Sunday, April 10, 2016

Getting to Know Guam: Letting our Tastebuds Lead the Way

While it is considered a US territory, Guam's history dates back centuries before Magellan ever landed on the island. It's culinary scene is both native Chamorro food and a mix of Asian cuisines (given it's proximity to Southeast Asia) in addition to your classic "American food," aka McDonalds, Papa John's and other fast food joints along those lines. Produce in Guam is unfortunately horrendously expensive as most of it is imported. Agriculture is not a big part of island life. The first day we arrived in Guam, we headed for the supermarket to buy groceries for the week and boy, was the sticker shock just that--shocking. Used to cheap produce from Southern California, we could not believe our eyes when we saw a bag of salad for $6 that we were used to paying $3 for at home. However, on the flip side, meat is cheap and easily accessible so the local diet consists mainly of beef and pork with red rice (white rice dyed red with achote seeds along with some seasonings). 
Chicken BBQ Skewer

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Galavanting through Guam: a Three Week Adventure on a Beautiful Island

Last month, the boy and I were privileged with the opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Guam. A tiny island, but largest in Micronesia, Guam sits in the Pacific ocean just 3.5 hours away from Japan. With tropical weather in the 80s year round and warm blue seas, it was the perfect place to be after a two month stint of wards and ICU. We spent three wonderful weeks at the Seventh Day Adventist Guam Clinic in Tamuning on a Wellness Rotation, working with dedicated doctors, nurses, and volunteers to study the effects of education classes and intensive lifestyle changes on diabetes and obesity, two conditions with very high prevalence in Guam. We even got to run our own diabetes education class one of the evenings and performed wellness consultations, both truly educational experiences. Thanks to Drs.Arakawa, Clark, and Ursales, we had a productive three weeks.