We have a family in our Branch that is building a home on the family property. This is a weekend project and the missionaries decided to lend a hand. It was interesting locating the property. Guam does not really function on an address system so we had a map drawn showing that you turned right just before the yellow bus stop then turn right on the dirt road and go until the end. It was back in the jungle and was so green! The first thing I noticed when we got there was President Dowdle. In the six months that we have been here this was the first time I had ever seen him in anything but a white shirt and tie.
I also noticed that one of the counselors in the Branch Presidency was helping out too. Brother Henry is from the Marshall islands. He works for the Facilities Management office of the church. He does the maintenance on the Church facilities and here he is on his day off doing more of the same.
The missionaries were clearing the land of trash and rocks. A big part of the homes here is the cement slab out front where most of the living is done. The rocks needed to be removed and the dirt leveled out to pour the cement.
Construction is very simple. This is a typical tin house. It consists of two bedrooms and a main living area. The kitchen will be outside. This keeps the heat out of the house. Many hands make light work and I am sure that they saved the family hours and hours of work.
This is my favorite little sweety in our Branch. Angelina is a perfect name for her. She is an angel who never fails to give me big hugs whenever I see her. She and her cousins seemed to be having a fun time "helping".
Tonight we had an opportunity to see some more of these tin houses on the north end of the island. Wayne and I have tried to visit potential Institute students with the Yigo Branch Presidency. Our destination this time was to the Ranches. This is an area that was marketed to be a new development with power, water, etc. but when the people bought there property the improvements were never installed. The roads are dirt which is full of potholes. Since it has been raining they are like little ponds everywhere. Only parts of the Ranches has electricity so there are actually people without lights and power. They also do not have water and so they have to haul in any water they need. I noticed port-a-potties on several properties. A lot of the homes are actually cargo bins like you find on trains. There will be several used for bedrooms, etc. I am impressed that they have been so resourceful. Cargo is shipped over here and the containers are not sent back to the point of origin and so they have found a really good use for them here. By the time we reached the first home it was dark and raining so it was an interesting experience. I was SOOO lost. I am glad we were riding with someone who knew their way around. I would hate to have been lost in the jungle under those circumstances.
As I have thought about how long it had been since I blogged, I thought about the things that I could put in a list of the things that I love about Guam. Here are a few:
The clouds - I still am in awe daily of how beautiful they are.
The green, lush growth - it is rainy season!
The people - they are so friendly
The smiles - of those friendly people
The detours we have found to avoid all the road construction
The chickens - and their little babies
The roosters and their beautiful colors
The cultural diversity
The variety in foods - because of the cultural diversity
The slow, calm lifestyle
Chuukese skirts and dresses
Rain showers that do not last more than 10 or 15 minutes
Clean missionary apartments
Diligent young missionaries
A wonderful mission president and his wife
And I could go on and on. We really do love it here and are enjoying the life that we are living right now.