What Now?

So, today, I received the news that I've been expecting for a week. I've had a week of preparation leading up to that moment where they asked me to step in to the office. The whole time, I knew what they were going to say... I knew the news that they were to deliver. All I could do was sit and nod and listen to what they had to say. No... wait... that's not all I could do. I also reflected on the readings from this past Sunday.

So, while they were giving their little speech. While they were giving me all the excuses. All the explanations. The only voice I focused in on was the voice of Fr. Alberto from Sunday and the voice of God whispering in my ear. What did he have to say? 'Do not worry, my daughter. Do not worry about what you shall eat, what you shall drink, what you shall wear. Look at the beauty I've set before. Look at the birds, they don't toil. Yet, your Father cares for them. What more you, whom he carved in His hand?' So, while I was destroyed by hearing this same news from other people last week, this week, I was filled with joy. I was filled with the excitement of the unknown.

On the ride home, there was an outpouring of love. I received words of encouragement from people who I didn't expect it from. I heard the love of my father through them. Of course I'm confused as to where to go from here. What to do now. I don't know if I should concentrate on the pilgrimage and on other things that are coming to a close in a few months or if I should run right out and find a new job. I'm not sure if I should jump at this opportunity to go back to school and not jump right back in to the work scene. There's no plan that's clear as day in front of my eyes.

I pray, Lord, for the spirit of discernment. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to work so close to your church. For helping to keep me out of the clutches of the world. Please keep your hands upon me and allow me to see what you want of my in the coming weeks because without you, I am not... Without you, I am lost. What now?


Pride? WHAT Pride?

So, I'm probably going to be reamed for this. But, at the chance of being on people's bad sides for a while, I will voice my opinion about something that always bothers me. So, I beg of you, bear with me for a couple of minutes!

The other day, I was browsing through some pictures of a cousin of mine who was born and raised in the states. Said cousin has never spent more than two weeks on this glorious island. Not because he hasn't had the means to spend more than two weeks here but their family just chose not to and that was OK with everyone. I don't care, really... It's their choice not to know their home. I don't quite understand it. But, it's their prerogative. Who am I to say otherwise?

My problem? Well, it's not really my problem. But, it's a pet peeve that I've developed over the years of living here and following my cousins through facebook and other social networks. You see, it seems that every time I see pictures of my cousins, they're tattoo'd up with yet another 'island pride' tattoo. They speak of how proud they are of being from the island. They are proud to say they know how to cook Chamorro food.

Still don't see a problem? Let me expand on this. Bear with me.

First off, 'island pride' is something that an islander possesses. To be an islander, you have to be from an island. If you are living stateside and have done so your whole life, here's a news flash. You are not an islander. You are a statesider. You can't claim to be proud to be from an island is you really aren't from an island. Understand? So, please, I beg you, step down! You give other statesiders a really bad image of what a real Guamanian/Chamorro is like!

Second, if you claim to be in an 'Island Trybe', at least learn how to spell it correctly. It's 'Island TRIBE'. And, let's talk about tribes. We haven't had tribes on this island in hundreds of years! The closest thing we have to a 'tribe' these days is a 'family'. Remember those? Those are the people you can count on... the people you share blood with... the people with whom you share life!

Now, we move on to food. Here is something over which I share a hearty laugh with friends. Let me list a few things that statesiders - claiming to be Chamorro - misinterpret as Chamorro food. They are: lumpia, pancit, adobo, arozcaldo, and eskabechi. (I may have missed a few!) These, my dear dear friends... are not Chamorro foods! Lumpia, depending on which kind you make are either Viet-Thai or Filipino. Pancit is Filipino. Adobo - Filipino... Arozcaldo, again, Filipino. Eskabechi is a Spanish dish. So, if you're going for Chamorro food, stick with kelaguen, red rice, bbq chicken, mutsiyas, fitada, kadun manuk, kadun u'hang yan lechen niyok... I can go on. But, it's making me hungry!

My dear friends and cousins, I mean you no disrespect. But, please respect the fact that you are not from here. If you want to know what it's like to be Chamorro... to be Guamanian, come to Guam. Experience the island as home rather than a place you visit every ten to fifteen years for vacation. Then, and only then, will I respect the 'pride' that you have. Until then, I can not help but scoff and chuckle about your shenanigans.