Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's a Bird! No, It's a Plane! No, It's. . .

There we were on Andersen Air Force Base, 85 degrees, Halloween night, dressed in shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. Our memories of Halloween have always been bundling up in the warmest clothes possible because, without a doubt, we were going to be cold (and this was in California, mind you!). One of the greatest feats was trying to make sure the kids would be warm enough in their costumes. This Halloween, we had to try to figure out what costumes wouldn’t cause heat exhaustion! We had to be sure to bring water bottles with us, knowing how quickly one dehydrates in Guam’s heat no matter the time of day or night! And, this was definitely the first time we’d seen ice water offered at various points along the trick-or-treat trail!

The girls (seven and ten) were begging to trick-or-treat. How would this be possible on an island where there are no sidewalks, where boonie (wild) dogs are EVERYWHERE, where there are no fences to hold in the pervasive, dangerous domestic dogs freely roaming the streets, and where many live in houses made of tin and shared by four families? This picture definitely didn’t coincide with our idea of safety. How would we tell the girls they wouldn’t be able to trick-or-treat this year? Suddenly, we thought of a couple who volunteer a significant amount of time at PIBC. He is a pilot and they live on the base. After a quick phone call, arrangements were made to trick-or-treat at Andersen AFB. In military style, the cavorting for candy began promptly at 6:00 p.m. and ended promptly at 8:00 p.m. With palm trees, the ocean, and military police as a backdrop, the girls flitted from officer’s home to officer’s home summoning sweets. And, let me tell you, we have NEVER seen such organized trick-or-treating. “Trick-or treat, please!” were the required words or you could be certain no candy would be forth-coming! To our delight, suddenly, in the sky, it was a bird! No, it was a plane! No, it was a two billion dollar Stealth B-2 bomber that circled the base and then disappeared into the graying sky. It was an amazing sight! Guam is one of only three military bases in the world that can accommodate these impressive bats. By the end of the two regimented hours allotted for trick-or-treating, each girl proudly held seven pounds of candy!!!

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