Sunday, January 25, 2009


You recently returned from a trip to Guam where you were the guest of the Guam chapter of the International Reading Association. Between speaking engagements, visits to schools, and TV and radio appearances, you got to see manta rays in the wild, discovered large blue starfish and baby giant clams while snorkeling, and had an all-around fabulous adventure.

(The trip took 23 hours, including 17 in airplanes. These were the folks who came out to greet you at the airport. It was a sign of the wonderful hospitality that followed.)

What made the trip great were the people you met. The members of the IRA, and their husbands, who escorted you around the island each day were among the friendliest and most generous you’ve ever met on a trip like this, and they made your 8 or 9 days* on the island some of the best ever.

* You crossed the international date line to get there, losing a day going and gaining a day returning, and still haven’t figured out exactly how many days you were there.

(The first people to inhabit Guam were the Chamorros. They grow the largest coconuts and smallest bananas you have ever seen. The papayas were average size.)

Cyndy and Joe, Liz and Ken, and Vickie and Rich were the people you spent the most time with, but there were others as well. They all went out of their way to make you feel comfortable and show you what they liked about that special island. You saw many fascinating things, ate lots of delicious and exotic food, heard some terrific music, and “met” Yemaya, goddess of the ocean and mother of the fishes.

(Joe with a 1948 balsa wood and fiberglass surfboard made by the legendary surfer Bob Simmons, "The father of the modern surfboard.")

For all of them it was probably just another week with another visiting author, but for you, it was the trip of a lifetime.

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