Saturday, October 29, 2011


Notice the word for "prescription" is reseta.  It's the same word for "recipe."
"Bed pan" is arinola.
She uses "papá" for "grandpa," just as my family called grandma "mamá."  This was common among her Spanish-influenced generation.

According to Tan Esco, pre-war Chamorros were not as susceptible to today's widespread diabetic and cardiac conditions.  We talk about tabatdiyu (tabardillo/typhoid), beriberi (caused by a lack of thiamine in the diet) and mames me'me' (diabetes).  Perhaps the fewer incidences of cardiovascular disease in pre-war Chamorros was due to a healthier diet (fresh, organic) and hard work (ranching).

But Chamorros did, in fact, face serious health issues, especially periodic epidemics of smallpox and influenza, which wiped out huge numbers of people.  An early American Naval Medical Officer stated at the turn of the century that many people on Guam suffered from "tuberculosis, leprosy, gangosa (possibly congenital syphilis), typhoid and whooping cough."

From around the year 1817

The artist Arago, a member of the Freycinet expedition, drew this sketch of a Chamorro man from Guam suffering from elephantiasis, an inflammation of tissues and skin, especially in the lower extremities.  Notice the swelling of the right elbow and left ankle.

But I think we'd be better off eating this...
Kamute (Sweet Potato)

Rather than this ...

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