I wanted to dedicate part of the website to the Inifresi book by Dr. Dungca.
Over a year ago I had the honor and privilege to illustrate Dr. Dungca’s words into a children’s book which is apart of a Song Book Series for UOG press;
I’ve learned through stories from her students, co-workers, and those who knew her well, that Dr. Dungca was “a force to be reckoned with”. I learned that she had no time for BS and that it was her faith that gave her strength as a CHamoru Pro/ activist. You can feel that ’force’ within her words of the Inifresi.
I’ve never met Dr. Dungca, but i remember reciting her words every morning as the whole school stood and said the Inifresi out loud. At the time, it was just words. As an adult with children, the Inifresi is everything. Although I’ve never met her, I feel like I have been introduced to her my whole life. I feel like I know pieces of her heart through her powerful words; it was only appropriate that I try to do the same with the images I created for her.
“I mås takhalom gi kurason-hu”
I let Dr. Dungca’s beautiful words guide my thoughts and heart while creating these illustrations. I prayed that I was able to create images that Dr. Dungca would approve and be proud of. I hoped that the book would be a book our children would be proud of.
The characters were imagined as my future grandchildren. When my mom saw the book, she saw herself as one of the main characters when she was younger…running through the jungle. This is what I hope the images would do; for everyone to see themselves in these characters and connect with the characters in a loving way.
When opening up a children’s book, it is rare to see surroundings our kids are familiar with. It is rare to see characters with their beautiful brown skin tone. It is rare to read a book so lovingly and poetically written in their ancestors language. Because of this, I felt it was very important for me to create characters our children can identify with.
I wanted our kids to see themselves in a book written by a powerful author. I hope by doing this it would inspire and empower todu i Famagu’on-ta.
Bula Guinaiya was put into this book…from Dr. Dungca’s words, to the images, to the people behind the scenes at UOG press putting the book together.
si Yu’os ma’åse’