I have hesitated to go down this road for a couple of reasons. First, I thought by sharing with you all the ugly, broken, sick and slow things about this place, some of you may change your mind about coming to visit us. But over halfway through our time here, I have already figured out that few of you have the time or the money to actually come visit. I have given up expecting any more visitors after my family comes and will just be pleasantly surprised if anyone else shows up (so the few dear friends who HAVE made it out here get MAJOR points for the rest of their lives for making the effort! Thank you!).
Second of all, you all know my partyline is that I LOVE it here! And I really do. Up to this point, most of my little jabs at Guam have been in jest. A slower pace than we're used to back home, some terrible radio stations, a bowling ball found in the jungle. Cute...
Today I had lunch with a friend who I don't see very often because she lives on the Air Force base. We became friends because we both went to the University of Florida, and if you're a Gator who's found a Gator, you're a Gator who's found a friend. But her outlook, generally speaking, has bothered me. She started our lunch today with, "I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I hate this place!" (I have removed the expletives, but feel free to insert what and where you find appropriate... or inappropriate). My guard immediately went up. I love Guam! That's my partyline and I'm sticking to it... right?
So as she continued, I learned that they were forced into orders here (whereas Nick and I so luxuriously chose to come here). Her husband is a helicopter pilot who will spend the majority of his time deploying from Guam instead of actually being here (yuck!). They just got married in February and she gave up a job and professional career in the States she really loved (I gave up having a career years ago), in addition to living away from her family for the first time (whereas I haven't lived near mine in 10 years). She now finds herself substitute teaching (babysitting kindergartners) as many wives here do. Her husband is hardly ever home when she is (due to flight schedules) and they are basically just biding their time until he deploys in December. Considering her circumstances it dawned on me... if her Guam were my Guam, I'd probably hate this place too!
So during the course of our conversation, my friend's perspective made me realize that my emotional fondness of this place has very little to do with Guam itself, and is actually centered around all this bonus time with Nick! Same reason I am not too excited about Virginia Beach. It has little to do with the location and very much to do with how much time I foresee spending with Nick there.
So with that analysis now on the table, I proceed with... the other side of the story.
Segment 1: Broken Guam
The short version of the story is that everything here breaks. Everything! And I don't mean in the move across the ocean on the way out. We only claimed three damaged items out of 8+ crates of stuff we moved out here. No, instead it's everything that has any contact with the harsh, hot, humid, salty, moist outside air is destined for needing repair. Here's a short list of some of the items we own that have broken since we've been here (in 15 months):
- My mountain bike (spokes on back wheel popped in half for no apparent reason... Nick put on a wheel from a different bike. He keeps his fancy road bike in the guest room!)
- Bike lock mounting (no longer holds the lock in place... this just happened last week and is still broken... oh wait, update! Nick just told me he fixed it tonight! Wow!)
- Soaker hose in the herb garden (springs a new leak every few weeks... Nick fixes it periodically)
- Lawn mower (quits running halfway through mowing the yard... Nick fixed it)
- Weed wacker (which we bought brand new when we got here... pull cord to start it came out... Nick fixed it)
- Underwater camera flash (wouldn't turn on... company replaced it)
- Waterproof Timex watch (had it less than a year and it got water damage and wouldn't tell time... points to Timex for sending me a new one).
- Macbook Pro (I can't link this one to Guam, but the hard drive crashed and motherboard spun out, so I'll add it to the list)
Don't get me started.
|That brown circle is where the transom used to connect to the pontoons|
Having a boat out of commission when you live on an island is a huge bummer. But at least we haven't experienced car trouble, right? Here we go...
|Why yes, that's our truck floating around in vacation blue water|
|The mangled trailer we spent so much time customizing :(|
So our truck and trailer were totaled instantly... but at least our boat didn't break, right? (ha...ha...). Insurance helped us out with the new truck and trailer so after a month we were back in business. Until the boat broke and has been broken ever since. Awesome.