyo. I’m still trying to digest our experience so that I can explain to everyone what Guam is really like. The U.S. acquired Guam as one of the “spoils of war” after WWII and has a large naval base on the island. It’s history is spanish and their main reason for existence (besides the navy base) is to entertain Japanese tourists (the flight from Tokyo is direct, 3.5 hours and cheap). So the result is that Guam doesn’t really know what it is. The people look Mexican and their native food is latino in feeling, anyone living on the island that interfaces with tourists speaks fluent Japanese and the currency is the US dollar and they are big Obama lovers. Oh, and they have a Kmart and a Macy’s. Needless to say, its a confusing place. My attempt to listen to the voicemail in my room was met with Japanese instructions only – the survey slipped under my door when we left was in Japanese as well. But the weather was perfect (85, sunny, no humidity) the ocean is warm with unbelievable tropical fish (great snorkeling) and I spent a nice amount of time stocking up on Honey Nut Cheerios, trashy US magazines and decaf coffee. The girls were brave enough to parasail in the ocean off a boat for the first time and got to see the results of a native spear fishing for his dinner. We went to a tropical fruit orchard dense with fruit trees we never heard of and ate a buffet lunch of fruit pulled from the trees that morning (sour sap, egg fruit, and others i can’t remember the names of!) There were 7 weddings at our hotel in 5 nights and we got to experience “pair look” which is when the honeymooners dress alike every day on their honeymoon. i kept snapping photos whenever i would see another couple dressed alike and i will post those funny photos on the photo page. there were 9 in our group (me and the girls, my old friend kyoko and her daughter kyla and kyoko’s good friend Fumi (who is my age, and pregnant with twins and weighs 101 pounds – no kidding) and her 7 year old, her 2 year old and her sister. we were an interesting group wherever we went.
saturday morning, hayden had a game at 10 against a japanese team (the first japanese team this season). they won 13 – 0 but the score did not reflect the competitiveness of the game. it was 0-0 until the 4th quarter and the japanese team played really well. when it was all over, and the americans lined up on the field to do the customary shaking of hands, the japanese team ran over and swarmed our boys high fiving and shaking and say “good gamo, good gamo” and then they came over to our coaches and bowed to them. and then, they lined up facing our bleachers and counted out loud and then all together bowed deep to our fans. and we all went crazy. and then the two teams were hugging and laughing and took group team photos together, laughing and making the piece sign and falling all over the field. it was a pretty emotional experience – i’ve never witnessed two high school football teams get along so amazing after a game – especially one of the teams was shut out. they were just so damn happy to play the game of american football with the americans.