12 December 2014

Magnificent Micronesia

(Lance) 

Hafa Adai! 

Yes, we've been absent from the blog for a while--world travel will do that to you! But... We are finally getting settled into our new home here on the island of Guam.  As it turns out, Guam is nothing like we imagined it being. To our surprise, it is actually way better than we originally planned! We LOVE Guam! 

Now that we officially have a christmas tree, I believe it is time for an update. (If anyone knows the Buchandermann family, we are holiday fanatics!) Guam is truly breathtaking. We knew that it would be pretty, but we had no idea how the scenery truly looked. Rock cliffs dot the coast line, turquoise blue beaches, and even views hight atop mountains! If you would like to see daily pictures, check out my Instagram: LanceDotJpeg since I'm always taking photos with my phone...

Getting adjusted to the island will be a continual process.  The 16 hour + 1 day time difference is actually tougher than we expected. I will hopefully be starting school at the University of Guam in mid-January. Everything is in order; I'm just waiting to actually select my classes for the spring semester.  In case you're wondering, my major is actually Secondary Education - Social Studies, with an emphasis in Geography. I also plan on working or volunteering at the DoDEA schools here on the island to get adjusted to teaching life and score some bonus points on my résumé... Ha! 

Culturally, Guam is fascinating! The locals seem to be very proud about their island roots, while remaining very accepting of other cultures that seem to be everywhere on the island. Guam is not very well known in North America, but it is actually a hot vacation spot for Asia, Eastern Europe, and Oceania. While the tourism here is primarily Japanese, many Korean, Chinese, Russian, Filipino, and Australian tourists seem to find their way to this hidden treasure. To get a sense of the culture here, think Hawaii + Japan + Spain + the Philippines. That covers all the bases.

The history Guam is also very captivating.  The island has lots of monuments and various places of history. We also recently learned about Guam and their role in the day (after the day) known as  "Pearl Harbor Day", which is apparently scarce knowledge in the mainland classrooms. Since I plan on being a Social Studies major, I find new approaches to history lessons quite refreshing! Who doesn't love alternative history lessons? 

From Kyle's post on 08 DEC...

"A few short hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Empire of Japan carried out a similar raid on the Naval and Marine forces and the local Insular Force Guard protecting the U.S. Territory of Guam. 
The forces were annihilated and the Japanese stormed the island, occupying it for 31 months, mass-murdering and raping the locals and forcing the very few survivors to engage in slave labor. The Battle of Guam and the Empire's raid on the Pacific is remembered today, 08 DEC, due to the island's location past the International Date Line (07 DEC in the states/Hawaii)."

In other news, our car that we shipped from the main land finally arrived a couple days ago! We were getting concerned, since we have heard numerous horror stories of cars getting lost or stolen in transit. How can you lose a car?! Anyways, we should be getting the remainder of our belongings in a few short weeks. We have been graciously given rental furniture until our possessions actually arrive. We REALLY need our big bed back..

Until next time!

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