On Facebook I have a regular informal series titled "Adventures in
Chamorro." It ranges from stories of speaking Chamorro with my
kids, protests, decolonization activism and also teaching Chamorro
at UOG. I have not been on a hike in quite a while and so here are
two stories dealing with hiking and my students at UOG.
Adventures in Chamorro #234: For my Chamorro language classes I
often have them write up some simple love poetry. I normally begin
those assignments by talking about most elderly Chamorros refer to
as traditional Chamorro courtship rituals. As Spanish Catholic
influence made it very difficult for young unmarried men and women
to interact with each other romantically, so much of the courtship
happened in secret or through intermediaries known as
"chule'guagua'" or "basket carriers." It was a time of early-morning meetings
down by the riverbank, sneaking away to the blindspots behind
churches or nights filled with young men, prowling around homes
hoping to get the attention of their beloveds sleeping within.
Sometimes these stories ended with the families approving the
union, sometimes they did not. Students usually remark how
different things are today, although one or two makes a connection
with the "drama" in relationships today, joking that we still find
Chamorro men lurking around homes, although usually for ekgo'
related reasons. Here is one of my favorite poems by a student
writing in that theme.
Gaige hao gi fion-a pgo
Humhanao mona gi kareran-miyu
Lao gagaige ha hao gi halom i korason-hu
Hu guaiya hao
Lao mabokbok i ante-ku
Annai un yute yu
Gagaige ha hao gi halom i hinasso-ku
Yan gaige yu pgo gi hiyong i gima-mu
Adventures in Chamorro #207: I recently took my Chamorro classes on
a hike to Pgat. For those who couldn't make it, they could be
excused if they wrote, in Chamorro, a poem or a reflection paper on
the beauty or the importance of the location. Here is an example of
a poem which was started by a CM101 student, and then when I shared
with with a CM102 student, he added in some extra, humorous
Hu hungok na gof bonito i sengsong Pgat.
Ti sia humnao yu para Pgat samachochocho yu.
Bula antigun na latte...