my labor day weekend

Chamorros who live on the mainland take Labor Day Weekend pretty seriously. It’s one of the only times of the year that many factions of Saipan, Guam, Tinian and Rota ex-pats gather and party. hard. all. weekend. There’s an annual CNMI Labor Day Softball Tournament that brings a lot of my fellow islanders together but this year it was held in Boise so I didn’t make it.

Instead, I chose to perform comedy at a separate event in Camas, Washington–the 11th Annual Labor Day Fiesta.

I was invited by the beautiful Valene who I had met through instagram. Her in-laws and many, many volunteers and family put together an enormous fiesta complete with island food and a full roasted pig. There were booths selling island wares and even a tattoo booth which I’m sad to have missed since my face still needs a teardrop tattoo. Until then I’ll just have to cry for real.

It was the first time they had ever had a comedian perform and as the only female Chamorro comedian on this planet, I was very happy to be the first. It was very different from the bars and clubs where I normally take the stage but the audience was still receptive, especially the guys (what can I say, I’m an old dude magnet, specifically those with joint replacements and/or Lipitor prescriptions). I went on after a massive group danced the electric slide and I said, “I haven’t seen so many Chamorros move in one direction since the tax refund checks were released.” Because back home you have to go and physically pick them up and the line is very, very long. GET IT!?

There were a few interesting moments when my set was interrupted to tell people to move their cars because the cops were out ticketing those who had parked on the side of the road, including mine (eep!), but I genuinely enjoyed myself. The weather was gorgeous, the people laughed. I got to meet Chamorros and entertain them and eat amazing food and for an afternoon I felt so close to my Pacific home, even though I am an ocean away.

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