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Guam My Home!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Several of you have asked how I came to Guam. I hope this answers at least some of your questions. It may answer more than you want to know. Sorry.

I came to Guam in August 64 to go to college for two years and then go with my eldest sister and her three teenage daughters around the world. At least that was the plan at 19 almost 20 years old. The College of Guam had gotten its four year accreditation a few years before so this was a way to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher.

Best made plans of mice and men can soon go asunder. The second semester I was here a young man walked into the classroom of our new class. A little over a year later we married and eventually had three sons. We lived in what is now called Chuuk, Pohnpei and as well as Saipan but eventually divorced.

In 73 I came back to Guam with my sons and enrolled in the University of Guam getting my degree in December 75 and started teaching in the Guam Public Schools in January 76.

One of the things that had occurred during this time was I fell in love with the islands especially Guam. I like being warm and I like the friendliness of my adopted home. Guam is an US territory so our students pledge to the American flag and there is a great deal of patriotism on the island.

I taught for over 30 years and retired. This is where I plan to stay. Two of my sons and their families are here and one son is on Saipan. Thanks to one of my sons I have been able to travel and visit siblings, nieces and nephews and cousins in Oregon and Washington where most of my family is now located. I have also been able to visit friends all over the nation.

I enjoy traveling but especially enjoy coming home.

Thanks to SP the traveling has gotten easier. One of my pluses is I no longer need the seat belt extension at least on flights from Guam.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMISHELI53 4/11/2013 11:51AM

    Thanks for sharing! Nice to know you a little better! Shel

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 5/7/2010 6:41PM

    emoticon so much for sharing. emoticon

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APRILMORNING 5/6/2010 9:57AM

  Thank you for sharing your story! I was curious too. emoticon

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    I was curious, but didn't want to be nosey and ask!! Thanks for sharing, it's a wonderful story.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNSHINE65 5/6/2010 1:41AM

    Guam was a wonderful place for a mixed marriage back in the day when it was verboten stateside. I loved living among the Chamorro, Filipinos, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese (from Taiwan) and Vietnamese. It was refreshing to be a minority. Teaching at St Johns I had kids from all of these human families and enjoyed the diversity.
The only other place I have experienced this diversity was at the AT&T collection center in downtown Portland. We had a lot of young people from Portland University and I learned a lot from the interchange with them. Love you, Jane! Gayle from Gresham

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MAGA99 5/5/2010 7:55AM

    awesome thanx 4 sharing

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PLAYBLUES22 5/5/2010 6:17AM

    What a wonderful blog and a great life

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Found the Books! Found the Plant?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Some time ago I was asked about a tree here on island and said I would check my plant books and get back to those interested.

Found the books this morning! I have looked off and on for weeks.

I think the plant is the Siris Tree or East Indian Walnut. The picture I see has a light yellow blossom that reminds me of a lacy/feathery powder puff.

You can google this using Siris Tree and see some pictures.


Confirmation that this is the plant!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLASSIE 5/2/2010 11:32PM

    I googled the tree and it is quite beautiful with its yellow puffs. It's great that you would take the time to look for the book and identify the tree for the inquirer. That was very kind of you and is another reminder of your generous spirit. Thanks so much.

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PLAYBLUES22 5/2/2010 6:55PM

    Lovely tree Jane

Thank you

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JKAM400W 5/2/2010 6:49PM

  What a beautiful and interesting tree.

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LITTLE_DEBBIE 5/2/2010 5:52PM

    That's it, so beautiful! Thank, Jane. Hope you are feeling better soon. I have several friends on island with similar upper respiratory symptoms and it's been hard for them to shake it off. Praying for you...Debbie Thanks again!!

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    What beautiful trees! The blooms are wonderful against the stems of leaves. There must be a name for that type of leaf system, and maybe someday I'll even look it up.

Laurie emoticon

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Cherry Blossoms at Kanuma

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This is the last of my pictures for the trip to Japan. After leaving Nikko I stopped at the city of Kanuma to view the blossoms there. There was a large park on a hill a few miles from the train station so I took a taxi there. On the way I saw a Shinto Shrine that had several different types of trees.

The taxi dropped me off and I took took off along a path that looked like it went around the hill. Below is a picture of this path. The trees were all around me.

Here is another tree that has dark pink blossoms.

Because of the late hour the rides were closing down but is was possible to see the many families who had spent the day at the park enjoying the blossoms, rides and picnics they had brought. The Japanese have a special word for viewing and picnicking under the blossoming trees. It is hanami. There had been a child's birthday party there that day that they were playing the traditional American "Happy Birthday" song. I think it would have been neat to have gone up in this ferris wheel but it was closed by the time I got there.

The next picture shows the stairs I went down as I left the park! I did not go up it but had done a lot of climbing before this.

From here I started walking into the city trying to figure out where I could make a phone call from. A few blocks later I came to the shrine I had seen before and went into the garden and took pictures of the different types of cherry trees. This first one is a Weeping Willow Cherry Tree.

This last pictures shows three different types of Sakura in a row. i was so delighted to get this picture.

I left the shrine and walked a short distance and went into a shop and the proprietor graciously called a taxi for me. There were three people in there and I used the hand up to the ear with pinky and thumb extended and said taxi.

The trip I took was a dream come true. I am still amazed at my endurance during this trip. Thursday was wet and cold so i took the train up to Fukushima and then down to Tokyo and Nariata and flew home that evening.

An afterward came from my daughter-in-law who told me that it snowed in Tokyo on Saturday! I am so glad I was home. (It does not snow in Tokyo very often even in December or January! brrrrrrr!)

Jane on Guam

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 5/28/2010 3:16PM

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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PUDLECRAZY 4/27/2010 5:26AM

    Thank you for sharing the photos. What a wonderful trip. I hope to get to Japan some day.

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RUSTYSHAW1 4/26/2010 11:57PM

The pictures are wonderful. What an awesome adventure you had. How I wish I could travel like that. I won't even be going to my high school reunion after all this year. My DH broke his hip a week ago this past Sunday. So for the next six months I will be driving him all over and of course, there will be no plane trips. I wrote a little about the "event" in my last blog. I am rather a space cadet even though I have been very strong for him.
I believe being a member of spark really prepared me for such an emergency. Hugs, Rusty.

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11-RENEWAL-20 4/26/2010 10:27AM

    JANE...Beautiful views of gorgeous trees and nature's wonders...thank you for sharing. Lots of lovely walking for you!! Sharon

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CAROLEDENTON 4/23/2010 2:27AM

    I love those 'once in a lifetime trips', we have been blessed to have taken many of them. I always think "this one may be our last". What a wonderful world we have been given to live on. May you have many more wonderful trips, and feel better and walk farther on each one of them! The photos are totally awesome, thank you for sharing, I have enjoyed them so much..

emoticon, Carole

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GOANNA2 4/22/2010 6:46PM

    Just love the pictures Jane. You are one lucky lady.
So glad you had a chance to see all the beauty.


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JOANNS4 4/22/2010 8:37AM

    Great photos, Jane. What a nice trip it must have been. Thank you for sharing.

Jo Ann

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CARMEL466 4/22/2010 7:49AM

    I love your pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them.

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SLIMMERKIWI 4/22/2010 2:58AM

    For some reason the spelling that came up on the friend's activity feed said "Cherry BOSOMS at Kanuma". LOL


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SLIMMERKIWI 4/22/2010 2:55AM

    Great Photos - it would have been therapeutic being around all that beauty!


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WALNUT5612 4/22/2010 2:03AM

    So beautiful!!!

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PENNYAN45 4/22/2010 1:42AM

    The photos are spectacular! Thanks for sharing them.

What a magical trip it was for you!

emoticon emoticon

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Walking Walking Walking in Nikko!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The park shrine in Nikko is beautiful with lots of hills and stairs! I went there on the train from Utsunomiya, took a bus from the train station and then walked! The main building is under remodeling in the back but you can see the steps going up.

This park was started around 1638 or even earlier. My family came to America in 1639 so it really blows my mind. The picture below is a walk into another part that is tree lined with trees that three of us would be needed to put our arms about it! No Sakura along this route but so beautiful.

After the walk there were Sakura and many beautiful buildings.

Some of the trees are young. Not sure how old these are.

This garden was constructed for the ruler who was also the religious leader as were his decedents. It has a 400 year old Sakura tree and one that is 200 years old. Below is a picture of them with me standing in front.

Below is another view of the garden with the pond that can be walked around. There is a museum next to this garden that I went into. You can see it in the background of the picture.

The last picture is of a bridge that has a story behind it. The person who founded this retreat needed to cross the river but was hampered so two snakes formed an arch so he could go across. I did not walk down here because it was very steep but did take pictures from the bus.

I could not have done all the walking when I started SP in November 2009! And this was not all the walking I did on Thursday. I will write more about that later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHLEEWEBART 4/21/2010 11:08PM

    The photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them and the information. I am glad you are enjoying your trip.

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CAROLEDENTON 4/21/2010 3:31AM

    So wonderful you could enjoy the trip so fully! You have done yourself proud!

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PENNYAN45 4/20/2010 11:47PM

    Thanks for posting the pictures so we could walk along and see the sights with you.


emoticon emoticon

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KALATHIA 4/20/2010 7:30PM

    What a beautiful place. Thank you for taking us along on your trip. I hope your having a wonderful time!

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    What a wonderful trip you're having. I came to your page to leave a "hello" note and was surprised when I noticed your latest blogs listed. Boy, I would hate to have missed the immediacy. Keep posting!


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KLASSIE 4/20/2010 2:41PM

    Beautiful pictures and I'm glad you were able to enjoy your excursion as much as you did. Yes SparkPeople has been a blessing to many of us and I appreciate your statement about not being able to walk as much in the past. Thanks for sharing.

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JACQUISPAGE 4/20/2010 2:39PM

    Loved the blog. Thankyou for sharing. emoticon

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CARMEL466 4/20/2010 12:24PM

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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GOANNA2 4/20/2010 12:00PM

    So eautiful and calm just oozes out of the pictures. Lucky you!

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PLAYBLUES22 4/20/2010 9:33AM


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MZZCHIEF 4/20/2010 9:26AM

    Love your photos and commentary! Can you imagine a 400 year old cherry tree, that's simply amazing! The grounds look lovely and it sounds like you enjoyed yourself. Beautiful!

: )

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MAGA99 4/20/2010 7:06AM


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Sakura in Japan 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

One of my goals when I joined SP was to be able to travel more easily so I chose as a reward to see the Cherry Blossoms of Japan when I lost 50 pounds. That happened last fall but the cherry blossoms occur in the spring so I had to wait. Monday morning, April 12, 2010, I left for Japan from warm sunny Guam. I arrived in Japan at mid day and found it cold, wet and cloudy. It was cold enough that when I got out of the train station at Utsunomiya that I could see my breath. (I know why I live in the tropics!) Checked into a nice hotel near the train station and hoped for better weather on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning the sun was shining and it was much warmer. I got directions to Hachiman-yama Park and went there to see Sakura. It was a beautiful park with many Japanese enjoying Sakura also. There were several classes having field trips as well as families enjoying the day.

This picture looks down into the park with many of the trees in full bloom.
This is the observation tower that you can see much of the city and surrounding area including the park.

Two different trees with different shades of pink.

A suspension bridge that I could view ponds and trees from.

Students enjoying Sakura. I took pictures of the group for the teacher so their she could be included.

These are only a few of the pictures I took Tuesday.


(I had trouble downloading these pictures so hope they turn out.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 4/27/2010 5:25AM

    What a great reward you made for yourself and congratulations on both your reaching your goal and your follow through with your travel plans. How lovely to be in Japan during cherry blossom season! Your photos are lovely, thank you for sharing them.

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RUSTYSHAW1 4/26/2010 11:58PM

    Again, what magnificent pictures. Everything is SO clear and distinct. So happy and proud of your accomplishment and the JUST reward you gave yourself. Hurray! Hugs, Rusty.

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ASHLEEWEBART 4/21/2010 11:11PM

    You have gone to a lot of effort to share with us. I really appreciate the beauty in all the photos.

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CATHYPT 4/21/2010 9:10PM

    Thank you for sharing the fruits of our labor - beautiful photos. Congrats!!!!

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CAROLEDENTON 4/21/2010 3:28AM

    Sounds wonderful, even if it was a bit nippy for you.

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LITTLE_DEBBIE 4/21/2010 12:03AM

    Oh, how exciting! What a dream of a trip! Congrats on such great work and such a fantastic reward!

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EMMABE1 4/20/2010 11:19PM

    One thing I have heard about are the Cherry Trees in Japan in Spring!! I see they are as magnificent as I have heard - maybe one day I'll get there too!!
Japan must be a fascinating country to visit.

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TNTEACHER2 4/20/2010 9:17PM

    Cherry blossoms are beautiful. Do any grow in Guam, or is it too warm? I saw them in Kyushu, beside orange trees.

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JACQUISPAGE 4/20/2010 2:35PM

    The photos are beautiful. How good that you could reward yourself for losing the fifty pounds, and you'll remember your holiday. Thankyou for sharing them with us.
You are blessed to be a blessing.
Way emoticon emoticon

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MZZCHIEF 4/20/2010 9:29AM

    Wow, these photos are lovely! Just clouds of blossoms. Amazing too, that they were blooming when it was so cold!

Glad you enjoyed yourself.
: )

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RE2BAH 4/19/2010 10:45AM

    What a great reward! Glad you could enjoy it!

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GETDONE 4/16/2010 2:05PM

    Beautiful--Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with me!
~~Mary emoticon

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KATIEWELL 4/16/2010 9:58AM

    What a wonderful reward to yourself, emoticon

What is your next reward?

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PLAYBLUES22 4/16/2010 8:36AM

    What beautiful pictures

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BAM0827 4/16/2010 8:17AM

    Looks gorgeous! You picked a great reward - one that means something and has provided lifelong memories!

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GOROSIEO 4/16/2010 8:05AM

    The pictures look great. And how great that you achieved your goal and what a wonderful reward.
I use to live in Yokusuka, Japan and know that the trees can be beautiful. But I also live in DC where we have beautiful cherry trees. Come here and compare.

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