Puerto Rico Winterim

Saturday 3/18/2023  (Day 1) Written by Ella and Julie

Our morning started at 2:15 am, waking up far too early for anyone. However, everyone was (shockingly) at the airport on time! Our first flight was far shorter than expected, only to be delayed at our layover in Orlando. After a 12-hour journey, we were finally in Puerto Rico, the Rich Port. After a short bus ride, we arrived at the Big Yellow House. Even though the sun was setting, we were still able to take a quick walk and enjoy some warm beach time. Everyone met us with warm smiles and open arms, proving their kind hearts we had been told so much about.
Before landing in PR, we noticed the damage from previous hurricanes. This made us eager to start rebuilding houses, and we look forward to getting to know and work with the community! Brief glimpses of the damage we are here to help repair was devastating but only made us want to contribute more. Until next time, BYE 

Sunday 3/19/2023 (Day 2) Written by Carlie and Madison

Our day began with knocks on our doors from Ms. Deardorff and Mr. Lewis at 6:30 am. We all took our time getting up and preparing for the exciting day ahead. We started with a delicious breakfast. After we were all set and ready, we hopped on the bus at 8:00 am to head into Old San Juan. Once off the bus, we met with our tour guide, Alvin. We learned the history of churches, forts, homes of historic Puerto Ricans, and the colorful town's amazing history. Three of the group's favorites being Casa Blanca, which was built in 1521; Castillo San Cristobal, the largest fort built by the Spanish; and Fortaleza Street. After having fun learning about the unique town and its history, we stopped for an authentic lunch that everyone enjoyed, did some souvenir shopping, and got back on the bus to the Big Yellow House. After a long and tiring day, we took some downtime, got ready to walk to the beach, and hopped in the warm water. The group swam for almost two hours and played football in the ocean. 
We headed home to watch the Puerto Rico episode of Down to Earth with Zac Efron. We learned many new things about the service work we would be helping with tomorrow. The group enjoyed a great meal together and ended the night with cards, cookies, Rafa on the harmonica, and quality time.
We can't wait to start the service tomorrow! Until next time, BYE!