Thursday, October 27, 2011

Going, going, Guam, part 3 of 4

Part 2.

I just completed my second week, 26th and final school, and 30th hour of talking on Guam. Below are glimpses. I ship out obscenely early tomorrow. But first, I want to share glimpses of a Guam I do not know—Guam after a typhoon.

The weather during my time was mostly fine—always humid and regularly sunny with brief, often intense jags of rain each day. Often, when coming out of an hourlong school presentation, I found that the precipitation situation was the opposite of what it had been when I'd gone in.

Nicole, one of the kind souls who volunteered to drive me from school to school, told me of Super Typhoon Pamela (1976), when she was seven years old. Its high winds knocked out power...and it was not restored for
six months.

After the storm passed, people islandwide barbecued so as not to let meat go to waste. With charcoal sold out, Nicole's mother asked Nicole's brother if she could burn his Lincoln Logs; he said yes. Nicole's father would bring back buckets of water from the ocean to flush their toilets.

I'm told the people of Guam experience a super-sized storm roughly every 10-12 years, but the infrastructure has improved since Pamela, so the situations Nicole's family encountered may not be as prevalent going forward.

I did experience one weather-related incident. At one of the three schools on my last day, an unusual circumstance caused one presentation to start slightly late. It had begun to lightning shortly before I arrived. Because some of the classroom doors at this school were metal and because they opened to the outside, the administration waited till the storm passed to let the students out of the classrooms.

Somewhat randomly: There is no AC on Guam. There is only "air con." (To clarify, they don't use the abbreviation "AC" for "air conditioning.")

I love this note so much. Especially the cryptic "octopus."

Many of the kids wore headbands with this custom logo
they designed for me. They also sang for me!

Just your above-average tie weaved out of leaves.

Each member of this class displayed her/his favorite activity from
365 Things to Do Before You Grow Up on a small placard.

The above two images show cartoons kids made in response to
my two books called Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day.

"Hafa Adai" is "hello" in the language of the native Chamorros.
This banner incorporates three of my books and a portrait of me.
The kids (and educators) of Guam go above and beyond
in welcoming guests. Here are more:

Illustration based on an image from Boys of Steel:
The Creators of Superman

Goals inspired by 365 Things to Do Before You Grow Up.

At one school, the principal gets on a mic and hosts
something like a pep rally every morning; the kids line the
outdoor halls surrounding the courtyard where she stands.
Due to this formation and their enthusiasm, it reminded me of
a gladiatorial spectacle, but without all the mauling.

What an inventive way to reinforce math.

For a relatively small island, Guam is hugely generous.
The schools showered me with gifts including dozens of necklaces,
numerous boxes of traditional chocolates, sixteen T-shirts,
four wooden latte stone carvings, and many other
honors, trinkets, and treats.
The above shot captures only part of the booty!

Part 4.

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