NOVEMBER 2010 — GUAM’S GUIDE TO ELEVATING YOUR LIFE | LIVING | FITNESS | STYLE | TECH | STRONGER MIND + BODY
ALL NEW RIDES! SEE THE PULSE-POUNDING 2011 FORD MUSTANG
• SERVICE: STORIES FROM GUAM’S SUPPORT GROUPS • JUDY’S STORY: HOW GRATITUDE KEEPS YOU AFLOAT • EXPERT ADVICE: HOW TO COOK A PERFECT TURKEY
publisher’s post 11.10 By Norman Analista
A WeaLth of virtues
True riches don’t fill your bank account I still have vivid memories of my childhood vacations to Iloilo, my parent’s province in the Philippines. I remember strolling to the beach behind my grandmother’s home on an overcast day. The way the sun peeked behind the clouds in orangey-grey tones created a visual spectacle that made it feel like I was walking into a hazy dream. Several villagers were crouched over dark sand, gathering dozens of mussels. The green shellfish lay in clumps connected by a wiry material, so that when picked up they dangled like grapes on a vine. Every time I come back from my trips, I expect to reflect on such mental images, but as I’ve matured, I instead return with a deeper sense of gratitude for my life on Guam. My late father lived on a very modest farm. On one trip, I arrived with a box at his old home. The contents were to be distributed to relatives in most need. It was humbling to hear how the pants and shoes I simply got tired of would be used to clothe my kin and treats like coffee grounds and candy were going to be divided and sent to family in surrounding towns.
Opportunity shortage A lack of opportunity, not initiative or hard work, has prevented my relatives, even those with college degrees, from improving their lives. As I conversed with my cousins, I noticed how their eyes
While my relatives may be poor in material possessions they’re rich in genuine faith, love and perseverance — qualities that no amount of money can buy. reflected a firm resolve to survive, developed from a life of hardship. Lazaro worked as a janitor to support his parents while putting himself through college. His sister Elvira said they sometimes forgo medical attention. When needs arise, however, she pointed out that
definition: the high road also high·road n. The most positive, diplomatic, or ethical course.
they depend upon each other to shoulder the necessary expenses. I realized how my kin’s support system reminded me of the mussel harvest I witnessed in my youth. The shellfish were held together by a wiry bond. If one gets tugged away, it wouldn’t go alone because of its attachment to the cluster. Similarly, my relatives endured their trials by remaining a cohesive unit. Their bonds exemplify how family members should be ready to support one another through thick and thin. Although my financial limitations prevent me from helping them more than I have, I remain consoled. While my relatives may be poor in material possessions they’re rich in genuine faith, love and perseverance — qualities that no amount of money can buy. In closing, we hope you enjoy our gratitude-themed issue. In it you’ll find a wide variety of features from photo highlights of the American Red Cross Red Ball, to inspirational stories about second chances. On behalf of our team, I want to thank you once again for taking The High Road! Your interest and support continues to be a driving force for us to share community news, informative resources and photographs that promote family values and healthy living. Happy Thanksgiving to all! Sincerely,
Publisher Norman Analista Editor & DESIGNER Carlo Cariño Writers Leo Babauta Dave Currie, Ph. D. Jill Espiritu Sean Fitzsimmons, M.D. Peter Lombard, M.D. Steve Oshiro Dave Ramsey Photography Eugene C. Herrera ADVERTISING SALES Greg Esplana Published by Triple J Creative Services For advertising Inquiries contact: Tel: 648-6081 Fax: 649-3679 email@example.com THE HIGH ROAD Vol. 1 No. 12 is published 12 times per year (monthly) by Triple J Creative Services, 157 South Marine Corps Drive Tamuning, Guam 96913; (671) 646-9126. Copyright 2010 by Triple J Creative Services. All rights reserved. The reporting in THE HIGH ROAD is meant to increase your knowledge in various areas of life and wellbeing. Because everyone is different, the ideas expressed and research shared cannot be used to diagnose or treat individual health or other problems. Seek professional help. The views expressed in this publication are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Triple J Creative Services, its staff, management or its Board of Directors. Triple J Creative Services makes no representation concerning and does not guarantee the source, originality, accuracy, completeness or reliability of any statement, information, data, finding, interpretation, advice, opinion, or view presented.
4 | Rides: The new Ford Mustang
6 | Relationships: A Marriage for Three 7 | Community Pulse
NEW HOMES. NEW LIVES. NEW OUTLOOKS.
8 | Dining In: Prepare a great holiday turkey 10 | Ask Dave: Financial advice from Dave Ramsey
STORIES OF PEOPLE WHO GIVE BACK
12 | Fitness 17 | Style: High fashion at the Red Cross Red Ball 22 | On Gratitude: Living a life without despair 24 | Reflections: How the Salvation Army changed a life 26 | Reflections: Habitat for Humanity makes a dream come true 28 | Reflections: OASIS helps clients survive addiction
LEARN ABOUT PREPARING A GREAT HOLIDAY TURKEY
30 | Parenting: Being a great dad during the holidays 32 | Home & Garden 34 | Live Easy: A Time for Gratitude 36 | Physically Fit 36 | An Autumn-Themed Floral Arrangement 38 | See Clearly: What is a Lazy Eye? 39 | Social Studies: Islanders talk Thanksgiving 40 | Bright Ideas: Raising a Thinker
Melony Hope James, Francis Earl Garrido, Kristopher (13), Bryce (12), Giana (7), Gravis (4). Sundays are reserved for “family day” in this unit. Whether it be a day at the beach or simply staying at home, the goal is to find the opportunity to do things together. Photography by Rob Tenorio, Expressions Studio.
A MARRIAGE FOR THREE making room for GOD IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. Someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. How can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (King Solomon – relational wisdom from 950 B.C).
We know the advice above is true. Two people can succeed better, can help each other, can keep each other warm and can defend each other. What a powerful picture of what a strong marriage can be like. Yet, it’s the braided part that caught my eye. I can remember when my mother first taught me how to braid. I still remember being intrigued how the cords stayed together – how they wrapped around each other and how they were so much stronger than one or even two strands alone. Two cords can’t be twisted together like three can. It’s just not possible. To braid is to weave together three into one. What a concept. What if there were three in a marriage and not two? Relax, I am not talking about a “threesome.” I am talking about what I have seen work over and over in so many strong marriages. I have
6 the high road NOVEMBER 2010
observed a husband and wife agree to braid God into their marriage. The couple plus God equal three.
A correlation At the risk of being controversial, I want to address this aspect of marriage because of the significant bearing it has on the success of the relationship. I want to explain the impact that including the spiritual dimension in your life as a couple has on the strength and satisfaction within your marriage. Many people have a nostalgic faith — it doesn’t really affect their daily lives and relationships. That shallow inclusion of God doesn’t make their relationship stronger. Some have a genuine faith that affects who they are and how they treat others — especially their spouse. This authentic inclusion of God is when the threefold cord creates a strong and lasting bond.
Stay with me. This commentary about the spiritual dimension in marriage is as much a professional opinion as a personal one. Braiding God into your marriage appears to be a good thing. Research is showing that couples with a shared faith and common spiritual values are amongst those that enjoy a longer, more satisfying marriage (see John Gottman et al). Of couples that pray together daily, a mere 1% of them have a chance of ever experiencing divorce. How’s that for a statistic? It’s a powerful motivator for braiding God into our primary relationships. If that’s so — why are there still so many marriages ending in divorce – even from those with a faith tradition? Research also reveals that 92% of couples don’t pray together. Well, that’s the whole picture. Conclusion: A genuine faith where husband and wife braid God into their lives and pray together daily makes the couple almost immune to divorce.
WHY IT WORKS There are many reasons why. A strong and sincere faith is anchored in truths that shape a marriage. Spiritually committed couples are called to be faithful to their vows. Among other things, they should forgive freely, love unselfishly, speak honestly, live faithfully, encourage lavishly and clearly put their spouse’s needs before their own. They are warned toward moderation in
drinking and challenged against angry outbursts. What an incredible difference just these truths applied would make in a home!
MY EXPERIENCE On the personal side, I can’t deny God makes the non-negotiable difference in my marriage. It was our faith that kept us together when we were on the verge of marital breakdown. The closer to God you get as individuals, the closer you get to each other. I also can’t deny what I have observed in decades of counseling. I have yet to see a marriage fall apart when both husband and wife have soft hearts towards God. To be sensitive to God means you are sensitive to people – especially those closest to you. So, at virtually every wedding I perform, I challenge the starryeyed newlyweds that the greatest gift they can give their new life partner is to keep a soft heart toward God. If you want a marriage that is strong and lasts long, you would be wise to look closer at how you might braid God into it. Many have said that our most important relationship is the one with our Creator. Why? Because when surrendered to what God wants in a relationship, you become a better partner, parent and person. That was God’s plan from the start. You’ll never regret putting your marriage and family first. ■
Send your questions to Dr. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website www.doingfamilyright.com for tons of great relational help. Get Dr. Dave’s daily marriage and family tips by following him on Twitter - www.twitter.com/ doingfmilyright
If you have a positive photo of community interest, send it to email@example.com and we might include it in a future issue of The High Road. Jean Macalinao has one more reason to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! She is the proud winner of a 2011 Ford Fiesta. Through a series of weekly raffles which started September 4, Macalinao along with 24 other contestants won the opportunity to pick one key from a bowl. It was Macalinao who picked the correct key which opened the door to the Fiesta, on the giveaway date of November 6. Pictured from left to right were officials from Triple J Enterprises, Inc.: Bob Jones, President & CEO, Jay Jones, Vice President, Macalinao, Jeff Jones, Executive Vice President. Back row: Craig Phipps, District Manager, South Pacific, Ford Motor Company, and Mike Temerowski, Sales Manager, Triple J Ford. The promotion was also sponsored by IT&E and Shell.
As part of “Get Smart About Credit Day,” Paul Cruz, Bank of Hawaii Technical Support Analyst speaks to 12th Grade students from Okkodo High School about “Unsecured Credit.” This is an annual event sponsored by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation where local bankers visit classrooms to teach young adults and share with students the “credit facts of life.”
The Guam Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC) celebrated, “National Parent Involvement Month,” In October with a Governor’s Proclamation Signing, Family Conference, Leadership Conference, and Open House. Front (L-R): Bertha Diamond, Parent Mentor; Rhonda Rekdahl, Parent Mentor; and Maryanne Riano, Staff Support. Back (L-R) Marie Wusstig, Resource Coordinator; Louise Camacho, Parent Mentor; Pauline Camacho, PIRC Director; Jenielle Meno, Staff Support; Ashley Babauta, Staff Support; and Iosindo Fuppul, Parent Mentor.
dining in 11.10
TURKEY DINNERS MADE EASY 0 all in the preparation A great turkey dinner is as much about preparation as it is about cooking, Start preparing your turkey and your cooking area as much as two days before. Chef Josef Budde has been the Executive Chef at Grand Hyatt Tokyo for the past eight years and is now a part of the Hyatt Regency Guam. Chef Budde has over 30 years of experience throughout the culinary world of Hyatt. He’s credited with managing some of Hyatt’s most respected restaurants in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Chef Budde received extensive culinary training in his homeland of Germany where he earned certifications in Kitchen Apprenticeship, Military Service Training and a completion of Certification for Master Chef Diploma. He successfully opened three Hyatt hotels consecutively, Hyatt Regency Cologne, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Grand Hyatt Tokyo; all of which continue to be market leaders and profitable.
TECHNIQUE Whether you use your favorite family recipe or perhaps one you can find online, these universal tips will go a long way.
A Thanksgiving meal just wouldn’t be the same without a plump, juicy, tasty turkey. If the thought of preparing one sounds intimidating, don’t give up on the idea. We sought the assistance of a culinary expert who was gracious enough to share a few tips so you could bake the perfect turkey! 8 the high road NOVEMBER 2010
• Use a 14-16 lb turkey which is easier to manage and prepare. • Begin defrosting your turkey for at least two days in the refrigerator, which will require you to plan ahead. • Before you start any cooking, have a plan in place and ensure all ingredients, tools, and so forth are in “ready to use” form. • A good brine is essential to baking a moist and flavorful turkey. In cooking, brining is a process similar to marination in which meat is soaked
LEARN FROM THE EXPERT 1 Chef Josef Budde of the Hyatt Regency Guam shares his tips for great turkey. in brine - water saturated or nearly saturated with salt before cooking. Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking. • During the baking process, be sure to baste the turkey continuously as often as every 30 minutes.
• When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven, cover it with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving, to avoid the loss of moisture. • When carving, be sure to have a sharpened carving set. Less meat is wasted if the bird is cut properly, and well-cut slices can be neatly arranged on a serving platter. ■
Don’t get stressed out. Information on preparing a holiday turkey is abundant on the Internet. Here are a few sites where you can find more detailed information on safe turkey handling, cooking tips, carving, and recipes: • http://www.eatturkey.com/ • http://www.butterball.com/ • http://www.foodnetwork.com/ • http://tlc.discovery.com/
The emotional COMPONENTS of debt
pride may be the biggest reason people keep debt.
in just three or four years, are you going to take me up on the offer? If you’ve got a brain in your head, the answer’s no! Now, I’m okay with it if you make $300,000 a year and buy a $20,000 car if you pay cash. That’s like most people running out and buying a Happy Meal. It’s just not a big deal! — Dave ............................................
Would you agree that pride is our biggest problem when it comes to debt? — Brian
What’s your rule of thumb about how much your car should be worth in comparison with your income? — Madea
Dear BRIAN, That’s a really interesting question. I think pride is definitely toward the top of the list, but I’d say the biggest cause of debt is immaturity. One really good definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. When you can’t wait to buy the video game, or the car, or the iPhone, then that’s a sign of immaturity. It’s like a four-year-old fussing and whining, “I want it right now!” Give me a break! That kind of stuff makes me sick. However, pride may be the biggest reason people keep debt. People who walk around worrying about what everyone else would think if they got rid of the big house or the fancy car — worrying that everybody else would think they’re broke — now that’s pride. — Dave
10 the high road November 2010
Dear Madea, Great question! My rule of thumb is that all of your vehicles—I’m talking about cars, trucks, boats and their Sea-Doo sisters, motorcycles, and anything else like this—should not total more than half your annual income. Why? It’s because all of these kinds of things go down in value. You never want half of your income going into things whose value is dropping like a rock. You don’t need a $20,000 car if you’re making $30,000 a year. That’s just stupid. Think about it this way. If you’re making that kind of money, and I walk up and tell you I’ve got an investment opportunity that will turn $20,000 of your hardearned income into $12,000
I just married a wonderful woman with two children. We’ve talked over our financial situation, and we’re determined to get out of debt within two years. This will mean some big changes in our teenager’s lifestyles. How can we break this to them gently? — Dan
Dear Dan, Having your wife – who is also their mother – on board with the plan makes a big difference. I think all of you need to sit down and have a frank but loving discussion about the changes that are going to come with this marriage for everyone. The kids have to adjust to a step dad being on the scene, just like you have to adjust to a marriage situation where teenagers are part of the package. Let them know you don’t want to be the bad guy, but that you and mom have been looking at the money situation and things just don’t add up. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea if mom did much of the talking. Let her tell the kids that you’ve both decided it’s time to make the money behave, and this will mean some lifestyle changes. Listen to reasonable suggestions from them, and let them know their thoughts and feel-
ings matter. However, they also need to understand things are going to be different, and this part needs to come from mom. Otherwise, they’re likely to see you as the wicked step dad! — Dave. ............................................
Dear Dave, I just got engaged, and already people are telling us that premarital counseling is a good idea. What is your opinion? — Bradley
Dear BRADLEY, It doesn’t necessarily mean that someone thinks you aren’t right for each other when they suggest you think about premarital counseling. In reality, I think it’s a great thing, a smart thing, and something every couple should do before marriage. There are four areas in which you and your fiancé should agree before you walk down the aisle. These are; religion, children, parents, and money. Studies show that couples who agree on these issues before marriage have a much better chance of experiencing a successful marriage and spending long, happy lives together. — Dave ■ Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, popular national radio personality and the author of three New York Times best sellers – The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Revisited and More Than Enough. In them, Ramsey exemplifies his life’s work of teaching others how to be financially responsible. For more information visit www.daveramsey.com.
12 the high road November 2010
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CLASSICAL STYLE 1 Caroline Sablan, Vice President/Relationship Banking Manager, Bank of Guam, looks lovely in a deep purple, satin, off the shoulder, Roman-style gown.
A. Marilou Lacson, a realtor with Jose Realty showcases a grey evening ensemble with pleated bodice and gem accents. B. Businessman Jeff Moylan and MaeFe Muyco, Social Worker for Child Protective Services display classic looks. MaeFe is wearing a long, elegant, off-shoulder, evening gown layered with tassels. C. Patrick Bulaon, Area Manager - Retail & Commercial for Mobil Oil Guam, Marianas & Micronesia is debonair in his tuxedo while his wife Jennifer looks stunning in a plum-colored gown.
D. Nita Baldovino, President, Rambies Corp., looks like royalty in this sea-green, flowing gown which compliments her skin tone. E. Agustin Davalos, Citigroup Chief Country Officer for Guam looks suave in a tuxedo while his wife Silvia is in a refined white dress. Chita Blaise, executive director, American Red Cross Guam Chapter is wearing a pink, attention-getting, beaded gown. F. Lou Leon Guerrero, President, CEO and Board Chair, Bank of Guam is in a sophisticated, satin and lace top paired with a long, black formal skirt. Her husband Attorney Jeff Cook is in a timeless tuxedo.
A. Mary Macalde, co-owner, 3M Apartment & Housing Rentals, shimmers in a black minimalist dress. B. Rolly Tomada, Operations Manager/Management Consultant, and his wife Joyce Tomada, Office Manager, of A.T. Tomada & Associates, were all smiles in matching black & white ensembles. C. Rudy Perez, Creative Editor, KUAM, looks dashing in his tux, while his wife, Suzanne Perez, assistant real estate manager, Guam Premier Outlet, and writer for The High Road has on a black masterpiece.
GRATITUDE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
LIFE WITHOUT DESPAIR
By Norman Analista
Those who know Judy Ocampo Vigil can attest to her strong faith and determination to make the most out of life despite the many challenges she has endured from her bout with diabetes. She was first diagnosed with the disease in 1992 when she was just 17 years old. Since then, the former Agat resident’s life has been filled with peaks and valleys, gains and deep losses, yet through it all she continues to find solace, happiness, and gratitude. This is Judy’s Thanksgiving story. “I was preparing to go to college and needed a physical exam, that’s how I found out. Initially, I was in denial about having diabetes. For the most part, I kept it a secret because of people’s misconception that you get diabetes from eating too much sugar, but it’s from your pancreas not functioning properly,” she said. As a result of her diabetes, Judy has had to have laser surgery in both eyes for neuropathy and a procedure on her left eye called a vitrectomy. She has also had her fingers operated on to fix a condition called trigger finger release. Unfortunately, her challenges didn’t end there.
TRIALS In June 13 of last year, Judy experienced one of the happiest moments of her life. She and her fiancé David Vigil exchanged wedding vows before hundreds of family members and friends. “David is a gift from God. It’s like he walked into my life out of nowhere and captured my heart instantly. I cannot imagine spending my life with anyone else,” said Judy. After just a few months of marital bliss, however, Judy was hospitalized for diabetes-related issues later that year in Oc-
22 the high road November 2010
“Focus on the positive things in your life. In my life, I think it’s a gift to live another day with my husband. Although it may seem like things aren’t getting better, there’s always a silver lining behind that dark cloud.” - Judy Ocampo VIGIL
“I managed to get through this whole ordeal because of my faith and trust in God and the unending support of my husband. We endured everything together.” tober. At that time, David was deployed to Afghanistan. “The doctors told me that my kidneys were functioning at 80 percent,” she explained. The military has what’s known as the “Exceptional Family Medical Program” which relocates military families to bases where medical care is accessible if their present base doesn’t have the proper facilities. The Vigils were asked to choose a place where they had family and ended up at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV. It was there that the couple received unsettling news. “I underwent further tests for my kidneys, I was in total shock — I had only left Guam for about a month and the functioning went down from 80 to 22 percent,” said Judy.
We were warned about the complications and the possibility of my kidney function loss being permanent,” Judy explained. “But, David and I were committed to seeing this through. She was the baby we had prayed for and wished for.” Then on September 7, three days shy of Judy’s sixth month of pregnancy, they lost their baby girl, who they named Dawn Francheska Ocampo Vigil. Judy remained hospitalized for her failing kidneys and since then, she has been undergoing dialysis three times a week. And now, Judy must receive a kidney transplant. She will be evaluated at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, NV to be placed on the transplant list.
Amidst all the health issues, in April of this year, the couple was excited to hear that Judy was pregnant — but her pregnancy came with high risks. “The pregnancy went well until the progression of my kidney disease escalated.
The former U.S. probation officer admits that she has felt a wide range of feelings from anger to sadness from her ordeal, but she has learned to cope. “All these emotions have led me to the ultimate feeling of acceptance. I can
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
76/Circle K Agana Shopping Center: Casa de Essence, Gino’s, Java Junction B&J Video, Anigua Ben Franklin’s Craft Store Coldstone Creamery: Micronesia Mall, GPO Feathers N Fins FHP Clinic Hava Java, Hagatna Hertz locations Kim Chee, Agat Mark’s Sporting Goods MCV Broadband Macheche Location McDonald’s: Hagatna, Tamuning Micronesia Mall Theatres Mobil, Participating locations: Upper Tumon, Apra Heights, Airport, East Hagatna, Fatima, Adelup Opus One in Anigua
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Oriental Supermarket, Agat Outback Steakhouse Paradise Fitness Center: Hagåtña, Dededo Payless Supermarkets: Micronesia Mall & Yigo locations PMC Clinic Port of Mocha, Tumon Rambies: Micronesia Mall, Hafa Adai Exchange Seaside Fish Mart Shell SHIMBROS/Rhythm & Brews Sugar + Spice Town House Furniture Store Triple J Auto Group Locations Triple J Commercial Tire Center Tropical Living, Hagatna Video Queen, Agat Video Quest, Tamuning
only make the most of my situation and continue to pray that it only gets better. I don’t know how I could have ever gotten through this challenging part of my life without the grace of God. Prayer is a powerful tool. I know God will never leave us alone or give us anything we cannot handle.” Judy offers advice to those who feel they’re going through unbearable hardships. “Focus on the positive things in your life. In my life, I think it’s a gift to live another day with my husband. Although it may seem like things aren’t getting better, there’s always a silver lining behind that dark cloud. Keep faith and trust in Him.” Unfortunately, Judy and David will be celebrating Thanksgiving apart this year. David will be in military training. So, Judy had this message to share with him and other loved ones. “I am most thankful for my wonderful husband and the life we have together, I’m also thankful for the unyielding support of my family and friends. I managed to get through this whole ordeal because of my faith and trust in God and the unending support of my husband. We endured everything together.” Judy’s dream today remains simple - to grow old with her husband and despite it all; she still has faith in the possibilities. “This dream is a driving force for me to continue to work hard to stay healthy and to live longer,” she said. ■
GRATITUDE FOR A NEW LIFE
By Jill Espiritu
HOW THE SALVATION ARMY HELPED ANTHONY MCKEE RECLAIM HIS LIFE When Anthony Steven McKee finished at 21:13, at a local 5K race, it was good enough to earn him a third place medal in the masters division. “When they called my name, I couldn’t believe it,” McKee says. “That was the first medal I ever received.” It’s quite an achievement for McKee, who only a few years ago never saw himself participating in any community event, let alone a 5K race. He was convicted of drug and alcohol-related charges and served time at the Department of Corrections. He left behind his family, including his then two-year-old daughter. While at DOC, he met Dennis Penaflorida who visited the correction facility on behalf of The Salvation Army (TSA). Penaflorida offered life skills courses and other rehabilitation courses for inmates. Once McKee served his time and was released from the facility, he looked up Penaflorida to ask about The Salvation Army’s Lighthouse Recovery Center, which he heard about during one of Penaflorida’s visits. McKee felt he wasn’t fully ready to integrate himself back into society and sought Penaflorida’s help through the organization. “I’m so thankful for The Salvation Army, with the staff at the Lighthouse Recovery Center in particular,” McKee says. “They showed me the person who I really am. They took the fear out of me and opened a door for me. Without their help, I don’t think I’d be where I am at today. I probably would still be out on the streets or back in jail.” After completing a year of voluntary service for the organization, McKee found out about a job opening for a Support Spe-
24 the high road November 2010
“We saw families living in houses that were falling apart and children that were running around with sores all over their bodies. For the first time in my life, I felt this hurt in me for them. I actually teared when I saw them — I never teared from that feeling before.” cialist at the facility. Without question, he wanted to work for the same group that helped him get through one of the most difficult times in his life. Volunteering his time and later working for the organization opened his eyes to the reality of life outside of drugs and alcohol. He has since reconnected with his formerly estranged children. One of his daughters and two of his grandchildren currently live with him. He also was able to buy a vehicle on his own. Most importantly, McKee has been able to stay away from drugs and alcohol completely for several years. While on one of TSA’s outreach missions in an underprivileged local neighborhood, McKee felt sympathy for the first time. “We saw families living in houses that were falling apart and chil-
TAYLOR dren that were running around with sores all over their bodies. For the first time in my life, I felt this hurt in me for them. I actually teared when I saw them —
I never teared from that feeling before.” This year will be McKee’s sixth year assisting TSA. He has participated in many outreach pro-
grams and other community events, including the organization’s annual Thanksgiving feast. “We are an agency of second and third chances,” says Captain Thomas Taylor, Guam Corps and Micronesia coordinator. Taylor, along with his wife Christina, oversee the Salvation Army ministry in Guam, Saipan and the rest of Micronesia. TSA in Guam provides assistance during emergencies and natural disasters, counsel-
ing for those in financial crisis and for those facing eviction or are homeless. They also assist members of the community transition from
homelessness, substance abuse or recent incarceration. The organization also runs a thrift store and participates in many outreach programs. Capt. Thomas Taylor also has benefited from the work of TSA before becoming a Corps Officer. As a young boy living in the U.S. mainland, he remembers first learning about the organization when he was in the fourth grade. His parents were recovering alcoholics and unfortunately relapsed, resulting in Taylor and his two brothers being ordered to move to an orphanage. While there, TSA visited the children, took them to camps and encouraged them to join youth programs. “They made sure children like me weren’t forgotten,” Taylor says. “I know a lot of places in my life where it could’ve taken a turn, but TSA was there and got me into band, scouting and Boys and Girls clubs, which kept me from doing destructive things. “My life would be vastly different if not for The Salvation Army,” he adds. Taylor has a degree in software engineering and business, along with decades of service in the U.S. Army, but has chosen to dedicate his time to the organization. “There are a lot of things I could do, but it wouldn’t be as fulfilling as the work I’m doing here,” Taylor says.
In addition to his work with TSA, Taylor also is the Assistant Musical Director of the Guam Territorial Band. He is an avid trumpet player. Similarly, McKee began running because of TSA. As a client in the organization, one community event he was assigned to was a local 5K where he was tasked to distribute water to runners at a designated water stop. “Before then, I didn’t know what a 5K was,” McKee says. “When I was there at the water stop, I saw the big group of runners just coming by and some getting water. I thought to myself, wow, maybe I can do that, too.” At 40 years old, McKee first put on his running shoes and ran in a local race — clocking in at 45 minutes and some seconds – he can’t really remember exactly. He trained for about six months, and shaved his time to about 36 minutes. Another three months of training went by and he was down to 31 minutes. He continued to pour in time for training and competing in races of varying distances, including the 13.1-mile Hafa Marathon. With training and more race experience, he then achieved his fastest 5K time – 21:13. That he remembers! For more information, visit www.salvationarmy-guam.org or call 477-9872, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
GRATITUDE builds on humanity
HEARTS & HOMES
By Jill Espiritu
raising roofs and raising spirits A couple of years ago, if you told Glenn Gogo that he would be a proud owner of a home, he wouldn’t have believed you. Today, thanks to Habitat for Humanity, he’s living proof that hard work and selflessness can mean no dream is beyond belief. In order to make ends meet, Gogo, his wife Sue Ann, and their five children had to live in a cramped three-bedroom place. It was a roof over their heads, but it didn’t provide the best living conditions for their growing children. Even with all the money they would put up to pay for rent, they knew they wouldn’t ever actually call it their own place. Looking to improve their living conditions, they sought assistance from Habitat for Humanity. Many families on Guam live in unsafe, overcrowded or otherwise inadequate housing, in-
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cluding homes which cannot sustain the typhoons and earthquakes which are common to the region. To help alleviate this problem, a group of local residents formed the Habitat for Humanity of Guam affiliate in 1996, and completed the first house in 1998. Currently, Habitat for Humanity of Guam has completed 21 houses, and is working on number 22. These houses are simple, decent, and equally as important, affordable.
Making contact “We heard about Habitat for Humanity over the years through
friends,” Glenn Gogo said. “One day, after taking my wife out to lunch for her birthday, we stopped by to see how we could work together for a house. I remember telling my wife, there are really only two things that they can say — yes or no. While there, we found out that we were eligible for a Habitat house and after that, things just started to fall in the right places,” he adds. After assisting with the construction of the organization’s 20th house in Yona, Gogo, along with several volunteers, started to construct his family’s Yigo home.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I never thought that we’d ever build a home … even now I still can’t believe it,” Gogo said.
a new home can mean a new life Helping families in need attain their goal of home ownership is one of the many reasons why Christine Gordon, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Guam, chooses to stay involved with the organization. “When I am driving around the island I see so many families living in tin shacks and danger-
ous housing conditions,” Gordon said. “Habitat is a way that I can help build communities and help families in need. It is Gordon very gratifying to know that at the end of each day more families in need of decent housing on Guam will be on the path of attaining their goal of home ownership.” One of Gordon’s most memorable encounters with Habitat for Humanity was in Alabama over a decade ago after her grandmother passed away. Gordon and her parents decided to donate her grandmother’s property to Habitat for Humanity, knowing that her grandmother would approve in helping a low-income family achieve their goal of home ownership, Gordon said. Now in Guam, she’s in a position to assist local families in need of adequate and affordable housing, like the Gogo family. She also has been afford-
ed the chance to learn more about the island through her work with the organization. “Habitat has given me an opportunity to learn the rich history and culture of Guam and share in the lives of people I might not have otherwise. I am truly blessed to be part of Habitat for Humanity for its impact on the island, its people and the Christian foundation,” she adds.
A NEW DAY The Gogo family’s home was completed in December of last year and by mid January of this year, they first turned the key to enter their new home. In the months that the family has lived in their new home, it has received some personalized touches. “My wife is a planter now,” Gogo said. “She’s planting flowers, hot peppers, vegetables. She’s really enjoying the house. Even my kids — they really love it.” It’s a proud accomplishment for Gogo and his family, who now have a home to call their own. For more information about Habitat for Humanity, visit www.habitatguam. org email email@example.com or call 647-4667.■
What is Habitat for Humanity International? A nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. We seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. To accomplish these goals, we invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda. Today, we have built over 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.
How does it work? Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses alongside our homeowner (partner) families. Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
GRATITUDE HELPS RECOVERY
NOBODY WALKS ALONE
By Jill Espiritu
SURVIVING ADDICTION WITH OASIS When one feels powerless over a destructive addiction, the road to recovery is harrowing. For those who seek professional help at recovery centers like the Oasis Empowerment Center, they may find that they’re not alone in their struggle to overcome addiction.
“I felt so convicted, yet they’ve accepted me back and are helping me seek treatment and teaching me about relapse, guilt and shame … I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for Oasis.” lates to one out of every 28 residents. Although the majority are men, the number of women is not too far behind. Oasis operates a residential recovery center particularly for women. Renee, whose last name was withheld to protect her privacy, fell into the web of drug and alcohol abuse. Through Oasis’ program, she was able to reconnect with her family and live through challenging days without having to turn to drugs or alcohol.
“I am so thankful for this program (at Oasis),” said a client who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I felt so convicted, yet they’ve accepted me back and are helping me seek treatment and teaching me about relapse, guilt and shame … I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t
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for Oasis.” According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, close to 7,000 residents of Guam are reported by the local Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to be in need of alcohol and/or drug treatment. This roughly trans-
“I am thankful for Oasis and how it helped me grow spiritually,” Renee said. “I am thankful for the second chance God has given me, to better myself and to better my life. I am thankful for my family.” She adds, “Today, I love myself more and I am more confident to go forward in my life.” Across the United States, recovery centers specifically for
women are increasing in number. In a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, fewer women than men drink, but among the heaviest drinkers, “women equal or surpass men in the number of problems that result from their drinking … Female alcoholics have death rates 50 to 100 percent higher than those of male alcoholics, including deaths from suicides, alcoholrelated accidents, heart disease and stroke, and liver cirrhosis.” Although many of Oasis’ clients are recovering drug addicts or alcoholics, the organization also operates the Second Chance Shop and Ready-2Work job training center that provides supported employment services for the disabled. For more information, call 6464601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
Hafa Adai Norm, When we ﬁrst met and you described the concept of The High Road (THR), the concept seemed too good to be true. Then, when it was printed and distributed, it proved to be even better, based on its high-quality design and interesting content! The inspirational and informative articles are great resources for all those who think outside the box and want to be positive and feel good about themselves and those they care about. The ﬁrst ad Mandara Spa ran in THR triggered interest in our services, in various demographics we don’t normally reach. Like most businesses, Mandara Spa has a set advertising budget for the year, but I knew I had to ﬁgure out a way to make sure we were included in the next issues of THR. THR is a quality publication that sparks interest in a wide variety of readers who will either pass it on to their family and friends or keep it for future reference. It’s great to read a magazine where we all can relate and beneﬁt in some way. It feels good to always take The High Road! Julie D. Manglona Regional V.P. Operations, Micronesia
THANK YOU, JULIE. We’re glad you’re taking The High Road!
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Be a great Holiday Dad A SINGLE FATHER’S GUIDE TO THE SEASON
By Len Stauffenger, Esq.
The holidays are here. You love your kids, and you want to be with those little rascals. You want to share all the wonderful experiences that the holidays promise, but you’re divorced—or you are getting a divorce—and you don’t want to share them with your ex. What to do? Here are three tips that will help get you through the holidays:
1COME THE KIDS FIRST! The holidays are for the kids, not you. This does not mean you have to give in and do everything that your ex wants. The most important objective for you to remember is that you are raising children who are going to become adults; you’re not raising children to remain children. They are only going to be little for a few years, and even though it’s hard to imagine, most of their lives is going to be spent as adults. What you and your ex do now will have an impact on them when they are 30, 40, 50 and for the rest of their lives. Every decision you make should be to promote your goal of raising happy, well-adjusted, emotionally stable young men and women. Now, with that in mind, how do you handle the holidays? Start with a couple of simple guidelines: • Accept what is so ... or as I like to say, “Done is done.” It’s a simple concept, but we all struggle with it. You are divorced. You live in separate households. You may or may not be happy about that, but it is what it is, so now what? Usually it means you are not going to have the kids for every holiday. That’s the way
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it is. For some people that is a painful thought, but you can’t change it, so getting upset about it will only make matters worse. • Accept that you are going to have to divide up the holidays in some fashion. It may be Christmas Eve with you and Christmas Day with the ex, or vice versa. If you live in separate towns, it may mean that this year the kids will spend the holidays with you and next year they will be with their other parent. Always keep in mind what is best for your
children. • Recall your fondest memories of the holidays when you were growing up. What did your parents do for you that you still cherish? Why not recreate some of those memories for your children? Perhaps you don’t have the best memories of the holidays. If that is the case, then don’t do what your parents did. Instead, do what you wish they had done. Here’s how I applied these guidelines to my situation. When my kids were little we simply al-
ternated Christmas Day. I got the kids on the even years and their mom got them during the odd years. It would have been easy to be discouraged on those odd years when I didn’t see the kids on Christmas Day, but that was the agreement and based on the situation, it was fair, so there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Instead of being in a bad mood, we simply celebrated our Christmas on Christmas Eve. On the morning of Christmas Eve at my house, when the kids woke up it was just like Christmas morning -- they opened their presents, we had
Christmas breakfast, and we celebrated just as if it was Christmas Day. Don’t try to match up your family life with the fantasy of “the perfect family.” It’s never perfect.
2TRADITIONS START SOME Start a tradition that they will look forward to year after year. It could be something really easy. For example, we have a silly little ritual in my family that on Father’s Day we make hamburgers with brown sugar in them. That may not appeal to everyone, but we’ve been doing it for years and the day would not be the same without it. But truly, it’s the little, simple things that make your kids feel special and secure. Whatever you decide, whether it’s cooking
op an attitude of gratitude. This is one of the most important things you can do to develop a sense of well being and happiness in a young person. Find out what local charities give out free meals on Christmas and volunteer as servers. You will be amazed at the positive effect it will have on your 12-year-old son when he is passing out mashed potatoes to, “the poor people.” You just need to make a couple of phone calls to find out where these events will be held, then make the arrangements to be there. • You and the kids help a family in your town that’s in need. Maybe the kids can contribute part of their allowance. What’s important is that they participate. They have to know who it is you’re doing this for. Maybe put the money in a jar. Set a goal that you are going to buy certain things for that family. Just about every city in the country has an organization that collects money and gifts for un-
Don’t try to match up your family life with the fantasy of “the perfect family.” It’s never perfect. something unique or something else, make sure to have the kids participate in the process. It could be as simple as stuffing the turkey. My kids thought that was “gross,” but in the end they had fun doing it. The key here is to do something with them and be totally with them. Turn off the cell phone and the computer; don’t worry about your boss or your responsibilities at work, or the bills, or anything else. Just spend time completely devoted to interacting with them. See if you can find out something about them that you never knew before. Let them see a side of you that they didn’t know before. Tell them stories about you growing up. You can make it fun and meaningful by interacting with them. If you have the energy, I highly recommend a tradition of doing something to recognize how lucky you are. You want your kids to devel-
derprivileged folks during the holidays. Talk to the people who run that charity and find out how you can be a part of it. It doesn’t take any time at all; you just want to set it up in advance so your kids know how they are helping. It makes your kids feel grateful for what they have, and it teaches them some very valuable lessons. • Recruit your entire extended family into the process. I have a big family. A long time ago we decided we had way too many presents under the tree. We now do something different. On Thanksgiving we draw names out of a hat, then buy one present -- and one present only -- for the person whose name we drew. The rest of the money goes to a needy family or a charitable cause.
3 BE AT PEACE. OK, this one’s kind of a cliché, but think about it. The holidays get really hectic. If possible, do this before the holidays engulf and overwhelm you. Set things up ahead of time so that you and your children genuinely enjoy the holidays. Figure out the schedule of where your kids are going to be, when they are going to be there, and who they are going to be with. Are you going to have the kids on Christmas Day? Plan what you want to do, plan your little traditions or your big traditions. Make the day a memory that your kids will always cherish. Most importantly, if you are spending the day with them, spend it with them. Don’t let your thoughts go elsewhere. Don’t be distracted by other things in life. If you don’t have the kids on Christmas Day, celebrate it with them on a different day, and then do something special for yourself on the actual holiday. This will help you to feel OK about the situation. You are never going to get to do this particular holiday season over, so commit yourself to enjoying it. Whatever your religious affiliation is, I am sure your “good book” did not emphasize “shopping.” Don’t let the world tell you what to do. If there is a certain gift that you want to buy and it’s important to you, great! Even the shopping experience itself should be enjoyable, not frantic. Just remember, it is not things that make people happy, it is relationships. Make the holidays what you want them to be. Yes, there are restrictions. You may not have the kids as much as you want; you may not have as much money as you want. That’s simply what is so. Don’t fight the things you have no control over. Remember the “Serenity Prayer,” which goes like this: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” In other words, if you can’t change it, accept it, and make the best of everything else. ■ Len Stauffenger is an author, Success Coach and an Attorney. He wrote the book Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents. Find out more on his website http://www.wisdomfordivorcedparents.com/
home & garden 11.10
Gardens are more than just a collection of greenery, they can also be an island of tranquility in a hectic life. Superintendent Nerissa Bretania Underwood, Ph.D. has her hands full as the leader of the Department of Education. She’s charged with ensuring that the needs of over 30,000 students at 41 schools are met. Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Underwood recognizes the importance of finding the time to recharge from the demands of her heavy workload. What’s her choice of therapy? None other than gardening!
“Plants are like people, they need care and attention to grow” The High Road paid a visit to her residence in Tamuning where she proved she had two sets of “green thumbs.” Dr. Underwood was happy to show us her flowering shrubs and home-grown foods including eggplant, basil, and peppers. The pride and joy of her quaint garden, however, were her papaya trees which were abundant with fruit. She nurtured them since they were tiny seedlings and they began to bear fruit after about a
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SURROUNDED BY PLANT LIFE 1 Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood and Dr. Robert Underwood, President of the University of Guam, enjoy spending time in their garden. The UOG president recently planted a soursop sapling in their yard as well. year. Some of them had over a dozen pieces dangling over each of their tree trunks. Dr. Underwood planted papaya because she enjoys eating them in a variety of ways. When they’re still young and green, they can be cooked in a traditional Filipino stew and when ripe, they can be eaten chilled and sliced. She also planted basil which she loves to use fresh in her pasta sauces. And, to add color to her lawn, she added several flowering shrubs. The superintendent’s mom was an avid gardener who enjoyed tending to fruit trees and flowering plants. When Dr. Underwood was younger, her mom often tried to convince her to take up the hobby. But, she always shied away from working outdoors where the heat sometimes became unbearable. Over the years, she found the pleasure of connecting with the natural environment and eventually decided to grow her own plants - but under her own terms. She gets up at 4 a.m. to water her plants and pull weeds while the weather is still cool! Dr. Underwood had this to say about her experience with gardening. “Plants are like people, they need care and attention to grow. But, if you give too much of that, you can smother them. There’s a time and a season for everything.” ■
HOW TO GROW PAPAYAS You too can enjoy a fresh supply of papayas – whether you intend to pickle them, put them in a stew, or eat them ripe and chilled. All you have to do is make the effort to grow your set of trees, wait about a year, and you’ll be ready to go!
Follow these steps: • Gather the seeds from a ripe papaya and wash them thoroughly. There is a jelly bag that covers each seed that must be removed completely in order for the seeds to grow. • Dry the seeds in a cool place. • Plant five seeds to a hole with no compost or manure. Make sure they are planted in loamy soil in a well drained area. Fertilizing the seeds this early will kill the seedlings. Be sure to keep the plants moist as they grow. • Separate the male plants from the female plants. The male papaya plant bears no fruit. Determining the male papaya from the female can only be done when the plants begin to flower after
several weeks. Female flowers are larger and grow closer to the branch than male flowers. If you are growing multiple plants save a few males for pollination, if not, discard them. • Fertilize the growing plant with a bucket of compost or manure every other month. Do not apply chicken manure to trees younger than two years. It will burn young papaya trees. • Prune the plants as they grow so they do not become too tall. This also encourages branching. In about one year they will be mature enough to begin bearing fruit.
Tips & Warnings • Papaya trees grow best in hot weather with a lot of sunlight so plant seeds in an area free of shade. • Keep a succession of plants to ensure a steady crop because papayas are a short lived plant and the younger ones produce more fruit. • Papaya plants are susceptible to rotting if they’re over-watered. So, plant them in a well-drained area.
live easy 11.10 By Leo Babauta
The holidays are a time of celebration for many — good food, lots of parties, gift-giving, family and friends, but they can also be a time of mass consumption and hyper-consumerism. I think with all the stresses of this season, and the expectations of our society, we often feel that we must give expensive gifts and throw lavish parties and cook up incredible amounts of food and drink. It’s easy, with all this going on, to forget the true spirit of this season. I had a talk with my kids about how we shouldn’t think the holidays are all about getting gifts. How we should try to find other ways to celebrate, and get more into the spirit of giving. I’ve been reflecting on this a lot recently, and while none of this is anything original, I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts.
A Time for Reflection I also like to remember to take this time to reflect on my life, the year so far, and the direction I’m headed in. It’s a great time to take assessment, to adjust as needed, to figure out what you want to do in the upcoming year. I like to use this time, also, to simplify my life. To remember what’s essential, to eliminate the nonessential. I like to get rid of stuff that’s accumulated throughout the year. Eva and I also help the kids go through their closets to make room for the crazy amounts of stuff they’ll be getting in December.
A Time for Gratitude Thanksgiving often becomes a day of overeating more than anything else, but what I love about it is that I get to get together with my family. I see grandparents and parents, cousins and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews and half-siblings — people I see only intermittently throughout the year, not enough to be honest. We get together and catch up and share our joys and sorrows. Yes, we overeat. What should Thanksgiving really be about besides family and friends? It’s about giving thanks, and too often this fades into the background of the holiday. So I’d like to take a moment to give my thanks, briefly: I am deeply grateful for my wife, Eva, and my kids (Chloe, Justin, Rain, Maia, Seth and 34 the high road NOVEMBER 2010
A Time for Celebration
Take this time and all through the holidays, to cultivate the gratitude habit. It can change your life. Noelle) … I love them all, and everyone else I’m lucky enough to call my family. I am truly, truly grateful to all of you, my readers, for your continual encouragement on my blog, for making my dreams of doing something I’m passionate about come true.
I am blessed to be healthy, to have a great job, to have all my needs and desires fulfilled, to live a simple and joyful life. What are you grateful for? Take this time and all through the holidays, to cultivate the gratitude habit. It can change your life.
While I know some of you are not Christian, for those of us who celebrate Christmas this season is really about celebrating Christ, as well as all that He stands for. The rest of you, I know, have other reasons for celebrating, religious or not. I think this act of celebration is important, because it helps us to remember what’s important, and brings joy into our lives. It spices up life, and who doesn’t need a little merrymaking in their life? I think it’s important to find ways to celebrate without having to spend tons of money. Christmas and the other holidays you might celebrate are not about getting deeply into debt. If your family usually spends a lot of money to celebrate the holidays, it might be
This act of celebration is important, because it helps us to remember what’s important, and brings joy into our lives. It spices up life, and who doesn’t need a little merrymaking in their life? a good time to have a talk and see if there are other ways that you can be merry without a credit card.
help them with a project. If you have money to burn, give it to someone who needs it more. Donate to a good cause.
On Consumerism and All That Jazz
Volunteer for charity. We do this with our kids, from Salvation Army bell ringing (plenty of fun because you sing carols and give people candy) to cooking and serving food for the homeless. It teaches the kids a lot about giving, and warms your heart to help others. Do something nice for people you love. Wash their car, do chores or errands for them, baby sit so they can go on a date, cook them their favorite dish or treat,
I’ve mentioned consumerism a few times now and I think I should say a few words about it. First, let me start by saying I am in no way immune from consumerism — I am a part of it just as much as anyone else, and so I criticize it from within the system, not the outside. What’s consumerism? Essentially, it’s equating happiness with material goods. Buying to
bring happiness and solve problems. Spending more and more — and earning more and more to support the spending — in order to realize the dreams given to us by advertising and a consumerist society. It’s good for the economy but bad for the individual. We end up in an endless cycle of spending and debt and working more and more, and end up with lives filled with goods but empty of meaning and happiness. Well the simple solution is to stop spending, to find other ways to give and to celebrate. But often that requires some changing of deeply-held traditions, and some uncomfortable discussions among families and
friends. It means agreeing to do things differently, and perhaps being seen as a weirdo for doing so. It can be done. We just need to realize that this season is not about buying stuff. It’s about celebrating, giving, spending time with family, reflecting, and gratitude. ■
Leo Babauta is the author of The Power of Less and the creator and blogger at www. zenhabits.net, a Top 100 blog with 175,000 subscribers — one of the top productivity and simplicity blogs on the Internet. It was recently named one of the Top 25 blogs by TIME magazine. Babauta is a former journalist and freelance writer of 18 years, a husband and father of six children.
physically fit 11.10
ask the bone doctor
TAPE might helP sports recovery By Dr. Gregory Miller
Thanks TO its wide exposure during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Kinesio tape is no longer just known to the elite stars of international sports. The list of athletes and organizations that use the elastic therapeutic tape is long and impressive; Lance Armstrong, David Beckham, Serena Williams, participants in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. As shown on Olympic broadcasts, the majority of the teams attending both the Winter and Summer Games use it. Kinesio tape is a flexible tape applied directly to the skin that moves with the body. It can be used several ways.
How it works When applied over a muscle spasm or a strained muscle, the tape can be stretched so that it will either relax or stimulate the affected area. Kinesio tape can be applied over areas of swelling to gently lift the skin to allow for rapid drainage to the lymphatic system. The decreased pressure on the pain sensitive nerve endings has been said to help reduce the pain. This allows the athlete or patient to avoid the use of pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. Kinesio tape is waterproof and can be worn over several days to give continuous relief. It’s being utilized outside the sports world as well. Kinesio tape has been shown to provide some benefit for common conditions such as; lower back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, whiplash, and other common injuries. The tape is cut into strips and applied to the
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skin in a spiderweb-like design to disperse swelling away from the injured area. I often will use Kinesio tape on my achilles tendon after a long run and the relief is felt within 10 minutes. If I’m going to be in a longer race such as a half marathon I will tape my lower leg muscles to inhibit the muscles so they don’t pull on my achilles tendon during the race. Kinesio tape was developed in the 1970s by Dr. Kenzo Kase a chiropractor practicing in Japan. He designed the tape with a texture and elasticity that is very close to that of human skin to allow for support but not restrict the range of motion like the common white sport tape used in the US. The end result of years of research and testing was a tape that is used for the following: • Re-educate the neuromuscular system • Reduce pain • Enhance performance • Prevent injury • Promote circulation To be certified to apply Kinesio tape a practitioner must first attend three symposiums and then pass a final exam. Dr. Gregory Miller is a chiropractor with 28 years of experience and is a Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner. He can be contacted at 637-7926. ■
Can stretching make a child grow taller? Dear Dr. Fitzsimmons, When I was a kid, my mom told me that if I stretched immediately after I woke up, it would promote growth in my body so that I could get taller. It sounds like it could be a Filipino superstition, but if there’s some truth to it, I want to know so I can get my kids into this practice. Thanks! – Renee
when she is older (elderly females are at a higher risk of hip fracture than males). Stretching is helpful in other situations. It is most useful before participating in sports to help prevent injury and potentially improve performance. There is evidence that preparticipation stretching is beneficial for reducing muscle strains, such as a pulled hamstring. Because of this I would recommend a warm up with stretching before participating
“The best way to ensure growth is for children to eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and dairy products.” Hi Renee, Bone growth comes from a part of the bone called the growth plate. Stretching does not make the bone grow any faster or longer. The best way to ensure growth is for children to eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and dairy products. This will give all of the vitamins and minerals that the growth plate requires to grow effectively. Impact exercise (such as sports with jumping) can increase bone strength, but will not cause an increase in height. The increase in bone strength may be particularly helpful in young females. The bone a young girl makes is the bone she will have for the rest of her life. If a girl is able to make stronger bone when she is younger this could theoretically prevent hip fractures
in athletic events. Thank you for your question, Dr. Sean Fitzsimmons ■ Sean Fitzsimmons, M.D. has completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Mount Sinai Hospital and an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at Lenox Hill Hospital, both in New York City. During his fellowship he worked with the New York Jets, New York Islanders, and Division I and II college soccer and basketball teams. He has training in the latest arthroscopic treatments for shoulder problems and knee ligament reconstructions. His office is in the Guam Medical Plaza in Tamuning. If you have any questions for Dr. Sean Fitzsimmons, you can send them to email@example.com
AN autumnthemed floral arrangement will brighten up any holiday feast! In these short and simple steps, we’ll show you how to create a piece that your family and dinner guests will appreciate. You will need: • A medium sized pumpkin. • An assortment of flowers. You can use your favorites, but the ones shown in this arrangement include: Hydrangeas, orange and deep red roses, zinnias, hypericums and red berries. • All flowers were chosen because they compliment the bright orange hues of the pumpkin vase. • Assorted foliage. We used cypress and magnolia leaves. • A round container and foam
Step 1: Carve out a hole from the top of the pumpkin that will fit the size of your tray. Step 2: Secure the foam to the tray and begin arranging the foliage and flowers in order of size. So, Hydrangeas go first, followed by the roses and so forth. Step 3: Fill in any gaps with the smaller flowers and foliage wherever accent color is needed. Step 4:
Place the arrangement on top of the pumpkin hole.
Step 5: Display this arrangement on your feast table, mantle, receiving room or anywhere you want to make an instant holiday impression. You can add additional accents like small gourds or candles. Floral arrangement by Jojo Sy-Quimsiam of Diana’s florist. Photo Credit: Eugene C. Herrera
see clearly 11.10
What is a LAZY EYE?
Understanding and correctING A CURABLE CONDITION By Peter Lombard, M.D.
In August I discussed screening for various eye conditions in children, one of which was strabismus, when the eyes are not aligned with one another. Again, if this is seen in children, an immediate referral to an ophthalmologist is warranted. Adults can also be affected. In lay terms, this is often referred to as having a, “lazy eye,” or being, “cross-eyed.” Either eye or both eyes may be affected, and the eye may turn inwards towards the nose, or out towards the temple. Strabismus in adults has many causes. Up to 4% of adults may be affected to some degree, and often times it’s not ever noticeable or only noticeable at certain times. Medical illness such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, head trauma, and preexisting strabismus from childhood are all contributing factors. If strabismus develops as an adult, the individual may experience double vision. If the misalignment started in childhood, it’s common for the individual to have developed a compensatory, “on and off,” switch to one eye or the other.
The Lazy Eye In one form of adult eye misalignment, commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” one eye will intermittently drift outwards. With attention and effort, the individual can correct the misalignment, but it can be worse at the end of the day, or with eye fatigue. While it may only happen infrequently at first, as years go by it can occur more frequently and start to become a nuisance to the individual. Eye “exercises” may be helpful in this form
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of strabismus, and in more severe cases, surgery is a treatment option.
It has nothing to do with intellect There is a social misconception or assumption that a person who is cross-eyed may have an intellectual disability. I cannot stress enough: strabismus has absolutely nothing to do with a disability of intellect. However, living with strabismus can have noticeable effects on the individual as the condition can interfere with normal social interactions. As such, they may be treated differently by others. They may avoid eye contact and be perceived to have low self-confidence. Because this can be a barrier to good communication, it can also affect occupational opportunities or advancement.
“Which eye am I supposed to look at?” It can be very disconcerting when you interact with a person with misaligned eyes. Making eye contact with someone is an automated interaction which we do hundreds of times a day without thinking about it. In re-
children. Recent studies have determined this is not the case. There are both functional and psychosocial benefits to surgical correction. Functional benefits include improvements in depth perception, stereopsis, and visual fields. Perhaps more importantly, studies have shown patients feel surgical correction significantly improves how they perceive their social interactions, job-related concerns, and the future potential limitations that may have been caused by their condition. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications. The decision for surgery should be made with the patient’s ophthalmologist. Most general ophthalmologists can perform straightforward strabismus surgery, but more complicated cases may require a referral to a strabismus specialist. In adults, this is generally not considered a cosmetic procedure, but patients should verify with their insurance companies if this would be covered. ■
ality, people are very sensitive to other individual’s eye positions, particularly when the eyes are not looking in the same direction. We often recognize immediately that something looks different, but sometimes are unable to figure out what it is. People often wonder, “Which eye am I supposed to look at?” but are very afraid to bring anything up with the person. There’s also a curiosity factor – the natural inclination is to want to look without being disrespectful. It should not be an anxiety-provoking experience. Remember, the individual has probably been Peter Lombard, M.D. comes from a dealing with this for a while, and family with strong medical ties to Guam. the best thing you can do is not He is a Lieutenant Commander in the act abnormal. If it helps, pick US Navy and one eye to look at, or look bewas recently assigned to tween the eyes or at the person’s Naval Hospital nose or mouth. Alternatively, it Guam as the may help to simply ask the inonly military dividual. ophthalmologist on the Treatment island. He attended the Some people with strabismus US Naval do not know there are surgical Academy for treatments available to them. By undergraduoperating on the muscles of the eyes, they may be partially or ate training, and completed medical completely adjusted to achieve school at Johns Hopkins University. The a normal alignment. At one time statements expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the it was thought surgery to correct views of the US Navy or US Government. strabismus was only effective in
SOCIAL STUDIES: THANKSGIVING EDITION A
EVERY MONTH, we invite everyday islanders to have an unfiltered conversation about the topic of the day. Here’s what they said.
Q: Besides turkey or ham, what is a “must-
have” item on the Thanksgiving menu?
have dessert, so we make a variety of ice cream pies. Everyone takes a part in making their pies with their preferred ice cream flavor. We even have a contest on whose looks and tastes best and then that person gets bragging rights for the whole year!
VALDEZ: My sister’s famous baked sweet potato. It takes time to prepare this dessert and we only get to eat this once a year so it is a treat for everyone and we all look forward to it. She makes it so special with all the trimmings on top such as cheese, brown sugar and marshmallow. The aroma is really inviting as the toppings melt when she takes it out of the oven. Yummy!
“Everyone takes a part in making their pies with their preferred ice cream flavor.”
MALAGA: Our thanksgiving meal isn’t complete unless we
VALDEZ: In our family, this celebration lasts all day long until it is time to go to bed! The best part about it is the entire family does things together like preparing the food, praying, celebrating and cleaning up when it is over. My whole family and I cherish this occasion. We believe the real and true meaning of this day is to thank the Lord for all the good things and blessings He has given us.
“All the food was made from scratch, real soul food, which made it even more delicious” - Marc Sablan
MALAGA: I think the best and unique part of our Thanksgiving celebration are the games we put together for the children. We actually incorporated Easter traditions into the celebration
and have a Thanksgiving Egg Hunt. The adults have great laughs seeing all the kids compete with each other to look for the eggs with money and candy
SABLAN: Well, I would say that Bisteak Chamoru with peas and achote are must haves! You can’t forget about the spicy Kim Chee noodles, and Beef Kelaguen too!
in them. Just watching how the children are so carefree and enjoying themselves make us remember how blessed and thankful we are. After all isn’t
A. Alma Valdez Sunga
Business Manager, Triple J Auto Group.
B. Liza Malaga
Co-Owner, Video Queen Café in Agat.
C. Marc Sablan
Music, Band and Choir Teacher, Oceanview Middle School.
this what Thanksgiving is all about? SABLAN: Well, growing up, it was taboo not to attend the three to six family gatherings in one day! All the food was made from scratch, real soul food, which made it even more delicious. Nowadays people are becoming more modernized and make reservations to go to a hotel or restaurant, and all the family members would just meet up. It’s less hassle for all, but also less meaningful. I prefer the home-cooked meal. It’s easier to mingle with each other and the food tastes so much better!
bright ideas 11.10
RAISING A THINKER TEACHING CHILDREN higher reasoning
As parents one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the ability to think clearly, logically, and independently. This is often called critical thinking. Too often in school, children are expected to dictate answers and not question or think about what is taught. As a teacher I have had many students at all grade levels that did not know how to express their own ideas and instead wanted to express mine. When I asked them to write what they thought or felt, they would become very uncomfortable about expressing their opinions. They would often ask for my ideas or opinions, as if I had the only right ones. Part of the blame for this should go to the schools. Traditional education does focus on rote memory more than analysis and synthesis. However, as parents we play a huge role in how our children learn to think and express themselves. To have a strong society, we must have a community of thinkers. Many atrocities have occurred because no one questioned authority. Whereas, all innovation has come through exploration of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. As parents the steps to developing a critical thinker are quite easy and simple to implement even with young children.
RESPECT First respect your children for the individuals that they are. They are not mere extensions of you. They have their own likes and dislikes, as well as their own experiences. Respect their opinions and give them opportunities to express them when appropriate. Children who are confident are much less likely to be affected by peer pressure. Let them decide (within reason) what is right. Give them room to make their own decisions and own mistakes. With my own children even as toddlers I would 40 the high road November 2010
give them the opportunity to make some decisions. For instance, I might ask, “Do you want to use the blue cup or red cup?” or “Do you want to wear your pink shoes or white?” These little things give the child a sense that he can make decisions and his opinions matter.
END CRITICISM Second, don’t criticize. Children who are criticized as a form of punishment tend to shut down and feel they have failed. Criticism invites low self esteem and does nothing to foster learning from mistakes. For instance if my son fails a test and I say to him that he is lazy and that I don’t know how I raised such a lazy boy, I have done nothing to help him learn from his mistakes. Instead of criticizing him, I can use this as an opportunity to ask him: “Why does he think he did poorly?” and “What can he do next time to get a higher score?” We can brainstorm solutions and then after the next test
discuss if they worked. If the solutions didn’t work, we can then formulate new ideas for accomplishing the goal. This goes for opinions as well, when
of the original colonists and their struggle to make it through the harvest. Still, we often forget it was the help of the Native Americans that led to this first supper. We are all very different and children need to be taught that different is not better or worse, only different. If we encourage our children to learn about other cultures and ethnicities, then our well informed children will respect other people’s values as well as their own.
A NURTURING HOME Lastly, establish a nurturing environment. Children thrive in homes where they know they are loved and respected. Remind them every day that you love them and support them. Give them praise when warranted. Encourage children to be responsible and to think for themselves, and to consider the reasons for the rules. Not just the rules. Don’t be afraid to apologize when you make a mistake. Let your children see that you too are human and can learn from your mistakes. By nurturing critical thinking in our children, we help them to become confident in themselves. This confidence prepares them as they enter adulthood to make good choices, because you have taught them how. ■
you disagree, don’t criticize or put the other person down. Instead, explain why you disagree and give your child a chance to do the same.
UNDERSTANDING Next, teach your children to respect diversity. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are reminded
Deane Jessee-Jones lives with her husband, Jay and three children: Jake, Jenna, and Jeremy in Mangilao. She works as an Educational Therapist and Consultant for Brain Builders Guam and Saipan. Send questions or comments to: brainbuilding@gmail. com. For more information on training programs available in Guam and Saipan go to: http://guam.processing-