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Cathedral School Puerto Rico 2020

February 16, 2020

Our First Day in Puerto Rico- a reflection in Rose, Bud, Thorn style.

My Thorn for the day is…
-The humidity! (Nisu)
-Not getting enough sleep last night (Dylan)
-Dropping a “tostone” on the floor — that was a bummer (Drew)

My Rose for the day is….
-The Old San Juan tour was cool- learning about the history of the city, the cobblestones, and seeing all of the colorful houses (Henry and Callahan)
-Getting to spend time with Leo! (Drew)
-Seeing the horses swimming at the beach was awesome! (Everyone)
-Getting to spend time with Drew! (Leo)
-Swimming at the beach (Isaiah)

My Bud for the rest of the trip is….
-Sleeping with AC on tonight! (Andrew)
-Going to the beach (Chris, Sergio, Henry)
-Adjust to the time change and living in the moment (Ricky)
-To catch more waves and nail sick turns/shred he gnar (Ethan)
-Getting some sleep tonight (Henry)
-To meet all of the people in the community who my brother met last year! (Drew)

February 17, 2020

The day began at 7:00. We arose to a tasty breakfast of waffles and eggs. We finished up and packed for the day. We left for Javier’s house and enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the drive. When we arrived, we met Javier’s family, including Vanessa and Carlos, and their neighbors and friends. Because the cement had not arrived yet, we were briefed on the machinery and the large task at hand— to complete two fifths of the roof. The cement bags were delivered, and we set up the new materials around the worksite.

We then began the production of nearly 40 batches of concrete. The process began when the concrete was mixed. Then it would travel through a chain of workers, bucket brigade style, that would pass the concrete to the roof where it was poured and smoothed. We worked until 2PM and took a lunch break. We ate delicious fried chicken!

We worked for another hour, very hot and tired, and came together to make an important decision- whether we should stay to finish the entire roof (at that point we had passed our goal and had completed about four fifths of the roof), or whether we should leave. We voted as a group to stay, and we finished the job! 40 batches of concrete, made up of about 100 sacks of material.

After the hours of work, we went back to the Big Yellow House. We gave up our planned time at the beach for the sake of finishing the project. We all showered, reflected on our day, and happily slept.

-Leo y Drew

February 18, 2020

The day started at a horrible wake up time of 7:30 am. We all rose to sore upper bodies due to all of the hard work the previous day. All of us were tired but pumped to go work in the community of villa del rio. After a long yet happy but ride we arrived. Once we hoped out we were instantly put to work. We were at Samauria’s house. She had a rough upbringing that pushed us all to work to the best of our ability. We were tasked to dog a trench to start the process in building a retaining wall we would pour later in the week. This would allow her house to have support if a natural disaster were to occur. Through cooperation, hard work, integrity, and sweat we were able to get the job done. After our work we were rewarded with a great meal from Maria and a cool down at the beach.


February 19, 2020

The day commenced innocently enough with French toast sticks, eggs, and juice. At 8:32, we mounted the bus and prepared for an absurdly long journey. After two hours that dealt a heavy and ultimately fatal toll to our bus, we arrived at the rainforest. We started our four hours of hard work, which mostly entailed moving trash metal, cutting trees, and uprooting brush plants among a reforestation and research preserve in the highlands.

By 2:30, lunch was ready and our labors were complete. We were treated to a delectable lunch that was interrupted by the news that our bus was, to put it bluntly, stuck in the mud. The bus needed a tow, and the tow truck was about an hour away, which dashed our hopes of splashing around at the beach before the sun sank below the horizon. Our wait was full of both traded jokes and attempts to entertain ourselves among the chickens, dogs, and forest mega-flora. I would like to mention, however, that 3T (the owner of Tropic Ventures) took a lot of time to tell us her story of the hurricane, and what it meant to work hard on a project and lose everything.

At nearly 5, our bus was finally pulled out of the mud and we drove off. We ran into traffic on the road and were subjected to a longer bus ride, with a brief intermission to use the facilities at McDonald’s.

At 7:40 we were at last back at the Big Yellow House where we executed a thoughtful plan devised by Coach Merrit to get us showered and ready for dinner the fastest. The pizza was delicious, and we thereafter went downstairs to begin out instruction in the art of Salsa dance with Yara. After an exciting class, we retired to bed!