It was another amazing day in Guam. My day began with my arrival at the Guam Council of the International Reading Association meeting at the Nikko Hotel in Tumon Bay. I was scheduled to present an hour and fifteen minute workshop to the membership. After membership business and before my workshop began, the Talafofo Cultural Dance Group presented a beautiful Chamorro dance.
The group consisted of musicians playing and singing traditional Chamorro songs with children singing and dancing. The children were gorgeous, graceful and dynamic. The dance was so inspirational, it moved me to tears. Seeing the children engaging in their cultural heritage with such spirit was an amazing experience. Biba Chamorro!
Following the dancers, I presented my workshop called “Story Safari,” a combination of “Handmade Tales,” “Kamishibai Story Theater,” and “Story Fest.” I demonstrated three “Handmade Tales” – “Joseph Had an Overcoat,” “Bandana Man,” and “Pulling Up the Sweet Potato.” I then explained the Kamishibai Story Theater Process. Afterwards, every member of the audience participated in presenting two of my story theater scripts, “The Turtle Who Could Not Stop Talking,” and “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” The teachers were incredible! Unfortunately, my camera battery died and I couldn’t take pictures of their presentations. 🙁 But the feedback was phenomenal and we are talking about a return visit for a longer professional development session. They wanted more! 🙂
Look at how beautiful the stage is decorated! Great job, Evelyn and Tina! You are phenomenal women. My resources (books and CDs) sold out. Yay! Many of the teachers told me that they were “inspired” and “motivated” and can’t wait to implement the techniques they learned in their classrooms. What a privilege it was to present to this creative and warm group of people. I am so touched by their hospitality and generosity. Following my workshop, I was presented with more gifts – a tote bag, a t-shirt, a certificate of appreciation, and a stunning tea leaf and orchid lei handmade by Cyndy Pruski, with flowers from her own backyard. Thank you, Cyndy. I am so honored!
Afterwards, I had lunch at a Japanese hibachi restaurant called Joinus with my hosts, Tina, Evelyn, Cyndy and members of the board. Our chef gave us a spectacular show – it was so much fun! After lunch, Tina, Evelyn and Cyndy brought me to Chamorro Village, where I indulged in retail therapy and purchased delicious Guam chocolate and cookies, handmade artisan crafts, and unique native jewelry.
When I returned to my hotel and unpacked my workshop suitcase, there was one more surprise waiting for me – a stack of letters from students of Harry S. Truman Elementary with a thank you note from one of their teachers, Verna Mendiola. So sweet! I <3 U, Verna! This letter is from third grader, Chloe Reyes:
This letter is from third grader, Devin Topasna.
Tomorrow is a full day of fun! I will be picnicking at Ritidian Beach with my new friends and then going to a Polynesian show at night. I am so blessed to be with such warm, hospitable people here in Guam! I have been deeply touched by everyone’s kindness. Their warmth and spirit will forever be imprinted on my heart. Si Yu-Os Ma’ase’! Thank you!
Until next time,