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Saklan School Puerto Rico ~ Dec. 2022

December 1, 2022

Hello 8th grade parents!

Today we landed in Puerto Rico after about 11 hours of traveling, including a layover in New York and a loud van ride. In the airport we made collaborative art and played card games like go fish, old maid, BS, and Spoons. Almost everyone got at least 3 hours of sleep on both flights combined, and when we weren’t sleeping we were reading or watching the wide variety of Jet Blue Movies and TV shows. Once we landed in Puerto Rico, we ate pizza and took pictures with the “I heart PR” sign before hopping into Danny’s van. In the van we blared music and sang at the top of our lungs to Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Camilla Cabello. Once we arrived at the Big Yellow House, we settled into our rooms and got ready for the beach. We all went into the ocean for about a hour and a lot of us swam out to the buoy. Then we came home and took showers and played basketball, volleyball and a class game of mafia. For dinner we drank mango carrot juice and had chicken, fish, potatoes, and salad. Then we debriefed with our guide Sam and talked about tomorrow’s activities. Now we are all getting ready for bed and hoping for a little kitten to come snuggle up with us tonight.

Love, Sadie and Kat on behalf of the 8th grade

December 2, 2022

Hello 8th grade parents,

Today we woke up really early to eat french toast sticks. They were very good! After that, we took an hour-long drive to Old San Juan. We toured the city to see different historical buildings. We learned so many facts about Old San Juan. Our tour guide was really funny and could remember so much about Old San Juan. We did a lot of walking and it was very hot but we still had a great deal of fun. We also got to do a lot of shopping for ourselves and our families. Later we got lunch. It was very delicious. After that, we walked around some more and looked at murals about the island’s political status. We all enjoyed learning about the art there. After a long day’s journey, we drove back to the house blasting music. We went to the beach and played in the water for around an hour. Don’t worry, we put on sunscreen. When we came home, we reflected on the wonderful experience today. Then, we played sports and Jenga. We ate dinner, which was really good. Then our class went to the living room with Sam and Penny (our guides) and we discussed the expectations of the work site and the Big Yellow House. We also talked over goals and questions to ask to the community we are going to help. After that we all got ready to go to bed and fell asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

Much Love,
Sonia & Connor

P.S. Some of us got really cool earrings.

December 3, 2022
Hello 8th grade parents,
Today was our first work day. We had waffles for breakfast, which were really good. We then drove to the work site at Villa Del Rio and met William, Sammy, Angel, and Maria. We mixed concrete to make a floor for William’s house. It took us about 2 hours and we were very productive (we actually were productive, we’re not being sarcastic). After that, we ate lunch at Maria and Angel’s house. Maria made us spaghetti, meatballs, white rice, beans, and salad. It was delicious.

After we ate, Angel told us about his experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. We learned a lot about how important community and people supporting one another is to him. Then, Penny and Danny (the bus driver) took us to a bakery and we got the most delicious donuts in the entire universe that were the size of our heads. We’re hoping to go back there tomorrow!

After our tiring day, we got to relax at the beach for almost 2 hours. Some of us swam in the water and played in the waves, while others talked on the beach. We came home and after dinner we played a lot of games and it got very competitive. We still haven’t decided a winner because after 2 games, the teams were tied. We now have some free time to ourselves before we go to bed.
Ani and Eliana

December 4, 2022

We started our day at the Big Yellow House eating a plethora of breakfast food like pancakes, french toast, sausages, etc. After, we packed our bags for the day and left for Villa del Rio at 9. When we arrived we got straight to work on a wall on Williams patio. We first mixed the concrete for the wall. We shoveled rocks into eight buckets for the concrete. We then formed a line and passed down the buckets to Noelle where he poured the rocks into the concrete maker. We then shoveled sand into the buckets and formed a line again. We then passed the sand down and poured it into the concrete mixer. The helpers poured the concrete into a wheelbarrow. They then shoveled the concrete into buckets for us to pass to the wall mold. We passed the buckets to someone who poured the concrete into the buckets. We finished the wall after 2 hours.

William then showed us how to cut and make rebar rings for building columns. We all got to work on cutting and molding. While others were making the rings everyone else started priming the walls for painting tomorrow. We finished at 1:30 and went to Angel’s and Maria’s house where we had wings, rice, pasta, and salad. As we were getting ready to eat, an old fashioned ice cream truck rolled up the street. Penny was very kind and bought us some ice cream to eat after our lunch. After lunch, we drove back to the yellow house where we got dressed for the beach. We hiked up to a peak and saw the view of the island. We walked back to the beach and swam for a while. We got back to the house where we ate pizza and drank apple juice.We then played a team game where we balanced an orange on a tongue depressor. We threw a glow stick on a water jug then ran back. We finished up the day with a next day debrief.

Much Love,
Roya and Danny

December 5, 2022

Yesterday we woke up around 7:30 and had french toast sticks and yogurt for breakfast. Then we left for the worksite and we painted, tied rebar columns, bent rebar rings, and one group started making desserts for later. We had lunch at Maria and Angel’s house again, and she made spaghetti, rice and beans, chicken wings, and salad. We came back home and got more of the amazing big donuts then went to the beach. After we got back from the beach we showered then went back to the worksite which had been cleaned up for a christmas party. We decorated William’s tree, and had chicken and rice for dinner as well as snacking on dessert that Eliana, Soni, and Connor had made. Then we watched a small firework show then headed back to the Big Yellow House for our salsa lesson. Our instructor Yara taught us a basic salsa step, and we made a salsa circle and danced around. After salsa we got ready for bed and went to sleep.

See you soon!
Chase & Sadie

December 6, 2022

Dear 8th grade parents,

Today was super exciting and fun. The first thing we did was get up to eat pancakes. They were very yummy. After that, we headed up to the only tropical rainforest in the U.S.! It was extremely fun and the plants were very beautiful. We all went swimming in the Rio Mameyes river. It twas really cold! We then hiked back up to the van. Then we drove to lunch listening to loud music. Mostly Taylor Swift. Lunch was super AMAZING! Subsequently we went shopping and probably spent too much money. There were also really good virgin Pina Coladas and Mojitos. After that we headed to our new hostel. It’s called Casa Coral. We ate dinner and got ready for a bioluminescent bay kayaking trip. It was really pretty. We ended the bio bay kayaking, and finished the day off with relaxing face masks.

Great Pounds Of Love,
Soni & Connor