I get a lot of questions about what life on Guam is like. The simplest way to describe Guam is like this: It is Guamanian (Chamorro), Philippines and America, all rolled into one fun package. Mostly though it is Asian, it is singularly cultural, and the dollar is king. There are NO race relations needed here as everyone seems to get along fine. The locals are friendly, the Filipinos are even friendlier, and the mainlanders are in the minority. No Black Lives Matter crap here. No white supremacists. No “snowflakes!” This is not a wussy society. Pro-military, Pro-American, and Pro-President! It really doesn’t get any better than this. Parties, fiestas, and the patriotic rule of law.
Let’s Go Bowling!
Since arriving on Guam last May, the asawa and I have adjusted our lifestyles to match that which Guam has to offer. We’ve visited a lot of beaches and done some snorkeling and beach BBQ’ing. We took a trip to the local waterfalls (one of them). We have attend a fiesta here and there, and got back into the more western routine that Guam affords us. We been hitting the gym. I’ve gone diving and Teri has gone shopping! Another thing we have been doing is some recreational bowling. We were avid league bowlers years past while living in Mississippi, but in Samar where we live, there is no bowling ally. So, being back on Guam, we do some of the things we miss and enjoy doing. Just this last week, we finally filled two spots on a Family Fun League (mostly Filipinos) that had a couple of folks drop out. I’ve been bowling with house balls since coming here as my two fitted balls were abandoned in retirement when we left for the Philippines over 4 and a half years ago. Teri did bring her ball with her but it is at home in Calbayog City. At any bowling alley, I struggle to find a ball that fits my hand that allows me to bowl my style, with a hook. Or, a long-ball as it’s called.
Yesterday during our league bowling, one of the bowlers noticed me struggling with a 16-pound house ball. After a brief introduction, he examines my hand and says “After watching you throw two balls, I already know what you need!” He then called out to another bowler four lanes over “Hey, you have that ball I gave you?” “Are you using it?” “No?” “Give it to him” he demands as he points at me. I didn’t know Filipinos could be Indian Givers! Ha. As it turns out, this guy is the Guam national bowling team coach!
Anyway, before I knew what was happening, the ball shows up on our table and he begins working on it right there to make it fit my grip. He carved out the thumb hole, inserted all new inserts, and glued them in place. At 14.5 lbs, it was much lighter and easier to handle than that ancient 16-pound house ball I was using. And being a custom drilled ball for my throwing style, it was almost too eerie. I asked him “Are you just giving me this ball?” and he said “Yes, it is how we are here. Someone needs a ball, we get them a ball.” I thanked him as I thought to myself “I just saved $200 on a new ball purchase.” And my scoring instantly improved.
When I first received my Navy orders to Guam in 1974, I was told “You should be excited, Guam is Good!” It didn’t take me long to realize how true that statement was years ago shortly after arriving here. And now as a permanent Western Pacific resident and expat, I can say “Guam is Good” still today.
And that is not taking into consideration that they now have their own beer!