What better way to to start this blog entry than showing the Puerto Rican flag. And what’s unique about this particular one is that it’s been signed from various travelers to the island. Yes, I did sign it!

BORINQUEN -The Borinquens are very proud of their heritage. And with good reason, we have won the most Miss Universe pageants! Many natives smile here and it reflects in their  beauty and energetic personalities. The name Borinquen (Borikén ) is Taino for Puerto Rico. Tainos are the indigenous people of the island. Their culture and history still remains throughout various parts of the island and the Caribbean. Unfortunately this was one aspect of the trip I didn’t get to explore. Definitely next time!

FELIX -There is so much to discuss about this trip!  My cousin Felix, who I hadn’t seen in 4 years, was my traveling companion and together we explored the island. There was plenty to see with simply not enough time to cover many other areas. Overall we did pretty good. I did shoot some video clips using the IPhone and to captured the exuberance of the San Sebastian Carnival in Old San Juan. All I can say it was a very tight fit walking/dancing through the narrow streets of Old San Juan. Lost Felix in the crowd, but through texting (!!) we found each other 2 hours later! Hey, it could have been worse!


MOSQUITOS – Also the mosquitos truly welcomed me back home. New bites at least everyday! Mosquito netting didn’t stop them and I was concerned about getting Dengue Fever. Thanks to Felix’s insight while at El Yunque Rainforest, there was red clay everywhere and he reminded me about the detoxing aspects of the clay. So I found a bag and filled it with as much red clay I can get and started using it on the bites. And YES, it did soothe and heal with a combination of the tea tree ointment I had. Ahh relief!! I even bought some back for any future needs!

MY FATHER – And lastly spending time with my father. What a wonderful man! He’s 79 years old, still active, wise and stubbornly strong. He lives in the rural area of Pajuil which is a neighborhood district of Hatillo, Arecibo. Lots of lush green open fields with plenty of baca (cows) and horses. This area is developing, but primarily impoverished with a lot of dishelved and abandoned houses. Unfortunately my father has been affected by the government buying houses in this area and is living in what remains of his house. On the same property, he has a mobile home constructed from an empty semi truck container. It’s pretty cool looking, but  it still needs work on the plumbing. He uses the “other” house for his cooking and bathroom needs. His female Rottweiler, Channa, is his protector and companion. A sweet dog but as my father has said “do not trust her”. She does have her “moments” when on guard.

Overall, my father’s health is good and he’s managing well as a mild diabetic. He goes to church which keeps the faith going for him. Though I am growing concern about the pain he is experiencing in his right foot. He walked with me through the caves of Camuy and El Faro (Arecibo historic lighthouse). We took breaks when the pain became overwhelming. But he wanted to spend as much time with me while I was there. I’ve asked him to go to the doctor but he hasn’t. Stubborn!! Last we chatted, he promises me that he will make an appointment “soon”. Nothing to further concern me, dad! He is my remaining parent and our time together was important to us. I learned more about (my own) patience. Tears aside the day I left, we promised to see each other sooner than 4 years. Hopefully by next year .

FATHER’S QUOTE -There is one quote that my father said to me while he was driving and cars were zooming by, “Why are people so desperate these days?” I smiled and didn’t know how to reply. Some food for thought….

HOME – The return home has been a difficult one pondering through many aspects of my life and changes that are further needed. The universe knows what’s in my best interest and I will leave it at that.

GALLERY – After a week and many hours of editing 100’s of  images I finally put together a photo narrative of my trip. I’ll let the photos fill in the rest of my experience. It’s quite extensive. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and chose a song as a backdrop for this slide show. If you find a song I would be curious to know which one.