“What are you?”: this is probably the only thing that has bothered me. Sometimes people will look at me in disbelief and actually question what I tell them as if I were lying!
My biological father is Chamorro and Chinese while my mother is Spanish, Italian, and 1/4 American Indian. My mom remarried my adoptive father who is German. Since then, they have had three kids who are all pale with very light hair. Going out as a family has always been interesting: “Oh, you brought a friend?” Many people fail to realize that I am actually a part of the family verses a mere friend. It has become more amusing than anything else, surprisingly.
I’ve been blessed in the department of diversity. Thankfully, we were a military family and were constantly relocating to a new melting pot every two to three years. Raised an Army brat for 16 years, I ended up joining on my 17th birthday. Even today it still amazes me at how diverse a community can be.
However, it wasn’t until recently that I was given the chance to experience one of my cultures to a degree. I’ve had a few encounters with the Chamorro community here at Ft. Leonard Wood. I desperately wish I could speak that language! My biological father’s family knows Chamorro and Chinese fluently. (I’m jealous) Since my mom remarried, I lost that chance to learn the full culture of Guam since I raised very ‘American.’
I love and appreciate the diversity within myself now. I absolutely love reading about Guam and Italy since they are the most predominant cultures in both sides of my family. So far, I’ve been given the opportunity to tap into my Asian roots when I lived in Korea for a year. Recent plans for Italy have been made and Guam is up next!
P.S – Rosetta Stone should totally make a Chamorro course :)