Guam sits like a jewel in the tropical Pacific, a paradise of beauty and contrasts. Roughly shaped like a boot thirty miles long and ten miles wide, the island contains high cliffs, white beaches, and swaying palm trees. Jets spew vapor trails in the bright blue sky as waves topped with white foam break away from the sea, washing ridges in the sand of the beaches. The Pacific lies beyond, a deep blue, untinged by gray or green.Sometime every day, some part of the island receives rain. One resident may find rain pouring in his backyard while the sun shines in the front. One neighbor may work in his yard while another watches a shower from his window. A short time later, skies clear over all the isle.Across the road from the outer edges of the housing projects stand the boondocks, a tightly woven mass of vegetation, the island jungle. At night the mating call of the wild bucks can be heard, followed by the pounding of hoofs and antlers as two amorous males fight over one doe. The snort and bellow of the wild boar echoes in the late dark hours of the tropical night.The beach glistens under the warm winter sun as bodies of different shades of brown, black, white, and sunburn parade in and out of the water. Native Guamanians swim side by side with military and civilian personnel from the military bases. A coral reef nearly one mile toward the ocean separates large waves from the beach. At each end of moon-shaped Tumon Beach, a towering cliff stands guard. Away from the sunny area of the sand, palm trees stir in the gentle breeze. If one looks closely, native huts can be seen far back in the trees.With little warning, the serene blue skies and calm sea can turn into an inferno of wicked winds, pounding rain, and black skies when a typhoon hits. The rain seems forced through the walls by the fierce winds that whip, that drive the storm. The typhoon, the enemy of the islands, sweeps over and through with extreme destruction, laying waste all that does not yield before its fury.Guam portrays calm seas and whipping waves; jet trails and wild boar; native huts and housing projects; white sands and military bands. The paradise, a place of beauty, a place of contrast, lies like a jewel in the Pacific.