Friday, September 30, 2011

25 Noted Differences--Uh, Make That 26

Having to constantly remind ourselves to speed UP so we won't get a ticket!! (Guam: 45 mph max, California: 75 mph max)

A Typical Market
Gazillion choices in food—especially fresh produce and affordable meat. 

Style in clothing is much more important (and intimidating!).

Shorts are MUCH shorter! (Katie has to wear those super short spandex shorts for her volleyball uniform on her high school team.)

You will most likely eat inside the house when invited to a home for a meal. On the island, eating most often takes place outside under a canopy.

Under the canopy

The incredible joy of fresh, cool air!  Wonderful being able to open the windows while driving or sitting in the house--way too hot to do this on Guam at any time--24/7, 365 days a year! 

On Guam, the older you are, the more respected you are. Here, it seems like the older you are, the more marginalized you are.  

“People aren’t as friendly in CA. Like, if you accidentally bump into them in the store and you say, ‘Sorry’ they barely acknowledge it, but on Guam, they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s okay’ and they may continue to carry on a conversation with you.” (Noelle, 11 years old)

The beautiful sound of birds chirping and the great varieties all around us. Because of the invasive brown tree snake, the bird population on Guam has been nearly annihilated. (It is hysterical to watch the cat we brought with us from Guam. She has never seen birds hopping and flying all around and is clearly fascinated and perplexed!) 

Invasive brown tree snake
found near PIU's men's dorm

Lots of different colored people.  On Guam, it's essentially one color--brown.

On Guam, it is assumed that kids will be included in EVERY event.  It is the opposite in CA--assume kids are not invited unless otherwise stated.

Sales tax--yuck!

No boonie dogs to give household scraps to.  There are 40,000 boonie dogs on the island, yes, I said 40,000!  These are stray dogs:  20% belong to someone but run free, 40% are fed by someone even thought the dog is not their pet, and 40% just roam around. 

Boonie Dogs

LOTS of Spanish being spoken—especially in schools and in stores. We never heard Spanish on Guam, even though the Spanish ruled Guam for 300 years! 

The pleasure of sitting outside without being munched on by mosquitoes.

Being cold on the beach (and even colder in the water) compared to being too hot on the beach and barely cool enough in Guam's warm ocean (86 degrees).

It's no longer easy to spot our girls in a crowd--there are plenty of other blond "haoles."

It used to be easy . . .

 Having a million forms to fill out and liability waivers to sign in order to do anything (e.g. enter school, play a sport, transported in a vehicle, etc.). This is probably a result of the high liability risk in CA. Good luck suing an institution on Guam, therefore, little fear of being sued!

Seemingly everyone (from middle schoolers to adults) has a Smart Phone, and quite often not just a Smart phone but an Iphone.
Not “giving grace” before eating at ALL events. On Guam, even at government sponsored events and public sporting events, if a meal is served, a prayer will be offered. (This also connects back to the Spanish/Catholic influence.)
Having street lights and sidewalks!

Typical Island Street

Activities are EXPENSIVE in CA. Cost for high school volleyball on Guam: $0, Cost for high school volleyball in CA: $300 plus additional fees for transportation, sports banquet, coaches fees, etc. About $500 total. Cost for Club Volleyball on Guam: $25.00, in Santa Barbara: $4500-$6000


It hasn't rained since we've moved! Being a rain forest, Guam has rain nearly every day, and activities (e.g. soccer games) continue, rain (even monsoon rain!) or shine.

End of season soccer game and family party

 No balutan! In Guam, any time food is served, the leftovers are divvied up, and sent home with the guests.

Feeling like a VERY small fish in a VERY large pond!
Yipee!  No more monstrous, gargantuan, practically man-eating cockroaches!!

Need I say more?


Jenna said...

Ooops, obviously that was supposed to be "God" and "Lord"! Of all the words in that last post, those would be the two I mis-typed! I really should consider proof-reading BEFORE I hit "send"! :)

Eric and Karyn Sorenson said...

Jenna, I knew what you meant! Thanks for taking the time to write. I have no idea who (if anybody!) reads our blog, so I LOVE the rare occasion when someone writes. Hopefully I will get to meet you when I'm on island (2-4x/yr. with my work). I have some friends with TWR on Guam who are WONDERFUL! You will have quality people to work with once you're on island. Hope you can get there soon!