guam rainy season

What to do During Rainy Season

I didn’t even get to say goodbye to the dry season.

So what the heck is going on with the weather in Guam?!! I really feel like I’m in Oregon again. It’s been dark all day today and rained most of the morning.  The only difference is the intense humidity that follows the rain. The forecast doesn’t look very promising and from what I’ve heard we are having monsoonal rain. Along with the storm, I’ve come down with a cold. So that means that our weekend has been spent inside, cuddled up on the sofa, watching movies and eating soup. Sounds fine to me!

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 This is about the most sunshine we’ve had
in a couple days, if you call that sunshine.

Sooner than later I’m going to get tired of being indoors and will want to do something. So what is there to do when the rainy season arrives and you live on an island that has mostly outdoor attractions? That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out for the past few years! Here’s what I do!

1. Guam’s super cool aquarium Underwater World. I took my parents here when they came to visit.

2. Shop, shop, window shop! There are a few malls across Guam and luxury shops in Tumon. Even if you have no money to spend, it’s nice to get out for a walk and window shop. Peter and I often take walks in Tumon, grab some chocolates from Godiva when we want to feel fancy or eat at one of the many restaurants located in the area.

3. Eat! I’ve tried a couple new places this month. One day I was craving steak, which is rare for me as I don’t eat beef regularly. We went to Angus Steak & Grille in Harmon for the first time and had a great meal! The servers were very pleasant and informative.  A few days ago I was invited to JOINUS Restaurant Keyaki, a traditional Japanese and Teppan-Yaki food. I didn’t know what this was or what most of the food was! I ordered what I recognized (chicken teriyaki) and watched as they set everyone’s food on fire!

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4. Watch the sunset because even though it may be covered by clouds, the colors in the sky and the way the clouds are illuminated are amazing!

5. Wait for a break in the rain! (You could be waiting a long time) The rain seems to slow down in the late afternoon, which is when we usually leave the house because we ride a motorcycle.

6. Go swimming anyway because you’ll be wet either way. Although right now swimming can be a little dangerous with the high surf and rough waters, I still see vacationers making the most of their trip to Guam and splashing around at the beach.

7. Visit museums! There are a few history museums on Guam and this month there was an art exhibit in The Plaza called Guam Art Exhibit. I went to this last year and I was so impressed. This year we attended the spoken word event and had a lot of fun.

8. Bowling is a pretty popular sport on Guam, Peter and I were part of a bowling team and we played for a year! Lots of fun and food. If bowling isn’t your thing, Central Lanes  also has ping pong and video games so check it out!!

9. $5 movies! Peter and I like to catch an early movie because it’s quiet, cheap and something to do while it’s raining.

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The Rainy Season

Being from the Pacific Northwest, rain is not unusual. I think we (North-westerners) are all born with the skill of managing to stay nearly dry when it’s pouring outside.  You know you just wear a hoodie or put your head down, shoulders up and speed walk to get where you need to go. The rain doesn’t really bother me much and I’m used to days, weeks and months of gloom and sunless skies. I’ve learned how to drive in the rain and avoid hydroplaning. I know that you never wait for a dry spot in the clouds because you will be waiting forever. And when the skies cleared and there wasn’t anymore rain, I’d feel out of place. Like, “What is that bright, ball of fire in the sky?!” as I shield my face from the sun. That’s what being an Oregonian (Northwest at least) is about.

The sun makes me feel happy and my mood changes according to weather.  I’ve been so spoiled by the weather in Guam. It’s sunny and perfect everyday. I always wanted to be an island girl I just didn’t realize that; although, there aren’t the usual four seasons there are the dry and rainy seasons. At first it’s just a little rain during the day, then there is thunder and lightening and then it rains all day everyday for a month. The rain is so intense and the skills I used in Oregon for staying dry don’t work here at all! The rain gushes down the streets and it feels like it’s going to flood. Last year it did flood, thankfully not where I lived. Somehow, overnight it seems, all the puddles evaporate and you’re left with the thick, heavy, humid air…until it rains again. Even though the temperature may be 77 degrees, it’s still an unbearable 95% humidity!

As I’m writing this, it has been raining all day.  My first year on Guam I arrived near the end of the rainy season. Last year I’m pretty sure there was one full month of rain and the season lasted from around July to November. It’s hard to plan anything because, riding on the scooter, we never know when it’s going to rain.  We are also usually confined to our house. Just a few minutes in the rain during Guam’s rainy season will leave you drenched all the way through to your underclothes.

It’s not like in Oregon when it rains everything is green. On Guam, when it rains everything looks grey, bringing out the grey in all the cement buildings. It’s not until after the rain ends that everything is green and beautiful again. Guam is actually quite ugly when it rains because the ocean water mirrors the dark sky. Then one day you wake up and the grey skies are gone and everything is back to normal. You’ve survived the rainy season!