PLAIN ENGLISH

Maureen N. Maratita

We who live in Guam frequently note how hard Guam, the Northern Marianas and our region of Micronesia are trying to avoid COVID transmittal. Though we are small islands, if you are reading this outside of our region, positive numbers in Guam have risen over 350 and Saipan is sitting at 42 cases.

Though our economies have tanked, we feel safer here than we would be in other places and are sometimes a little complacent about that. We never had the debate about wearing masks or not, nor did we confront each other about it.

It’s sometimes tiresome to wear a mask, but that’s not really an issue. People are so considerate of each other. We call that inafa maolek in Guam — which has a meaning of just getting along in harmony — but really that’s just plain decency showing its face. …

Despite our initial tendency to hunker down at home, in Guam we are now “gathering,” (such a genteel word) as permitted by our administration.

I enjoy my house, but the more I stay home in my free time, the more I notice that we could improve this and change that. …

My husband and I gathered — at a venue, but privately — with a small group of friends, two of whom (alas) are leaving island.

Before we had dinner, the couple who are leaving thoughtfully passed out some premium beverages from their bar. The gifts were bitter-sweet, and a reminder of all the years we have been friends and raised glasses (and plenty of them). …

People have begun to head out for vacation — though as we are on an island whose government has not yet developed “tourism bubbles” or “safe corridors” — their choices are limited.

“Be careful,” we say. Especially if they are heading for a hot spot in the U.S. mainland. (“Hot spot” has a new meaning.) 

And I notice a certain schadenfreude among people who have no intent to venture beyond our shores now, but would also love a vacation …

I’m thankful to our civic organizations, who are organizing um, gatherings. 

The Guam Chamber is planning a Congressional Forum on Aug. 19 — in-person and virtual. That’s definitely not an event to miss. …

The Saipan Chamber is organizing a Small Business Open Town Hall Forum on Aug. 5 to allow businesses (one person per business) to share their experiences with government leaders.

Which government leaders will be brave enough to attend? …

And lastly, to remind me that life goes on:

A conversation with a fellow businesswoman began with the news that she has just become a grandmother.

What followed was a discussion on long-distance grandparenting, acceptance of the Granny title (tough), and an exchange of digital photos. …

As another reminder, I drove into our group compound the other morning and headed for the reserved parking — only to find that a chicken was occupying all the spots — walking back and forth and pecking away.

I revved the engine. The chicken took no notice.

And took its time heading off.

There should be a chicken joke at this point. I certainly laughed. …

 

— Maureen N. Maratita is the publisher at Glimpses Media. Publications at Glimpses Media include the Marianas Business Journal, MBJ Life, The Real Estate Journal, Guam Business Magazine, Beach Road Magazine, Buenas and Drive Guam.