Diantre, Puerto Rico is brutal.

…meaning that it is awesome. Ay, Puerto Rican slang will be the death of me. Not to mention the accent. But it was a great little challenge for my amateur Spanish. 🙂

I really have few words to express what this trip has been like. I learned so much about so many things and met some great people and saw some breath-taking scenery and had some inspiring conversations. This trip couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I am transitioning from college to who-knows-what and I just spent seven wonderful days feeling free, loving life and seeing the future as full of possibility. I can say that I am refreshed and have a clear and clean perspective. Trips like these always teach me lessons about being adaptable. (which i still need to learn majorly) But in Puerto Rico, I learned a little something about enjoying life and not taking the simple things for granted. Being spontaneous. Being fully present in the moment and appreciating relationships with friends (old and new) but letting go of those that keep you emotionally captive. I feel as though I came home with no regrets and a heart bursting with happiness. We saw all the sites we wanted to and did everything imaginable on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. We didn’t really leave anything unfinished. It definitely satisfied my traveling itch. The trip felt complete. Since it would be such a challenge for me and quite a bore for you if I tried to fit every detail of my trip into a blog post, I am going to share a little. There were several moments that I could have sworn were taken right out of a film.

  • At one point on the trip a few of us were walking along the beach in the pueblo, Condado, at night and approached the back of a nice hotel where a wedding reception was being hosted. We could hear the music and could see inside because the majority of the wall was glass windows. The wedding party and guests had surrounded the bride and groom on the dance floor and everyone was having a blast dancing to Neyo and the Black Eyed Peas while colored lights flashed all around them. One guy noticed us standing by the glass and came up to the window with his hand extended. My friend, Giannina, put hers out like a lady offering her hand to dance. He pretended to take it through the glass and they both started dancing and jumping around to the music, she in the sand and he in his rented tux. It was like a perfect scene from a movie.
  • A lot of the people we hung out with through the week were musicians and singers and I could have spent all my time on the island just listening to each of them play/sing. Some of my favorite music moments were: listening to the beautiful harmonizing voices of Giannina, Ariana and Soreimy sing traditional Puerto Rican songs on the coastal cliffs of Cabo Rojo at sunset; visiting the studio of producer/composer Eduardo Reyes and hearing him play songs on the keyboard in an empty Cuban restaurant while Giannina sang; watching students dance traditional Bomba to the beat of lively drums; the two great street musicians playing Sin Bandera on the guitar and violin; listening to the live salsa band that played while we danced in Latin Roots.
  • The natural beauty. Mountains. The sea. Sunsets. The moon. Cliffs on the coast. The shore, waves, sand. A rainbow.

“The higher the mountains, the more understandable is the glory of Him who made them and who holds them in His hand.” -Francis Schaeffer

  • Dancing! What a perfect last night to our trip we had. After watching the sun set over the sea, we made our way over to a plaza to see a class practicing the folkloric Puerto Rican Bomba dance. The girls I was with, Gia and Flavia, had taken the class and knew the steps and knew some of the students who were dancing and playing percussion. The dance is driven by drums and includes stiff arm movements, twirling skirts, fluid torso/hips and a lot of stomps. It was brought to the island by Africans years ago. It is beautiful. I watched them dance then put on one of the full skirts and tried it myself!! Of course I did not know what I was doing so I made up my own Bomba steps. 🙂 From there a small group of us went to dance salsa, merengue, bachata and cha-cha at Latin Roots. ¡Qué rico bailar salsa! It was a great end to the trip.
I made great friends and learned interesting things about PR’s history, politics, environment and people.
Puerto Rico, you will always be close to my heart.

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