Thursday, November 24, 2016


A story from the 1960s.

Annai kinse åños ha' yo', humame yan un amigu-ho ya malago' ham chumupa.
(When I was just 15 years old, I was with a friend and we wanted to smoke.)

Primet biåhe yo' para bai chagi chumupa.
(It was the first time for me to try to smoke.)

Lao måno nai siña ham chumupa sin ma gacha'?
(But where could we smoke without getting caught?)

Eståba nuebo na guma' påddet ni katna ha' kabåles ma håtsa-ña
(There was a new concrete house that almost completed)

lao trabia ti ma sagågåye.
(but was still not lived in.)

Era guennao kåsi gi a las kuåttro ya in pe'lo na maolek ennao na ora
(It was around 4 o'clock and we believed that was a good time)

sa' tåya' esta eskuela lao trabia ti man måfåtto i taotao siha ginen i che'cho'.
(because school was already out but the people from work hadn't come around yet.)

Humålom ham gi gima' ya matå'chong ham gi satge pot no in ma li'e'.
(We entered the house and sat down on the floor so as not to be seen.)

In sengge i chipa. Fana'an dos pat tres biåhe hu chagi lao sen ti ya-ho. Pues in dingu i lugåt.
(We lit the cigarette. Maybe 2 or 3 times I tried it but really didn't like it. Then we left the place.)

Lamme' sa' pine'lo-ko na tåya' ham lumi'e' lao ayo na Damenggo despues,
(Man, I thought no one saw us but that Sunday afterwards,)

matåtå'chong ha' yo' gi gima'yu'us ya hu li'e na på'go humåhålom si Påle'.
(I was just sitting down in church and I saw Father just coming in.)

Lamme' sa' ha fatoigue yo' si Påle' ya ha faisen yo',
(Oh boy, because Father came to me and asked me,)

"Håfa este hu hungok na inespipia hao ni polisia?"
("What is this I heard that the police are looking for you?")

Pues hu admite gi as Påle' na hunggan in hatme i gima' lao solo para in chagi chumupa.
(So I admitted to Father that indeed we went into the house but only to try smoking.)

Humuyong na guaha besino lumi'e' ham humålom ya pine'lo-ña i besino 
(It turned out that there was a neighbor who saw us enter and she thought)

na para in fañåkke pat guaha para in yamak pot minagof-måme ha'
(we were going to steal or break something out of fun)

ya ha ågang i polisia.
(and she called the police.)

Lao atrasao guato i polisia ya esta må'pos ham åntes de måtto.
(But the police were late to go there and we were gone before they came.)


These teenagers thought no one was around. They looked at the school across the street and school was out. Students, faculty and staff were gone.

They looked around the neighborhood and no one was around. Working husbands and wives were not back from work yet.

They went into a concrete house nearly built and thought they had found a safe place to smoke. They sat on the floor to avoid being seen through the windows.

But someone saw. It's what she did next that was interesting.

Thinking that theft or vandalism were involved, she called the police. People from other cultures would have done the same.

But then she called the parish priest! That's not something often done elsewhere, and it wasn't done all the time in Chamorro culture in the past, but the fact that she did it in Guam in the 1960s shows something about the thinking of the time. Why didn't she just call the parents?

Then the priest. He waits till Sunday when he knows he will see the boy at Mass. He walks up to the boy sitting in his pew and asks him to explain himself. The priest was satisfied with the boy's explanation and didn't take it further with the boy's parents. The boy was very thankful for that!

In those days, people knew whose kid you were. And they got involved when they saw kids misbehave.

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