July 12th, 2010 As expected, my writings will always be scattered across here and there, especially while traveling. (Limited internet access and sporadic events.)
Much has happened through out the last few days...
For one, ESPAÑA won the world cup yesterday for the first time in history! Which means much of Spain, Puerto Rico, and Latin countries took off today in celebration. The first half was less well played than the second in my opinion, but it was a great game. Many yellow cards were called in play, but that was expected for the finals. In any case, the Netherlands were equal opponents, it's fair to say if another game were to be played, it could easily go the other way.
Spontaneity. I was lying in in bed when an unexpected knock came at the door around nine in the morning, "Who's there!?!?" It turns out family friends who I didn't know had heard I was in the area and stopped by to my surprise while looking for Fecca/Felipe. (We never found him.) I looked outside and saw an eight-person boat parked down the road, it didn't take long for me to roll out of bed and into my sandals!
Aguirre surprisingly has beautiful secret beaches; Claudio had once taken me there (Snorkeling) when I was sixteen so I knew what was to come, which made me even more excited. I helped drive the truck and set the boat into the water, it was a Beautiful day. The water was choppy at times so it was like speed racer and rocket launching all at once. We sat in the sun for a few hours, I caught some black spotted red and orange tropical fish while using a very simple tube with line wrapped around it. It was amazing to see the shore from the other side, it helps set into context the family stories I hear of early beginnings.
We traveled to a few small islands and eventually anchored in a local tourist spot. (People come from all over PR and Internationally.) What can I say, the water was clear and sparkling, and people were listening to music and just having a great time! It was much different than the Pozuelo beach I visited this week.
A lot of Puerto Rico has a third world country/lost industrialization aesthetic, but it also has sublime views and vibrant energy. I love the architecture here, it reminds me of the Bauhaus combined with certain elements from France and Spain. (Ornate iron fences and Caribbean colors set against gardens.) I daydream of communities to be built in the idea of function, conceptual layout, and alternative energy. I question why Africa's infrastructure has yet to reach it's potential, and I'm in awe of the way Puerto Rican homes use plastic piping to irrigate house hold water to outside plants; So simple and effective.
I want nothing more than to take all of the colors here with me.
The people here are so helpful and friendly, I'm always met with a casual smile and coffee by neighbors. The local kids I've become friends with over the years are constantly looking for me and asking me all about NYC and if it's true that Asian people live there. (Lol, So many innocent questions.) I find myself playing pool and dominoes on many late weeknds. The air is different here, and I can always find the candy store from down the street open at eleven at night. People have a slow casual way of doing things, and I really like it. I enjoy the coffee and everything around me that I cannot see but know is there.
Today I ended up visiting the cemetery, Felix and my grandmother are buried there. The coffins always sit ABOVE the ground mostly due to what I imagine is the water table. One of my earliest memories is of carefully playing with rocks set upon a grave... It's a Beautiful place. I came across a few children's coffins with toys set atop of their gravestones, which is always unsettling. My father was there and showed me his cousin's marker who passed away when she was ten, no one knew the illness she had. My grandfather is buried there somewhere, mysteriously lost by an unmarked and forgotten marker. (I know it doesn't really make sense, but it's true.)
There are a few things that are just completely different here than back in the U.S. I already talked about the showers... BUGS! I swear, seeing ants crawl here and there is like my breathing of air, it's just natural! Local fruit and organic food here is great, but I find imports always sketchy. Boxes and containers are commonly found in aisles warped and dinged. (At least that is my experience; the more you go out to the cities the better quality, but this description holds true to the suburbs.) My cereal is constantly turning stale and ants always find your sugar, even at times in the refrigerator. Homemade/Local food is amazing! (I'll write more about that later.)
Today was particularly surprising because a knock at the door revealed an older cousin who everyone believed to have passed away after disappearing. I hadn't seen Will since my early teens, memories resurfaced as I reminded him about the Atari and case of cartridge games he had once given me. I always enjoyed our conversations; he's a very intelligent individual and knows a lot about computers and electronics. (He has always been into inventing and modifying useful technology.) We sat in the living room talking for a good while about alternative energy, the government, time machines, and a water powered car that he's been working on...