Friday, January 27, 2012


Last weekend l went to Guam with a friend from church for a short holiday and shopping spree!!  We spent some time lazing about the pool, shopping of course, going to a movie (Joyful Noise) and of course the main event, shopping!  Did l say shopping again?  Well that was the reason for the trip.

We stayed at the Hilton which is a huge hotel built in three sections all melded together.
 We were in a suite in the lower area.  It had two balcony's, one facing the pools and the
 other facing the ocean.  Beautiful!

Wonder what the guy hiding behind the bushes is doing?!!

The island of Guam is considered an organized unincorporated territory of the United States.  The way l understand it is that these territories of Guam and Puerto Rico are only partialy using the states constitution unlike Hawaii which is fully under the states constitution. United States acquired Guam in 1898 during the Spanish-American war.

 Ferdinand Magellan discovered Guam in the early 1500's and it was ruled by Spain for the
 next three centuries.
You can see the bell tower of the Basilica behind the wall.  We were there on a Sunday morning and the bells were ringing  and they were playing different songs. Really neat sound.

Ruins of the Plaza De Espana, where the Spanish Governor's Palace used to be.
Our guide, who was actually Chinese!   The indigenous people are the Chamarros, but over the years many others like the Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, American, Koreans and Filipino 
have settled on the island. Filipino
Spanish cannon which used to be Fort Santa Agueda overlooking the city of Hagatna, which is
 the only city on the island.

Tumon Bay.  Most of the major hotels curve along the bay.

Coconut Joe, who had been working this stand for 20 yr. and told us way more than we ever wanted to know about his personal benefits of drinking coconut milk!!

Jeanette and Joe!

This particular type of coconut is grown on the island and you saw them everywhere!
After drinking the milk he carved out the meat and then put soy sauce on it, and l was surprised at how good that was!
It's hard to see, but in this rock  one of the soldiers carved the characters for the Japanese Imperial Army.  On December 10, 1941 Guam was taken over by the Japanese.  It became the only populated U.S. soil to be occupied by another country during WW 11, and was renamed Omiya Jima for the 31 months it was occupied.  Concentration camps were established and some 600 Chamorro's were executed.  Some were beheaded when the Japanese learned of the Chamorro's effort to feed and hide U.S. Navy radioman George Tweed who escaped in the initial invasion.  The American forces liberated Guam on July 21, 1944, and this day is still celebrated each year with a national holiday.

 Fallout shelter used during the war.  The tunnel went quite a ways back into the hill.

On January 24, 1972, the last Japanese World War 11 soldier Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi, was discovered in the cave in which he had been hiding since his unit was scattered by the advancing Americans in July 1944.  Apparently he didn't believe the war had ended, and just stayed hidden all that time.
Latte stones.  The ancients built their houses on the these huge stones that were carved in two pieces 
 and put together to form the foundation of the house.  The stones were carved under water
 which made it easier to do the cutting.

Two Lovers Point.  The legend says that there was a girl who loved a Chamorro boy, but her father wanted her to marry a Spanish man, so on the day of her wedding the two tied their hair together and jumped off onto the rocks below to escape her father and the people chasing them.
Looking back to Tumon Bay from Two Lovers Point.
Limestone cliffs at the point
Instead of buses, these open air trolleys are used and for $10.00 you can buy a day pass and use them all day long. Loved their clanging bells!

I've been missing western shopping, as here everything is small and cramped and there really isn't
much l can actually buy here at least clothes wise.  There was a Kmart, GPO mall, Macy's and lots
of ABC stores, and everyone spoke English.  It was a little bit of home!!
Our guide told us that spam is really used a lot there, so when l saw these individual packages of spam, l had to take a picture!  Who would of thought!!
The plumeria trees were in bloom everywhere.  They come in different colors but we saw predominantly white ones with yellow centers.  The woman wear them in their hair.
My favorite spot.  Sitting in the infinity pool watching the waves and looking over
Tumon Bay to Two Lovers Point.
Look at the color combinations on these Koi.  Incredible!
The Hilton beach wasn't the greatest but had a great view of the bay.  They had snorkeling, kayaking,  and paddle boats.  Over in one of the other bays they had deep sea diving and para sailing.
Heading back to the hotel on the trolley.  They were fun to ride.  Even though l was ignorant of where
it was before l went there,Guam was a great place to visit, much like Hawaii on a smaller scale.  As you
can see by the packages, we did OK with the shopping also!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hakka Clan Village

The Hakka people originally came from the northern provinces and settled in the south mostly to get 
away from persecution and to find agricultural land to develop. The Chinese characters for Hakka literally 
mean "guest families"  There were five major migrations of the Hakka people over the centuries from the 
north to the southern areas and around the world. 

Sam Tung Uk is a traditional Hakka walled village that was founded by a Chan clan who settled in Hong Kong in the 18th century.  In the mid 18th century,Chan Yam-shing of the clan came with others
to present day Tsuen Wan and they constructed seawalls to reclaim land which they then could farm.
The upper photo was taken between 1951-1953.  There's not a rice paddy to be seen
 anywhere in Hong Kong today!!  The new school will be built in this area where once 
there were rice fields on the mountain sides.
Garden on the outside of the village.
This guy was practising his sword drills in the garden!
You often see groups of people practicing together in the mornings with swords, fans, and
doing Tai Chi.
View from above of the layout of the village.
Entrance to the village.  There were a group of University students touring the museum, and they
insisted they get pictures taken with us!!
Try lifting this pot!! It was used for storing grain.
They were considerably shorter back then!
Tea pot resting on a small heating element.  Fire was built in the bottom of the orange pot.

Kitchen oven.  It must have been unbearably hot in the summer, because there was no breeze coming
through the walkways between the various rooms.
Typical eating area.
Above the eating area is the sleeping room.
Winnowing machine.  Hand cranked!  Probably quit an innovative invention in its day.
Long narrow walkways.

Checking out some of the various foods that were made.

Fried rice cakes.
The name itself would make you want to pass these by!!

Kitchen utensils. The wire mesh strainer is still used here all the time.
Typical head gear for Hakka women.  The Hakka people refused to participate in the practice
 of binding  woman's feet.

These are called cool hats which were worn in the fields by the woman, to protect them from the sun and insects. In the summer you see workers wearing these hats all over Hong Kong.  The farm work was done mostly by the woman and the men either took other jobs in the military or even in other countries, and then sent for their families. 

Hakka women wore basic black without much ornamentation.
I just liked this big tub!

In front of each door is this square depression which was used to collect rain water for the homes use.

The coolies were paid according to how many sacks of rice they hauled.  For every one or two sacks
they were given a bamboo stick and then was paid for the appropriate amount at the end of the day.

Rice was kept in these barrels.

Look at the highchair on the right!
Although is looked rather spartan the beds had beautiful carvings around them.

Beautiful lanterns.
Ancestral alter with flower shaped lanterns. The main place of worship for the clan.  Little alters
like the one under the bench are all over the place here, sometimes sitting on sidewalks beside 
doors or built into the outside walls of the buildings. 
Child's chair and swinging baby cradle.
Wedding palanquin.  The bride sat inside and was carried to her wedding.  Wine jars are behind it and 
the hamper in front of the jars were used to carry food by brides returning for visits to their
own families.

The wedding cage would hold a hen and a cock, and would be sent to the brides
family as a betrothal gift.  The boxes behind were used to put wedding cakes in that were sent to
the brides family also as betrothal gifts.  The pole was used so you could carry two at a time.  A roast pig could be put on the top cover when it was turned up side down.

Beautifully carved wooden trunk.
Don't fall into the water reservoir as you go to the front door!!