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Saklan School Puerto Rico 2022

March 24, 2022

Through the fields of La Fortaleza, to the hundreds of cats along the way, Puerto Rico has been a blast that we will never forget. We started off the day early, with a breakfast buffet of sausages. eggs, and toast, leading into a tour with our buddy, Alvin, who brought us on an adventure through the cobbled streets of Old San Juan. We visited churches, museums, and of course, La Fortaleza, and loved every minute of it! The museum of an old over-achiever showed us how dedicated and driven people can be. Both the churches and La Fortaleza proved the almighty architecture of old. After a trek through the beautiful streets of this beautiful city, we went and had lunch at a Puerto Rican restaurant, where we devoured plantains, tres leches, and assorted meats. An energy boost of cultural goodness allowed us to push forward and enjoy another fort, where we ran through dungeons and climbed up old stairs.

After some rest and a long bus ride home, we got to quite literally jump in to some lukewarm water, where we continued to laugh, play, and pick up random pieces of trash, such as a chair, at the nearby beach. Other incredible moments included a double rainbow during Puerto Rico’s many weather mood swings, playing Cards Against Humanities after dinner, and spending time with, OJ, the pregnant cat who drops by us every now and then. The first full day of Puerto Rico has been amazing and we hope that each one is like this.

– By Ryan and Anessa

March 25, 2022

In the morning, we woke up to two Roosters screaming at the top of their lungs at the peak of the morning. We then had a very nutritious breakfast including waffles, yogurt, and some scrambled eggs. Then, we got on the school bus and they took us to a construction site. We then worked very diligently on a house for Wilfredo. William and Angel instructed us on what we should do. After that we went back to the beach and had so much fun in the ocean! After ocean time, we went back to the Big Yellow House for the rest of the day. We had a very healthy and tasty dinner including cilantro rice, grilled salmon, and cooked chicken. To finish the day off, we had a 90 minute salsa dancing lesson and learned a lot about Puerto Rican salsa culture. In conclusion, the day was very enjoyable and eventful!

-By George, Conner, and Bjerre

March 26, 2022

In the morning, we woke up, got ready, had breakfast then went on the bus. We took the bus to go to the worksite and help out with rebuilding a house that had fallen due to the hurricane. There was a very nice dog there. While we were at the house, we helped make cement. The 12 of us were divided into groups of 6, one for rocks and one for the sand. We non-stop shoveled sand and rocks into buckets where the adults proceeded to place them in the mixer. If our bucket fell in the mixer and we reached in, it could take your hand off (Si nuestro balde se bajo en el batidora, se puede sacar tu mano!), so the adults took on that responsibility. After we mixed the concrete over 10 times, we had filled the hole where the septic tank was being built. After that, we went back to the Big Yellow House to get ready for a nice few hours at the beach. We found a cracked Go-Pro in a bed of seaweed, but unfortunately it stuck to the ground and could not be retrieved. After refreshing a bit, we went on a walk to a nearby island close to the place we were swimming in, where we took pictures. There were crashing waves and nice sand on our feet, with palm trees swaying around us. After that we had a nice walk back, where the water was warm, and there were fishermen near the shoreline catching a ton of crabs! We soon came back to the Big Yellow House where we had (Virgin) Pina Coladas prepared by one of our tour guides, Annika. Later that night, we had pasta with a choice of marinara or alfredo sauce. Lastly, we had games and the two teams competing were “Los Pollos Hermanos” and “yes, YES!”. The games ended in a tie because everyone is a winner at The Saklan School! We had a very nice day and we can’t wait for tomorrow!

– By Zoe and Alessandro

March 27, 2022

Today we went to a different work site than the other days. We went to Bryans house and met up with William, Angel, and the team. We all had different tasks. One was shoveling sand and rocks into a wheelbarrow for Mr. Javier to take down to the cement mixer. Other people shoveled cement into buckets and then took them up to where the cement was being poured. After we did our job, we went to Maria’s house and ate a scrumptious lunch. While at Maria’s house, we reflected on our work from the past three days. William and Angel spoke about how grateful they were for us and how our work has helped their community. After we said goodbye and hopped on the bus, we went to the beach and washed away the concrete from our skin. Once we were back at the BYH, we journaled and got ready for dinner with the community. We enjoyed the food, and said our last goodbyes. Before William left, he gave out bracelets to show his appreciation and so we will never forget this experience.

-Evie S., Cassidy M., Thomas B. III

March 28 & 29, 2022

We’ve never had an experience like we had in Puerto Rico. To start off the day yesterday, we woke up to a delicious breakfast of pancakes and sausage. We then hiked to a river in a luscious rainforest called Vereda Angelito, where we swam and jumped between rocks watching the water flow between our feet. After that, we went to an amazing shopping center where we dined on fish, chicken, and plantains. The class also shopped for small treats and souvenirs in that area. After shopping, we arrived at the beautiful hotel we would be staying at for the last day in Puerto Rico. At the end of the day, we kayaked at night through the stunning Bahia Bioluminiscente Las Croabas Fajardo bay. The bay is covered with bioluminescent plankton. This means if you stick your hand in the water, it will light up. Navigating a kayak in the dark was hard. There were some bumps and shenanigans that happened while kayaking, but overall, the eighth grade class did really well. Today we’re leaving Puerto Rico, and I can definitely say it was worth it.

-Ari C. and Milo D