Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life in the Islands

We have been here for over a month now! We are enjoying the island life! We want to share some of the things we have learned!

Schools: Here on Guam schools are very similar to the states. They have elementary, middle schools and high schools, what is different is when you get to the islands. The large islands have a school and in the morning the high school students attend and in the afternoon the elementary students attend. When you go to the smaller island there are no schools so they either sent them by boat to school (very expensive) or they live with relatives so they can go to school. Some island children do not attend school at all, they are raise on the island and learn from their parents to live off the land and fish for food. It is hard to believe when you live in the US all your life that there are people who live simple lives and are educated by their elders. In the office we work in, there is a department that is working on education on many of the islands. There is a fund that will send students to the university and pay for it so they can come back and teach on the islands.

Living: We live in a two bedroom apartment, we have most of the luxury items from home. We have air conditioning, washing machine (no dryer) we see many of the people in the apartment complex we live in that do not have the money to pay for air conditioning and so all there windows are open to hopefully let a breeze in. Many of them spend evenings on the balcony smoking and enjoying the cooler air. We have no dishwasher, we hang our clothes up to dry in the apartment where the air conditioning dries out the air enough for the clothes to dry.

Weather: It is hot and humid here and the temperature is pretty much the same year round. We were told that in the dry season it rains once a day and the wet season several times a day. It can be a clear day and then the clouds will come in and it will pour for about five minutes and then the sun comes out. We have had one day when it rained on and off all day. They do have typhoons here, we have not had one here in Guam but there was a typhoon on Saipan the island north of Guam at the beginning of August we went to visit the island two weeks ago and most of the island was still without power.  Most of the traffic lights did not work. We had a difficult time trying to rent a car for the day. We went to help with computers, some were plugged into a surge protector but if they were not they are no longer working. We are starting to get use to the weather but we enjoy being in our air conditioned office and apartment. We set our air conditioner at 78 and think that is cool!
On a side note, they also have earthquakes. We haven't had one yet that we have felt
Food: it is expensive here, milk (comes in 3 quart size) is around $10, most food cost about twice what we paid in the states some things even more. They do have some of the restaurants we have in the states, Applebee’s, Ihop, Ruby Tuesday, Outback, TGI Friday’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, etc. They are about three times as expensive as in the states. Ihop is just a little more than in the states. We haven’t been to most of the American Restaurants we have found it’s less expensive to go to local restaurants. There is a Japanese Restaurant and for $12 you get a main dish, salad, rice and soup, we went to Outback once and it was very expensive and the food was terrible!

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