Moving. So many thoughts and emotions. This is our eight move with the Air Force, so in a way it's "old hat", but each and every move has its own quirks. For the most part for every move we were ready to move. The one exception was our move from Japan to California. I was not ready to leave Japan in any way.
Especially at 35 1/2 weeks pregnant. But that's another story for another time.
I'm ready to move....ready to leave Paradise....ready to be back in a first-world/develop country. Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed living here in Guam. Enjoyed the friends I have made here....enjoyed seeing a different part of the world...learning about new cultures. But ready to leave and be closer to family. The closest to family in the past was 15 hours by car. Being in the same state is just amazing to me.
Leaving here I'll take the sheer beauty of the island. In many locations it is just so incredibly beautiful, words are hard to describe it all. But there is a down-size to the island...maybe in most islands. The poverty...the hopelessness some of the people have. After all, when living in the States, its easy to relocate and start anew a few towns or a state over. Here a place ticket the mainland is out-of-reach for most workers. Then there's the corruption and greed that abounds in the island government.....the carelessness of the people toward the beauty of the island as well as the value of human life.
Just this morning there was an article in the paper about a nine-year-old boy being killed because he was riding the back of a pick-up truck and fell out then hit by another car. While its legal for a parent to allow a child to ride in the back of pick-up truck, they are trying to discourage it by an ad campaign with the slogan of "Your family is not freight".
Amazing that people have to be told that....sad really.
The locals have a love/hate relationship to us in the military. They are totally appreciative that the Marines in 1iberated Guam from the Japanese in 1944 (Liberation Day is a bigger celebration than July 4th here) and so, are very patriotic with many joining the Armed Forces. But at the same time they are deeply jealous of what we military families have - from our houses on base to our schools to the military access only beaches on the bases to our base stores. Many do what ever they can to have what is part of our benefits for being in the military.
There's also a deep resentment that foreigners are on the island at all. All children - even ours in the military base schools are required to take Guam Culture classes. There I have seen how the teachers talk about the "invaders" who came and stole their lands and made the Chamarro's a weaker by intermarriage. It was little uncomfortable listening to those lessons....seeing the look of disdain on the face of the teacher....But with all parts of history, both sides can and should learn.
With Guam now a part of our personal history now, I hope to leave more grace....compassion.....love. It's been a wonderful three years. I pray the next part of our adventure will be as enlightening. You can read about our next adventures at my new blog - 5with family here.