This blog is now on a diversion. Work brought me back to my favorite place in the Caribbean, la isla del encanto, Puerto Rico.
I will be here only for a short time, and business begins early Tuesday. However, I arrived rather early on Monday and decided on my half-day off to…
…be a tourista and visit Old San Juan. This is the historic old city, dating back to original settlement by the Taino (native peoples) and more recently, the landing on Puerto Rico in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.
Old San Juan is a very walkable town. The streets are paved with ballast stones removed from the many ships that sailed here. There are many motorcops here — I strongly admire their ability to ride in thick traffic and on smooth, slick stone “paved” rough roads in the old city.
The town is surrounded by a high wall and fortifications, including turrets for cannon in several battlements — the two most famous being San Cristóbal and El Morro — a large fort. Spain used these fortifications to defend this “rich port” (aka “Puerto Rico”) for over 400 years. The U.S. invaded and seized the island during the Spanish-American War. Puerto Rico has been a territory of the U.S. since 1898.
For one-half day, three old friends and I played tourist and enjoyed this walkable city.
We had dinner in the old town. During dinner, the manager of the restaurant recognized me and asked me if I were (my name, in Spanish.) I said, “si”. She then told me rather expressively that she participated in training I delivered years ago, and applied what I taught. As a result, her home withstood the pounding of several hurricanes, including the most recent devastating storm, Hurricane Maria.
She was so happy to see me again that she comped my dinner. I was stunned.
Well today, I get busy-busy-busy. I am uncertain if I will have time to blog more. I’ll try.
Life is short: appreciate the impact you have had — as one friend told me, “while you may never get to count them, rest assured that your work has also saved many lives.”