living in guam

Stormy Times

This morning I woke up, looked out the window, and saw the beautiful blue sky. Not long after, Peter called and said there was a tropical storm coming and they were preparing for it at work. I don’t watch T.V. and I rarely grab a copy of the newspaper, so I went online to check the weather stats. Sure enough, the news were reporting on the tropical storm that is headed straight for Guam. Now, I never really know whether I should take things seriously because it seems like the media blow things out of proportion. There have been so many storms that people were worried about and were hyped up, that ended up missing us completely. Either way, Peter and I always stay semi prepared. We have flashlights, batteries, food, propane and a burner, typhoon shutters, and we will usually do a big grocery shopping trip just before the storm arrives. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s been a realllyyyyy long time since Guam was hit by a typhoon and people say we are overdue for another one.  Over the last three years that I’ve lived in Guam, we’ve been pretty lucky that the typhoons haven’t formed until the storm had passed our island. I’ve never experienced a typhoon and I hear that the past ones have left parts of Guam without power and water for MONTHS. Let’s just hope that this storm doesn’t turn into anything bigger over the weekend. The rainy season has wasted no time in giving us scary storms. Looks like it might be a rough one this year.

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Photo of the approaching storm.

(map from : http://goo.gl/n1ARyA)
 

At the moment, we are in condition 2 readiness. Read what that means here.

Stay safe everyone!

Who Rents a Convertible During Typhoon Weather?!?!

   WE DID!!

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Since we haven’t done any traveling this year, we decided to extend our 4th of July holiday weekend and do something fun. We’d been planning our Guam stay-cation for over month. We were going to rent a convertible and drive around the island and also go zip lining. But the weather in Guam had other plans for us. When our long weekend arrived, so did a tropical storm.

We hung out at The Beach Bar with some friends Thursday evening and, that should have been our warning, we were blasted with sand as gusts of wind came through. At the end of our evening, the rain started pouring down. The next morning it wasn’t raining but it was gloomy and so, so windy. For some reason we thought it was still a good idea to rent a convertible and cruise the island.

That evening all of the 4th of July festivities had been cancelled so we ate at Arashi Bowl in Harmon. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but once you open the door Manga artwork covers the walls and it’s really cool! The food was delicious too!

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Saturday morning we woke up, hopped in the car and began our drive south. During our drive down we’d feel drops of rain, pull over, put the top back up, drive off, think the rain had stopped, pull over, put the top back down. We did this until we reached Piti and saw a HUGE, dark cloud hovering over the village and felt the cold breeze. The weather was all downhill from there. We continued on South, pulling over a few times because the visibility in the rain was terrible. We ended up at Jeff’s Pirates Cove and had a late lunch. The rain intensified and so did the wind and incredible thunder and lightening! We stayed there for a couple of hours but the storm was only getting stronger. Finally, the time came and we needed to drive back to the car rental to return the car.

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Later that evening the storm had calmed a bit so we walked to the Tumon BBQ Block Party. We ate empanadas from Sea Grill and tried some of the BBQ meats. At the end, we stopped for fresh coconut water and decided to go home. I think the rest of our weekend was spent trying to stay dry. I guess I should say goodbye to the dry season and an unwelcome hello to the rainy season! Stay dry, Guam!

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Snorkeling and Walking on the Reef

This morning I called my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day. He randomly asked me if I had been swimming and told me to watch out for sharks. I said to him, “Dad, there’s a reef, so it’s hard for the sharks to get in. But now you’ve scared me!”

This whole weekend was spent at the beach. No complaints here. On Sunday, Peter had a gig at Jimmy Dee’s Beach Bar to play during a beach rugby tournament. It’s been SO hot lately, and Sunday was no exception. I had a good time, it was relaxing and fun! That evening we swam in Tumon as we watched the sun set. Beautiful rays shot out through the clouds making another breathtaking sunset in Guam.

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Today (Monday) we had brunch at King’s then headed to Ritidian. As if I didn’t get enough beach time from the previous day, I wanted MORE. And why not? The weather has been perfect, hot, but perfect beach weather. These are the type of days that made me fall in love with Guam. ❤

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We’ve had low tide for a few days now and the usually rough waters of Ritidian were calm, shallow and HOT! Because the water was so shallow and the sun was working hard, the water warmed up. Warmer than I’ve ever felt it.

We snorkeled near the shore and saw tons of cool fish. Then I noticed that the tide was so low that the coral was sticking out all the way to the reef. We decided to walk to the reef. The water went from ankle deep near the shore, to no water at all. For most of the walk my feet were out of the water, that’s how low the tide was. After a long walk, me slipping on all the bumps and crevices in the coral, we made it to the edge of the reef! I’m so scared of going out to the reef because there are so many stories in the newspaper about people being swept away into the depths of the ocean after falling over. I made sure Peter and I stay away, but today was an exception. It was great! If I had a bucket list I would have crossed off “Walking out to the edge of the reef.” I looked back to the shore to see how far we’d come and it was a little further than the length of a football field. I said, “So this is what’s on the reef!” As I looked down at these strange sea plants that had long stems with big things that looked like bubbles on the tips. We walked over them and let some of the water splash on us from the waves hitting the reef. I looked out to the dark blue water  and  got an eerie feeling, thinking about what my dad had mentioned earlier. The ocean is both beautiful and scary to me.

As we walked back to the shore we found a deep pool of water that we thought would have some stuff to look at. We put our snorkels on and saw that the pool was filled with sea creatures. I saw a very LARGE spiky sea urchin, tons of black fish and some other larger multi-colored fish with lips that looked like they were kissing, baby needlefish AND my worst fear of all a small sea snake! After that we walked back over the coral and headed into the shade.

What a wonderful weekend. All the worries that had been on our minds were cleared away as we explored the waters of Ritidian.

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 Note to self: First trip back to Ritidian (just the two of us) after our engagement. 6-16-2014

 

Things to Do in Guam: Get Dirty!

Over a year ago, Peter came home and said he found a dirt bike that he really wanted. Since it was his birthday and a really good deal for Guam, he bought this bright green used bike. At the time we had a scooter and maybe a car (I can’t remember). Since then, we now only have the dirt bike and it is our ONLY mode of transportation.

We’ve taken it out on a few expeditions like riding around this abandoned golf course in Barrigada. There are lots of cool, paved trails that are good for riding.

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We also explored the red dirt roads near Leo Palace.

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But the most memorable adventure was on Peter’s birthday (a couple of days after buying the bike). We packed up some snacks and drinks and headed out to Channel 10 to do some riding. It was during the rainy season, but hadn’t rained in a week or so. We thought everything would be dry and, for the most part, it was.

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The main road we were riding down was pretty dry; although, some of the side roads looked flooded. Suddenly our dry road turned into THIS! A huge puddle.

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We passed through it easily, but it wasn’t until we were headed back that we ran into trouble. We rode along the outside of the puddle and ended up getting stuck in mud on the left side. I jumped off the bike so that my weight wouldn’t pull the bike deeper in, but it was too late we were really stuck. Peter called me over to help unload everything and I stepped in ankle deep mud. Ugh! We worked for about 45 minutes trying to pull the bike out, I found an old plastic bumper and tried to wedge it under the tire, but the mud was sucking everything in. We decided to take a break, drink some gatorade and rest in the bushes. Peter called his friend in Oregon for some advice on how to get our bike out. He basically said you need to man handle that beast, and that’s just what we did. After over an hour of being stuck, we were free!!!! I was muddy from head to toe, but thankful that we were unstuck. I’m pretty sure Peter will never forget THAT birthday!

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Despite the horrible time we had with the mud, the view was gorgeous!

 

A Couple Days of My Life

This time last year I was on my way to the Pacific Northwest for my first trip back home since moving to Guam. I remember we left on an absolutely beautiful day. The rest of the week consisted of rain, cold, and my skin turning grey. I was miserable, but so happy to see family again.

This year we’re not going home, but instead enjoying our Guam dry season before the rainy season begins. I don’t know why every morning I wake up and am surprised by the blue sky! I hope that I never stop appreciating it. I hope that I don’t turn into one of those people who just goes about their day without seeing the ocean, being happy when the sky is clear, or being too busy to realize that I live in MY paradise!

Thursday: After work we decided to go to Tanguisson beach and walk to Hilaan beach. We were trying to figure out how far the walk is. Maybe one or two miles. It felt really long because we hadn’t been there for over a year. It was also very hot but we walked in the water to cool off. We set down our pack, got attacked by mosquitoes, and then jumped in the water. This is a very rough area to swim in so we just waded in the water for a bit. After that, we ate our sandwiches that I packed and then began exploring. We found these huge rock formations and noticed that fresh water was seeping out and into the ocean. We also found some really cool shells, a baby praying mantis about the size of my thumbnail, crabs, and watched as a group of people raised a cross in remembrance of a young man who died in the water recently. We headed back just before sunset and watched the sun fall as we sat on the crushed coral on Tanguission beach. At the end of the day I felt exhausted, but it was good to stretch my legs.

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Friday: Peter asked if I wanted to go for a ride on the bike and I thought it would be a nice and relaxing time after the previous day’s long walk. When he came home I chucked my mosquito repellant and left all my hiking gear because I didn’t think we’d need it. On our way to Nimitz Hill he called his friend and invited him to ride.  What started out as a nice ride on the bike, turned into a hike! At first I was annoyed because I wasn’t prepared. It was hot, I didn’t have sunscreen or a hat, and I left my bug spray. I was also scared because the trail was really bumpy and steep so I wasn’t sure how Peter would do packing me on the back. We decided to park and walk the rest of the way, which was a good idea. I had no clue where we were or where we were going. We kept walking through a valley and finally stopped in front of a cliff and a rope. Peter went down first and came back up to tell me that it wasn’t so bad and I could do it. After some convincing and pretty much no choice, I grabbed his motorcycle gloves and propelled myself down.

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Oh but it was SO worth it to see the Lonfit waterfall and river. Tons of tadpoles and even a freshwater eel swam around us. It was serene, lovely, and unexpected.

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Pulling myself up the steep hill was much easier. I was so proud of myself! We all hopped on our bikes and decided to explore more of the roads.

We found the memorial for the Korean airplane crash that happened in 1997.

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Then we followed the fuel pipeline down until we reached a very steep slope that was too dangerous for Peter to drive down. We rested for a bit while taking notice that we could see both the east and west sides of the island. It was so cool!

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Things People Want to Know About Guam 2

It’s easy to search online and find things to do in Guam, but what I found difficult, was to find someone who could honestly tell me HOW life in Guam is. I often get questions about living in Guam, things to expect when moving, and the differences between living in The States and living in Guam. Since the last post, I’ve had hundreds of people searching for information about Guam and ending up on my blog. I thought I’d answer them for you! Again, if you would like to add your own answers, please do so in the comments 🙂

 

What do they eat in Guam for breakfast/Where to eat breakfast?

Many restaurants offer rice and fried rice for breakfast, which was odd for me because I never had rice for breakfast before. Oh and Tabasco with everything! I enjoy breakfast at House of Brutus (Tamuning), Tu Re (Agana), Linda’s (Agana), Kings, and The Kracked Egg (Tumon). There are lots of restaurants in Guam, but these are a few of my favorites. They all serve some type of local breakfast in addition to traditional American breakfast. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, before 9am, I like to eat at the Dededo flea market.

Do Rhino beetles fly around during the day?

Yes and they are horrible at flying! I think they dry out easily so they usually dig holes and come out when it’s cool.

Where in Oregon do people from Guam live?

When I lived in Oregon, as far as I know, I never met anyone from Guam. That might be hard to believe because many Guamanians move there. Even though there are a lot of Guamanians moving to Oregon, in comparison to all the other people, the population is rather small. I think that there are a lot of people who attend the University of Portland.

Is Guam dangerous?

No.

Areas with poor roads Guam

Everywhere!

Does Bank of Guam cash off island checks?

Yes, but it can take up to two weeks for it to clear.

Does basic talk work in Guam?

Yes.

American living in Guam

People born in Guam are U.S. citizens/American. But if you mean people who lived in The States and moved to Guam, there are a lot of us! Come join the fun 🙂 If you are a U.S. citizen all you need is a passport to move here (and money and all that other stuff).

Why is Guam so hot all of a sudden?

I was thinking the same thing just the other day. I guess it’s due to the peak of dry season! The heat is kind of getting on my nerves. It’s making me feel sluggish too!

Is Guam a poor country?

A few months ago I read an article in the newspaper about poverty in Guam. The numbers showed that, compared to The States, there is a higher percentage of families living at or below the poverty line. Making Guam the poorest out of all territories and states. The cost of living is HIGH and most jobs pay minimum or just above, making it incredibly hard to get by. At a glance, you wouldn’t think that those statistics were true and I think it’s due to the culture. There are few homeless people and the ones I’ve seen don’t seem to be from Guam. It also seems to me that if you are having a hard time, someone in your family is always there to help. I think that because living in Guam is so expensive, people tend to live with their families, sharing the burden of the bills and making it more affordable. Those are just my opinions and observations I’ve made while living here. Read this article for more information.

Best places to live in Guam?

I’ve only lived in Tumon and I love it! Peter has lived in Yigo and Mangilao and he prefers Tumon. I think it would be nice to live down south, if it wasn’t so far from work. Also, I’d like to live in Agana/Hagatna.

Do white people live in Guam?

Peter and I are both half white and we live in Guam. If that’s not enough, yes there are white people here. Some are here for work, travel and others are born and raised here. That’s the great thing about Guam, even though it’s a small island, its population is actually very diverse!

Guam monthly grocery budget

I’d say double whatever you currently spend wherever you are from. It’s pretty expensive.

Do you have to worry about the cockroaches in Guam?

YES! Some villages have them worse than others and during certain times of the year I tend to see more (like after it rains).

What is Guam like for black people?

I asked Peter what he thought about this and this is what he said: When you are black and living in Guam, people assume that you’re in the military. They think that people in the military have money, so they treat you different. It’s the opposite in The States.

I think that people are just curious in general here. They always ask what ethnicity we are and where we came from. The other day we were at a store when two little boys walked past us and looked up at Peter’s glorious afro. They said, “WOW you have nice hair. I wish I had curly hair so mine would look like that.” It was sweet and innocent, because they probably haven’t seen any or many people with curly hair like his. Peter would rather that no one point his hair out, I think it makes him uncomfortable.

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I’m an AC Baby

A few months ago the power went out for about 6 hours (as it usually does at least once a month) and I tried my hardest to deal with it; by 2:00pm I ended up walking to a nearby coffee shop to cool off. This got me thinking about something that a co worker on Guam had mentioned to me last year. She referred to her daughter as an AC baby. Not knowing what she meant by that she explained that even though her daughter was born and raised on Guam, she was raised in air conditioned cars/homes and couldn’t stand the heat. This made me think about all the people I’ve seen who do anything to avoid the sun. I never understood how someone can live on Guam and 1. not be tanned 2. avoid being hot. But this whole “AC Baby” concept sort of explained it all. Police officers leave their cars running with their hoods up to avoid overheating (not sure how safe that is),  so that they can leave their AC on while they’re doing checkpoints and then jump back into a cool car when they’re done. People have found ways to live on this hot island without actually experiencing too much heat.

Our first apartment on Guam was a first floor unit that was shielded from the sun on one side of the building, making it much cooler. That meant that I could go most of the day without using the AC. For the first six months the AC in my bedroom didn’t work so I slept in the heat with just a small fan. It was hot and uncomfortable, but bearable, and I grew accustomed to the temperature. We now live on the third floor and there is no shade to protect us from the sun. By 9:00am the apartment is pretty warm and by 12:00pm it’s too hot. Opening the windows in different rooms to get a cross breeze going is no use because there’s not enough wind on Guam and it makes the apartment hotter! I think there are certain parts of the island that are cooler and windier than other areas. I really don’t like using the AC so much not only because of the cost, but also because I’d like to just breathe natural air and I feel like the AC makes my allergies worse. Unfortunately I’ve also become accustomed to the cool air and whenever I’ve been inside all day, the moment I step outside it’s like a shock to my body and I start saying, “Ahh why’s it so hot and humid, what’s happening, I’m sweating!” And to top it all off, if I leave chocolate out on the table, within an hour it’s melted and that’s the last straw for me.

It’s official, I am an AC Baby.

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The Problems with Guam

I’ve been meaning to do this post since I first read this article last month, but February was a super busy month for me. Now that life has calmed down, I finally have the time to catch up on everything I’ve let slide. One of those things is this article I read in the Pacific Daily News regarding the Guam Visitors Bureau’s new goal. The board Chairman, Mark Baldyga, stated their goal is to reach two million visitors to Guam by 2020.  I thought this would be a good time to address some of the problems I see daily in Guam. Below are my responses and thoughts to a few of the statements made throughout the article.

1. I immediately became annoyed with GVB’s focus on Japanese tourists. If you don’t know, Russian tourists were granted their visas to visit Guam and their numbers on island have increased. In this article, it states that Russian visitors have been staying longer, thus; spending more money in Guam. Yet, the focus tends to be toward catering to  Japanese tourists. I understand why, but things are changing and it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and be inclusive of all the new faces in Guam.

I’d been planning on taking my parents to Hamamoto’s Tropical Fruit World when they came to visit last month. When I called, I was told that their tours were only in Japanese, unless I had a group larger than 15. I then realized just how hard it is to be an English speaking tourist in Guam. Bus signs and information are in either Japanese and recently added Russian but no English and The Reef Hotel’s website is in Japanese only, which is a shame because they have a couple of really nice bars with the best sunset views. Ignoring or limiting certain markets (people living in Guam due to the military, U.S. expats) isn’t smart business.

2. The plan to make “Guam cleaner and safer” is a great idea for everyone in Guam. One of the things that my parents commented on was the amount of trash that was dumped EVERYWHERE. You could be at the most beautiful beach or viewpoint and see garbage, mattresses, and household appliances that had been dumped. Do you know what happens when you leave trash lying around? Rats and roaches. A few months ago someone thought the road leading to my condo complex was the perfect place to dump their tires and mattress. They’re still there. It’s absolutely disgusting and leaves an ill impression on all of us who call Guam home. Especially coming from Oregon, where recycling is embraced, to see the type of garbage that is just thrown away that could be recycled feels wrong. Even at parks and beaches, a garbage can is hard to find. And when you find one, it’s usually overflowing with trash. Recently there have been recycling stations (aluminum, plastic, and paper) placed sporadically throughout Tumon, I guess that’s a step in the right direction. MORE PLEASE.

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Where in the world is this acceptable?

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Also, more police are needed in all villages not just Tumon. After that horrendous murder that took place last year where a man ran over and then stabbed people in Tumon, Guam Police Department had pledged to add more officers to the area and even spent money on new mopeds. A year later, tell me where they’ve gone? Tourists are very important to Guam’s economy, which is why I don’t understand that when there happen to be police in Tumon (who aren’t doing much other than standing near Underwater World) why they won’t AT the very LEAST help them cross the street. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen tourists standing at the crosswalk as cars speed past them while an officer is watching. When traffic lights are out (which is often), where are the officers to help guide traffic in dangerous areas? You don’t want to get the reputation that Guam is a dangerous place and allow people to believe that it’s a third world country.

3. “The focus should be on improving the quality of life for island residents and making the island a more prosperous place to live.”  – I’m pretty sure that tourism is Guam’s number one industry, so why not make the lives of those who serve and work in this industry better? I was very offended when I saw a job posting at one of Tumon’s large hotels advertising for an accounting position which required three years of experience and a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. The pay? MINIMUM WAGE! Do you know how much it costs to go to college? That’s not even enough to make payments on student loans AND live in Guam (or anywhere). I’ve noticed that customer service lacks in many Guam establishments and I wonder if it’s because of poor training, pay, and value that companies place in their employees. I can’t imagine that these HUGE hotels, restaurants and other companies that charge ridiculous tourist rates are really unable to pay their employees more than minimum wage. Invest in your employees and it will surely pay off. Considering Guam’s high cost of living and the recent increase in crime, the two could be related.

4. “Graffiti, hawkers bothering visitors at street corners, cheap vinyl business establishment signs, substandard landscaping, and poorly maintained sidewalks and public restrooms should be addressed.” –  I’m glad these things were addressed. Although small problems, if fixed, they could change Guam for the better. In Tumon you have expensive luxury stores neighboring sketchy massage businesses, annoying handbillers, and abandoned buildings. Small things can make a huge difference, even if it’s just adding a nice sign to your building.

I’m surprised no one has fallen into or tripped on one of the many holes in the sidewalks. Maintaining things as they deteriorate seems to be more cost effective than waiting until something is completely destroyed and has to be redone.

5. Road conditions & transportation – Whenever Peter and I travel we always run into the problem of how will we get to the airport. We have two choices, pay $25 to go two miles in a taxi or try to sneak on one of the hotel buses and pretend we’re going back to wherever they think we came from. I can only imagine what tourists go through. Their first impression of Guam, aside from the stinky/messy airport, is the expensive ride to their hotel. An affordable airport shuttle would be nice. There are SO many buses on island I’m sure they could put them to better use.

Speaking of too many buses, do they have to pay a special road tax for the damage that they cause to Guam’s roads? If not, they should! The roads are terrible. Whoever is in charge of the roads should reconsider their profession. Infrastructure  should be a top priority on this quickly growing island. Ignoring the HUGE potholes or fixing them by throwing a bunch of gravel over them isn’t cutting it. Fix them properly please and not just cheaply. I rented a trike for my birthday and it was one of the scariest things I’d ever done. Not because of the trike, but because driving it over the bumps and potholes was treacherous. I understand that during the rainy season, the rain washes away parts of the road and they have to be fixed often. BUT the way the roads are fixed is a joke. Filling pot holes not over the top but just under, so that it’s still a pothole just not as deep, doesn’t fix it. The road to Ritidian should be better. That’s a beach that Guam should be proud of, but the road doesn’t reflect that.

6. “Though Guam sees itself as a competitor to Hawaii[…]” –  Uhh please don’t do that. You want to be different. The differences between Hawaii and Guam should be highlighted. I’ve been to Hawaii before and it is much cheaper and cleaner, yet; Guam’s beaches are by far the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, the water is warmer, clearer and southern Guam is absolutely beautiful. Not to mention Guam’s intricate history and Chamorro culture that is so special. Those are the reasons that make Guam standout and why tourists should forgo Hawaii (sorry Hawaii). Go Guam!

I’m sorry if this blog post seems negative/ranty but I get so frustrated when Guam’s beauty and potential is being taken for granted. All of the problems mentioned are not problems that can’t be fixed. These are things that we should all keep in mind and make an effort to help change. I hope GVB actually does help improve the island. Before we consider inviting more people to visit Guam, let’s take care of our island.

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Part 2: So You’re Coming to Guam.

Hello there! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted one of these, and with my two year Guamiversary having passed, I think now is the perfect time for another. You can read part one Here.

I can understand how moving anywhere new might be scary, especially somewhere in the middle of nowhere. To be successful in Guam (or anywhere) it’s all about your mindset and how you CHOOSE to view the differences. I was too overwhelmed by the beauty, the sun, the clear ocean water to notice anything else. Yes, Guam has its frustrating moments where I’m like, “I just want to leave!” I’m pretty sure I felt the same way when I was living in Oregon.  Maybe you’ve heard a lot of negative things about the island, don’t let those opinions become yours.

1. Depending on where you live, Kmart may be the closest option for you to buy essential things like toilet paper or soap. With it being the only super store on Guam, and for some reason a very popular tourist attraction, it’s busy 24/7. When I lived in Oregon I went to Kmart (if I could find one) to get away from the crowds because the place was usually desolate. Not on Guam. Kmart on a Saturday night is THE place to be haha! There are busloads of tourists who are dropped off at the store everyday.

2. There are so many stray dogs and cats throughout Guam. I think there are more dogs though, a few times we’ve run into a pack of dogs that chased us down the street. They are called boonie dogs/cats. Most of the time they are scared and run off. It’s really sad to see them hungry and to know that the older animals are feral and will never be tamed.

3. If you will be receiving checks from off-island banks and depositing them into a Guam bank account, you will have to wait at least 7 business days for the check to clear. Even if it has cleared on the other side, Guamanian banks hold it. It’s so annoying!

4. I’m not sure how often these unexplained power outages happen in other villages, but in Tumon they happen often (I’ve had three this week alone). They can last anywhere from 5 minutes to a whole day. I’ve heard that the power supply isn’t enough for the demand in Tumon. Our lights usually flicker a bit and our air conditioner has had to be fixed a handful of times because of the sudden outages. Most businesses have generators that kick on once the power is out.

5. When deciding on what clothes I would need in Guam, I never thought I’d be cold. But being as it is hot everywhere on island, about 99% of places will have their air conditioner blasting on the coldest temperature.  I definitely wish I had brought a light sweater so that I wouldn’t freeze to death!

6. Before I moved to Guam, I researched which vaccinations I’d need on the Center for Disease Control website. At the time, it recommended Hep A & B, flu, tetanus, and typhoid vaccinations. I found a travel clinic that could provide most of these and since I had done all the research on my own, I received a discount. The doctor advised me to be careful of the water and food that I eat.

7. Though I’ve never been to one, cockfights are legal and commonly take place.

8. Guam is NOT a third world country!!! In some ways it does seem to show third world tendencies (some people live in tin houses, unpaved roads, corruption…). Much of the population live at or below the poverty line. It’s very rare to actually see anything that would suggest that Guam is a poor country/territory. There are government agencies that help those in need.

9. Even though Guam is served by the United States Postal Service, many companies consider Guam a foreign country and won’t ship here or will charge international shipping rates.

10. Anytime the temperature dips below 85 degrees Fahrenheit you will hear people say, “It’s cold!” Ahh the struggles of living on an island 😉

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Questions about life on Guam? Check out my FAQ.