Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guam 2008

I have loved living in many different countries. We have so many wonderful friends. We have lived in many country towns and cities too. I grew up in a city but I have to admit I like living in the country more than the city.

I spent time with my daughter Miriam and her family in Guam in June/July 2008. We spent time with Alexander and Eva was born in there. It was so much fun watching Alexander in the rain he loves the rain. He was running around in his gumboots. He loves little rocks and the beach. His favourite book is about Thomas the Tank Engine. Well that tank engine "lives" in Peterborough where we lived in England.

Daniel and Miriam drove us around the island of Guam it only took one day hehe. Matelita went with me to Guam as my companion. I do not travel long distances by myself due to health difficulties sometimes. We saw where Magellan the discoverer landed in Guam. I was amazed to stand where he stood. Magellan was there in 1521. (http://www.bisitaguam.com/episodes/30/). That is a link about the history of Guam.

They also had some of the cannons the Spaniards used and there were ruins where the soldiers lived. I like history and when I visit places I try to imagine what it was like for the people in those days. I looked out to the ocean and thought about how far away the people were from home for king, queen or country.(http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/pacific/guam/) This is a map of Guam.

The lovely thing about Guam is they do not seem to have dangerous insects or animals. The people there are so polite and nice to you and always smiling. Matelita even mentioned it to me. We live in Australia that has some of the most dangerous snakes and spiders in the world that can kill people. We have had a few snakes in our backyard and huge spiders. All snakes are protected by the government in Queensland Australia. If you are found to mame or kill them you are in big trouble with the law.

The beaches in Guam are so clean and the nice thing about them was seeing all the natives there with their families.

Foliage grows very quickly in Guam. You don't see rubbish anywhere because the foliage grows over it hehehe.

I rode on a water buffalo. His name was Frank. I don't remember the owners name. Frank was very tame and he seemed hairless. I touched his skin and it was soft just like a snake skin is soft. Yes, I have touched a huge snake and it was very soft. I am not afraid of animals but I have learned to stay away from the dangerous ones. Whenever we had furry spiders in our house in Australia I would kill those because I am very allergic to their bite.

Miriam took some photos of me on the water buffalo and they are not very attractive (the photos) I look like I am falling off the buffalo. I was not falling off I am just not used to riding on animals. (I did ride on a camel in Alice Springs Australia in 1990 ) I asked the owner if it was o.k. for me to ride on Frank as I was afraid I was too heavy. The owner said not to worry because he was heavier than me and he rode Frank all the time hehe.

Eva was not due to be born until after we arrived. Well, she decided to be born on the evening before we arrived. We had to fly to Cairns in Northern Queensland Australia from Brisbane and from Cairns to Guam. (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/pacific/australia/). While we were in transit in Cairns at about 7:20 pm Henele called us and said Miriam was in the hospital. We had just landed and when we were walking to the other terminal Eva was born. I had this feeling she was born and then when I saw Miriam she told me when she was born. We arrived in Guam at around 4 am. Daniel and Alexander came to get us from the airport. It was kind of humid but not as bad as Brisbane. It was just nice. Daniel had just picked up Alexander from the babysitter to come and get us.

I had a lovely rest in Guam. Daniel was so worried that we were bored. I told him not to worry we were fine. Our family is kind of boring sometimes. We just like to sit around and talk or watch movies. Yes, we live around the world but at the same time we like to just sit down and relax. Like one of my children said, that we do not know how to be tourists, we only know how to live in the places we see hehe. The first thing I bought in Guam was diet root beer. I like root beer and it has to be diet because of my diabetes. We do not have root beer in Australia we have sarsaparilla. That is what root beer used to be called but it does not taste the same. I also bought sugar free rocky road ice cream. Yum Yum. Australia does not have good stuff for diabetics but America sure does. Guam is a protectorate of USA just like Puerto Rico and American Samoa.
In this store they had brownie mix to make brownies and the package said it had hemp in it. I thought that looks interesting. I did not have the camera on me, but wish I had because when I came to the store again the hemp brownies were gone. I was not going to buy them since the Australian customs would take them off me hehe. Seriously, I just found this to be very strange. Miriam told me that in many ways Guam has its own rules and laws. Whatever that means. Why do people need brownies with hemp? Perhaps its for medicinal purposes hehe.

When we went to church I met a sister missionary who knew one of the missionaries we had in our ward in Brisbane.

I also met Elder Hopoate ( http://www.mormonwiki.com/Pita_Hopoate) ( http://w2.byuh.edu/alumni/genuine_gold/hopoate.php) and his family. Elder Hopoate is a area authority(LDS) who has lived in Guam for many years. He is from Tonga. Sister Hopoate used to teach Henele my husband in Liahona High School in Tonga. Elder and Sister Hopate remembered many of Henele's family and they used to be over the Brisbane area when he was a general authority in the Pacific area. They are such caring kind people and I felt like I was with family. Their youngest son was just called on a mission and he was leaving from Guam the day after we left. He was called to Los Angeles downtown area. He was very humble about it and said those people need the gospel too. He had to learn Spanish for that area.
I was in the minority in Guam. Most of the people had lovely brown skin. I was also one of the taller women there. People did look at me or stared I should say I just smiled at them. Alexander Miriam's son is continually photographed by the Japanese tourists in particular in Guam. Well he is blond and blue eyed. It seems amazing to so many of them to see a child like that.
Many tourist come over there from Asia on their honeymoon. The hotels have honeymoon packages. These people go over there and get married. The hotels have these little chapels that look like mini temples, very mini temples. These buildings are beautiful. Most of these chapels are by the beautiful ocean in Guam. I have been told Guam is like Hawaii is to some people.

The ocean in Guam is so clear and you could see even the smallest of fishes. They are so colorful.
We spent three wonderful weeks in Guam. I would like to visit there one more time.

I really enjoyed the relaxed feeling in Guam especially on the roads. The fastest speed seemed to be perhaps 50 MPH. To me that was just nice. Guam was not in a hurry to get anywhere. Then again they were lacking in road maintenance and other government things like that. I suppose we can not have all the good things in one place on this earth yet.

3 comments:

The Toutai Family said...

Wow Hera! Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Guam! It makes me want to visit there. And how exiting to meet up with Elder Hopoate! I will have to tell 'Etuini & Lopeti. Hope you and the family are doing well.

'Ofa Lahi Atu,
Melanie

Hera said...

Thanks Lopeti's Melanie hehe. What are the odds of having another Melanie Toutai.
Elder Pita Hopoate melts you away with his humbleness. He was so excited to talk about the whole family and he had such wonderful memories he told me.
Actually when we lived in Iceland in the 1980's Elder Hopoate is the one that sent Henele some Tongan scriptures to Iceland.

MoBo said...

WOWOW who said that? about the not being a tourist.

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