Guam - Where America's Day Begins
The Hyatt where we crashed for five days
Enjoyed the awesome pool
Happy Hour and sunset - great combination
Tour with Cindy Hanson - Fort
Riding the caraboa at historical village
weaving at historical village
Annie and Blue visit Ezekial's school
Attended an assembly on local wildlife
The Ko'Ko' Bird
Using our free frequent flyer ticket John and I spent five idyllic days at the Hyatt Regency in Guam. Our flight left Palau at 2:35 AM! Who schedules these flights? We arrived at 5:30 AM, and after a short nap, we met Cindy Hanson who works for the tourist board and volunteered to take us on a morning tour of the island. It was her day off. How nice is that! Along with her son, Ezequiel, and Cindy’s friend, Jackie, we set out to explore the island.
Our first stop was Gef Pago Chamorro Cultural Village, a living museum of thatched huts featuring activities associated with the daily lives of the Chamorro, the native people of the Mariana archipelago. There were demonstrations on cooking, rope making, and basket weaving. Tony, the guide, explained that the coconut tree is the "tree of life" and showed us how easy it is to open a coconut. Various parts of the coconut palm were used for clothing, food, shelter, beauty aids, and as fuel. He went on to explain, "Coconut milk is so pure that it was used to sterilize surgical instruments during WW II." We even got to ride a carabao, the native water buffalo.
Plaza de Espana and Fort Nuestra senora de la Soledad, with a panoramic view, are remnants of the Spanish era. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at a WW II site where there is statue of several men from Guam who performed heroic acts during WW II. One of the men preserved in bronze is Jackie’s father, Francisco Jesus Cruz, who after killing an enemy soldier and donning his uniform, was able to gain entry to the enemy camp and blow it up.
There is plenty to do in Guam but we felt drawn to the Hyatt’s three free-form lagoon pools. We had been traveling for three months and needed some R&R. We found a spot at the edge of a pool near one of the waterfalls where there were only two secluded lounge chairs and staked our claim. We read, dozed, went swimming, and were amazed at how fast the days passed. The Hyatt has a great beach where we could walk out for a long way while catching sight of colorful tropical fish as they went swimming by. In the evening we went to the club lounge and sat on the balcony watching the sun set. The hotel has everything including six restaurants, nightly shows, children’s camp and a shopping mall. There was no reason to leave – and we didn’t, except for one morning when we visited Ezequiel’s school, Tamuning Elementary School, to do a program on schools around the world. It was multi-cultural week at his school. After our presentations we were invited to the auditorium to see a nature presentation by Miss Cheryl from the Guam Department of Agriculture. The high point was seeing the flightless and endangered Ko’ Ko’ bird. There are only about 100 in captivity. The introduction of the brown tree snake to the island after WWII has decimated the native bird population.
There are many things on Guam we didn’t see and do. We felt a little guilty about spending most of our time enjoying the Hyatt but vowed to return to Guam, the place where American greets the day.