Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Little History

I am slow in posting these but I wanted to post some of the pictures that my Dad took when he was here on Guam in World War II. After the Marines landed, there was not much left of the villages. A neighbor told us that a lot of the development on Guam has happened over the last 10 years. She was comparing Guam to what the other islands are like now - much less commercialism. There are a few places that Dad took pictures of in 1945 that still stand today. I will do the now and then thing with those pictures.

This is a picture of my parents when Dad was in the service.

This is their picture today, they look pretty good don't they.

This is a picture of the plane that he was Crew Chief on. If you look at the name on the plane you will see that my Dad is the one that named it. Luella Jean is my mother.

These were some of the bombed out buildings in Agana.

This is the the remains of a Spanish fort. As you can see, the watchtower has not changed much in 66 years. Can't say the same for my Dad.

Caribao's were used for transportation and for work. Today they are just a tourist attraction.

Housing on the base consisted of tents or crude structures that could be erected quickly. Today, the base has nice concrete housing.

I think that this was a little store or something like that on the base. Today, there are beautiful new buildings for the commissary and base exchange.

This was one of the beaches then. Today, hotels line the only really good stretches of beach.

Umatac Bay.

This is a monument marking the bay where Magellan landed. When Dad was stationed here the plaque on it had been removed and so he did not really know what it was. He now has "the rest of the story".

This is Talafofo Bay. In the old photo you can see a sunken Japanese ship. The ship is still there but you have to be diving to see it.

These are not the same ruins but I wanted to show that they have preserved some of the old ruins. The one on the right happens to be from the old Spanish Government

Example of housing for the villagers at that time.

This was a military cemetary. It no longer exists. The bodies were all sent home.

More native housing.

This is not my Dad but it will give you an idea of what he looked like every day. He was super thin and wore nothing but shorts all day long. His dermatologist claims that his time serving on Guam is the cause of all his skin cancers. I will attest to the fact that the sun is different here. The minute you walk outside it practically blinds you and it just feels HOTTER.

This shows someones ingenuity. Try to picture this as a washing machine. They would start the engine on a plane behind it, the blast would turn the "propeller" and that would turn a paddle in the barrel. Clever, huh!

How can you get this many men together and not have some kind of games going on? We believe this field is the one that was across the street from where we lived when we first came to Guam. It is still a playing field and is used quite a bit.

It was really fun to look through Dad's photo album and compare then and now. It is wonderful that he was able to take so many pictures and that he still has them. The best part was that he had labeled them. How many pictures do we all have that we have not written anything on them? Years go by and then we forgot what they were. This is a plug for all you photographers. Label, label, label.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week Two of the Visit

I am still working on getting pictures posted of Mom and Dad's visit. The second week was not as full of sight seeing but here are a couple of things that we did.

We had been wanting to take the Submarine Ride but had not had a chance yet. Now was the time!!

This is the Atlantis submarine. We went for a ride 40 meters under the sea. We had to take a boat out of the bay to get to where the sub was coming up from its previous tour. While we disembarked at one end another group was transferring from the sub to our boat to return to dry land.

The only way to get in was straight down. We all did quite well on the ladders and I was glad I had decided to wear pants instead of my usual skirt.

It was just like riding the submarine at Disneyland only we were actually deep down in the water and we saw lots of real fish. I looked for Nemo but could not find him.

Another day we took Mom and Dad to Agana to see the old relics. This was in Latte Park. These are original latte stones that were transferred from a site down south. They have developed a nice park for them to be displayed in.

These two pictures were taken in the Plaza de Espana. These are remains from the Spanish period on Guam and they would have been here when Dad was here in the 40's.

Our last "tour" was to the Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World. Unfortunately, the only tour left for us to take at short notice was a Japanese one. Since we could not understand anything that was being said, we were left on our own to identify the trees that we saw. We did have a nice little brochure that showed the fruits on the farm and a couple of times the tram stopped to let people get off and walk to the trees. At those times the driver would come back and tell us about the spot we were in. It was a chance to see all the many things that are grown on Guam.

Friday, the 27th, was time for good-byes - again. I was thankful that at least this time my Dad was coherent and I knew that he is okay. We put them on the plane with worries about a long flight and a hassle getting through customs in LA but they did great. They called as soon as they got home and all was well.

So now it is back to business as usual. Just in time to see new missionaries arriving and "old" missionaries preparing to return home. Life goes on.