My name is Michael Powell. I am a recent transplant to Guam from Seattle.
There are alot of Seattleites and Washingtonians here and my history here is nothing new to my family. My aunt lived here and raised her daughter here for several years after being born in Walla Walla, Washington.
The particular interest and mission point of this blog is the hefty issue of special needs on Guam. The schools here are generally short on resources and the children here are tough handed, to put it mildly. A trip to Public Health will remind you quickly that special needs children are present here as much as anywhere else and attention to them is a paramount need.
I hope to make this website a sister site to sites such as Guam Animals In Need. Despite the uglier elements of Guam's culture (which includes brutal animal abuse), there are forces on this island that seek to progress the culture and the laws to bring civilized attitudes and elements. This website strongly commends efforts by the territory's legislature to make animal abuse a misdemeanor. We don't seek to condemn or act holier than thou than anyone else, but we do seek to provide a voice for people who otherwise do not have one.
While here, I personally witnessed a child - Phillip was his name - chase a small dog with a long stick of bamboo. Once he isolated the dog in his room, he thrust the stick into the dog again and again and again. The child lived right next to me and literally shook my bed as he exercised his sick sadism. I had never witnessed anything like it and - suffice it to say - afterwards I looked at him much the way I assume he looks at dogs. An attitude of ambivalence towards dogs is fairly standard on this island, and dogs can be seen either guarding someone's backyard or straight up running through high traffic with no one running after them. (If that happened in Seattle, people would freak out and cars would stop. Not here!)
I do not want this website to be a one man show. If you live in Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Hawaii, the Phillipines or elsewhere in the vicinity of the Pacific Ocean and have disabled loved ones (or are impaired in some way yourself), I would greatly appreciate it if you contributed your story.
Thank you and please stay tuned.