“Unwelcome and Warm Welcome”


In Guam we were housed in the Guam Hilton, a very posh place with a large outdoor swimming pool with an attached bar. You could, in theory, swim up and get a drink. Never a big drinker, I watched others drink blue and red cocktails while I happily swam around. After a while, the head of the whole agency where I worked called me over from the bar. Ever the polite employee, I swam over to see what he wanted. He wanted me to join him in his hotel room! I declined, telling him I was really enjoying my swim. I was less startled by the invitation than by the thought of going anywhere with this old, old man(probably he was 50!)

The school officials and teachers we were working with invited us to a feast near the end of our visit. I was asked to come for the day to help with the food preparations. I had never been involved with such a monumental task. It was like Thanksgiving on steroids. About 20 women were cooking all day. At lunch time, it turned out that not only were they preparing the night’s food, but also had made a generous lunch. The photo above shows me poking at some marinated meat. I was really not any help, but loved watching everyone work.

A full roasted pig, apple in the mouth and all, was the centerpiece of the dinner. The delicacy was a fruit bat. I was introduced to the fruit bat in its cage before it was prepared. While I know it was a great honor that we were being feted with a fruit bat, it still gave me the shudders. The food was unbelievably good, though I managed to avoid tasting the bat. The generosity of the people touched my heart and made me determined to try to do the best I could at the job I had been assigned, even if one of them should have been the employee.

6 thoughts on ““Unwelcome and Warm Welcome”

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