Puerto Rico San Juan

On September 14, 2013 I received my call to serve as a Mission Nurse Specialist in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission for a period of 18 months. I am always up for a new adventure and look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Time flies!

Well, here I am - 2 wks later and a lot of photos to load!  Kris and Eric arrived about noon on the 11th.  I met them at the airport and we immediately headed for Ponce where I needed to meet an Elder for a Dr appt.  I dropped them off at the 'usually scenic' square - happened to be preparations for the university olympics.....beer tents all over the park, ATM machines had been cleaned out to avoid break-ins during the festivities, and the local merchants were boarding up windows as if a hurricane was approaching.  On the way out of town, we saw numerous inbound police cars and ambulances.  On Sat, we took the Catano ferry to Old San Juan for some shopping and went to the yummy Argentine restaurant for dinner.  After Church on Sunday, we returned to Old San Juan to visit San Cristobal fortress.  On Monday, we caught the Fajardo ferry to the small island of Vieques - about 1 1/4 hr ride.  The 0930 tickets were sold out, so had to wait for the 1pm trip.  We stayed overnight at La Lanchita resort in Isabel II on the island and did a lot of travelling around the island.  One of our PR missionaries is from Hawaii and said when he went to Vieques, he felt like he was home.  It was a fun adventure...Eric and Kris got us in places and on roads that I never hope to revisit, but we didn't get lost for very long :o)  We returned to PR on Tuesday and drove to Arecibo on Weds to visit the Camuy Caverns and the amazing Arecibo Observatory.  After a more leisurely day on Thurs, they flew home on Friday.  I pretty much covered the island on Sat visiting sick missionaries and dropping off mail/supplies as I was in the area.  Visited Aguas Buenas and Cidra (West of Caguas), Salinas (South coast East of Ponce), Ponce, Adjuntas and Lares.  That was a 12 hr day!  This week I have been on the road at least part of every day and will spent part of tomorrow locating Orthopedic surgeons in two different areas to evaluate 2 of the missionaries.  I am posting quite a few photos and want to mention that the missionaries in photos gave me permission to post their pictures on this blog.  

Elder Peralta/Peru
Elder Henao/Columbia

L to R - Kris/Eric/Sis & Elder Patterson/Sis Allred

Old San Juan/San Cristobal

Looking from San Cristobal to El Moro

Wild Horses on Vieques
Sun Beach/Esperanza, Vieques, PR (Caribbean side of the island)

Abandoned Navy Bunker - saw lots of those!!
Sunset in Esperanza
Bananas Restaurant/Esperanza
La Lanchita/Isabel II (Segunda) - Atlantic side of the island

Vieques Chapel/Sis Escobar (Guatemala)/ Sis Howell and Sis Crist (US)

Outbound from Vieques on Ferry
Inbound return to Fajardo, PR from Vieques
Fajardo from front window of ferry

Arecibo Observatory Dish

View from inside the Camuy Caverns (South of Arecibo)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quick update!

I have been pretty good at staying out of trouble this week! No 'exciting' adventures for a change. Travels to Rio Grande on Monday and some new territory today - Aguas Buenas (east of Caguas), Juncos (west of Caguas), Carolina and Luquillo (north of Fajardo - on the coast).  Visited 4 missionaries today and discovered the beautiful Playa Azul (Blue Beach) in Luquillo (photos below).  Had an awesome time washing greasy, grimey bedroom windows yesterday - literally grease up to my elbows :o( - elbow grease???  At least, that is done!  The great thing is that I'm not even stiff after all the trips up and down the step stool!  Kris and Eric arrive tomorrow AM, so should have some interesting photos next week....see ya then!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lots of adventure this week!

On Saturday, Sis. Allred and I boarded the train by the office and headed off to Rio Piedras, a stop on the way to San Juan.  We walked through the shopping area and ended up at a 'mall'.  It mostly had fruit/vegetable stands and food court in an air-conditioned building.  It was fun, but a lot of walking.  The food was all very interesting - the best was a pina colada frozen drink.  After we returned home, Kathie came over to watch Women's conference on my TV.  I got a ROKU so we can access BYU channel.  As the conference was ending, I received a call from the Mission Pres - an Elder with Type I diabetes had passed out and the ambulance was enroute in Ponce.  Kathie volunteered to go along which was welcomed since Ponce is nearly 2 hrs away and it would be a very dark ride through the mountains.  Fortunately, the Elder recovered, but wasn't seen by the ER Dr till 2am and had to wait for lab results.  I dropped the missionaries off at their apartment and got home about 9am.  Had time for 2 hrs sleep and then off to Church since I had to play the piano for Sacrament meeting and Relief Society (special musical number).  Survived all that and went to bed early!  On Tuesday, I drove to Rincon, a vacation spot on the NW coast.  The Sisters live very close to the beach.  As it was approaching dark, we drove down the street to look at the beach.  One of the sisters said it was safe to drive on the sand a little - NOT!  As the photos below show, we quickly got stuck :o)  Some members were called and pulled us out with a strap and pick-up - Learned a lesson with
Waiting for the Tren

Rio Piedras Food Court - the pork/rice/beans were all dry :o(

Little lady in pink shirt was cleaning tables hoping for $$

A fun night on the playa in Rincon

And we were out! (tracks were about 9-10 inches deep)

that one, but did enjoy getting my feet in the water!  Wednesday was a trip to Caguas for a missionary Dr. appt that took forever and included xrays at the hospital.  Friday was a marathon day - left at 0700 for a missionary appt in Ponce - 0945 appt - out at 2pm; then off to visit a sister in Ponce and 4 missionaries in Cabo Rojo.  Got caught in torrential downpours on the back roads enroute to Cabo - the GPS even dropped out at one point.  Even though it showed my car was off the road, I knew I was on a good 4 lane highway.  Came home via Mayaguez arriving at 9pm.  Quite a day, but very productive and great kids to visit.  Nice quiet day today - watched conference at home.  Kathie came over - I made potato salad, deviled eggs and sloppy joes with brownies for dessert.  Only problem is that my landlord damaged his car somehow, so he couldn't come fix the washer yet.  Another week in the life!!!