Thursday December 9th
I spent the morning and the afternoon at OEC with the ladies. They really are lovely and we all were surprised at how quickly my 3 weeks had gone. They were sad when they realised that would be the last time I would be with them at their classes. In the evening I attended an AA meeting as a support worker. I wouldn’t have gone (I didn’t think I could) but Amanda had encouraged me to come saying I was a really great group and that she would be there. So I went along with our resident ladies only to find that Amanda couldn’t make it this time. So funny. I did meet Linda again though - she is so sweet. It was good to run into her again. It was a really good encouraging sharing and supportive meeting which is complimentary to the OEC programme. A good experience.
Friday December 10th
A group of us went to Marble Cave which is a fresh water cave - I think a spring where you can swim, jump, climb and explore. A little like pot holing in places. It was great fun. Heather, Ash, Cathy and I went in. It was much colder than the South Pacific but it is a truly magical cave. We took some tea light to light up little areas. Jessica and Ricke didn’t go in. Jessica was recovering from some nasty bug and thought better of braving the waters. I however was very courageous and adventurous. I jumped in off a rock and clambered through to other parts of the cave others were not prepared to go. I was an amazing place. We then went on to the coastal cliffs for a while and just took in the beauty of Gods creation - the power of the see. And from the cliff there - you really could see the curvature of the earth. Breathtaking!
We were brought back to our various places. I showered before Monica picked me up and took me to the Chamorro Village for some last minute shopping - then we had a late meal at Chilli’s which was really good. I had a fish dish with rice and steamed veg. Really good! Then home to bed.
Saturday December 11th
Wrapped various little gifts for the resident ladies and Rosie. Hope they like them. Rosie put on an aerobics video at about 10:30am. Most of us joined in for some of the time but some of us had already been up ages and had showered. Didn’t really want to get too hot and sweaty before I went out with Rosie’s mum and dad. Bev said she had already done loads of exercise having been up since 7am and had been busy around the house. Late morning Rosie took me over to the Zimmerman’s home and we went on from there to Jeffs Pirates Cove for lunch. Before setting off there Allsion and Rob presented me with a lovely necklace which is crafted into the image of the Guam seal. It is a beautiful treasure for me. I also gave them a Chamorro made (I think) carved wooden vase. I hope they love it - It does go with their home. Allison Rob, Ash and I set of for Jeff’s Pirates Cove.
While we were at the Cove we visited a local artist who works with wood and sells their work. There were some gorgeous pieces and Allison bought a cross - this time for herself. It was a really lovely piece of work. At Jeff’s I had fish again having enjoyed the fish I had at Chilli’s the night before. I had a grilled local white fish - the name of which escapes me with red rice and a lovely side salad. That too was a lovely meal. We then looked a Jeff’s museum which had a lot of history explained about the island and had articles on the Japanese soldier that had been surviving on the island since the Americans invaded and liberated Guam from the Japanese in the war. He didn’t know the war was over and was only captured and returned to Japan a hero in 1976 I think. Correct me if I have the year wrong. I investigated a Japanese WW2 Pill box which had been preserved on the beach as part of the museum and then we then found some shade by the cove and chatted a while.
Later in the day many of us were at Rosie’s house. Chatting having fun, taking pictures, making truffles watching DVD’s. Allsorts was going on. Rosie helped Amanda set up a Facebook account and Amanda was delighted to have photos taken of her that she actually liked. I was pleased to be able to see Amanda again, and Tabatha her daughter. Later, on the way to the Micronesian Mall to see The Voyager of the Dawn Traders in 3D, Rosie and I stopped off at Cathy and Ricke‘s to deliver a photo of them in a frame I had brought by way of a thank you for entertaining me so very well. I was sad to have missed Ricke though, he was supporting someone at a production and wasn’t in when I called. We then met Allison, Ethan, Ash and Monica for the film which was spectacular. I really was packing it in on my last day. Went home finished packing a kipped on the sofa for not too long before having a shower at 1am on Sunday morning and Being picked up by Monica to go to the airport at 1:30am.
Sunday December 12th Dec The journey home
So my day started at 1am - yawn.
Monica was great. She went into the airport with me and I booked in and then walked me upstairs to the gate. I did the wandering round the duty free shops - bought a Guam dolphin handbag charm clip on time piece which later sadly got lost, probably when packing and unpacking hand luggage at Seoul or something. Never mind. The departure time for the flight to Seoul was 3:50am. Anyway when going through the boarding gate, a man calls my name - Mrs Brett! - Mrs Brett! I turned around and indicated that I was Mrs Brett - stepped to the side and waited for him to catch up with me. Are you travelling alone? he asked, and I said that I was. By this time I was thinking that maybe he was going to search me or something but instead he said ‘we are upgrading you from economy to business class, just from here to Seoul, not all the way to Heathrow, is that ok?’ I smiled and said yes it is - thank you very much! I swapped the ticket I had in my hand with the one he had in his and got directed to my bigger seat with more leg room and silver service. Got a good bit of sleep on that flight too. Don’t think I would have slept so well in economy. Thanks God. He blesses me. I sat next to a young student who was returning to South Korea for Christmas. She is studing in Guam. She was a little nervous of flying. I prayed for her.
Seoul airport was as impressive as I had remembered it on my way to Guam. Clean, welcoming, free crafts, the enactment of a procession of the emperor and his wife again, free wifi (I face booked with Ed before my battery ran out). I should have packed my leads and adapter in my hand luggage and I could have stayed on line longer there and updated with my blog sooner I arrived at Seoul airport at about 7:35am having lost an hour during the flight and my flight to Heathrow was to depart at 1:10pm so had quite a bit of time to kill. I boarded at about 12:40 and we set of on schedule. I had an isle seat this time - I expressly requested one so I could move around abit without disturbing anyone while getting out. We had personal entertainment systems and mine was working fine this time. I watched Toy Story 3 and found myself struggling to hold back the tears! It’s a cartoon for heavens sake I can hear you say - believe me I was saying that too. Also watched a bit of Eat, Sleep and Pray but it got interrupted by a meal and I never got back to it. Did watch Avatar though - that was good! Didn’t read but slept quite a bit. It seemed to take an age. I kept looking at the flight chart on the entertainment system to see how far we had got and it seemed we were not making any distance at all at times. I was sitting with a mum and teenaged boy Alex, who were originally from England but were now living in Australia and were going to family in England for Christmas. They had stayed overnight in Seoul after flying from Brisbane the day before.
We did eventually arrive on schedule at Heathrow airport. My luggage arrived at the same time as I did which was great and Andy and Viv were waiting for me when I came through departures. They are so lovely and it was great to see them again. I think I got home about 7pm and very strangely William seemed very surprised to see me when I arrived. He knew I was coming home on Sunday but didn’t know exactly when. Wasn’t able to keep in touch with him much on Facebook so we weren’t really in touch while I was away, though I had left a copy of all my flight details for him. I was greeted with a lovely load of washing up a minor breakage but otherwise all was well.
Today is Saturday 18th December. I returned to work on Tuesday and have only just got around to updating my blog, sorry. I am so glad I have bothered to do this though. Already my visit to Guam seems to be a dim and distant dream and many of my memories would have been lost without this. I feel as if I am a world apart from it already, the Narnia analogy really is a good one. I know I will be back, though I am not sure when. I have left the shell horn with Ash for safe keeping. It is for the calling of the Chamorro people into the kingdom and for declaring Guam as the Lords. The horn is to live in the sanctuary, I hope people will blow it in my absence.