Thursday, February 13, 2014

Puerto Rico - Day 2

We woke up to a phone call this morning at 8:30am.  (Which with the 2 hour time difference, felt like 6:30am, after being up late.)  Ryan told us to be in the lobby "asap." As in, they were all waiting on us.  Well, he learned a lesson today.  Tow girls sharing a bathroom need 20 minutes minimum to get ready for the day. :)

We made it down to the lobby about 8:55, grabbed some snacks from the little market they had in the lobby, and were in a van with a few other people by 9am.  Heading to a port town to catch a catamaran boat to a private island for some snorkeling and beach time!

In the van:  Ryan's dad, me, Shannon, Ryan's mom
 About an hour later, we were in Fajardo, getting a quick run-down of the do's and dont's on the boat, and were headed to the island of Icacos.  (Google image that place.  It's phenomenal.)

The boat docks where we got on

I was just a little nervous for this little outing today,and with good reason.  The last time I did this was in 2006.  I was in Mexico with an old boyfriend, and man did I get sick.  I laid in one spot on the boat all day, trying not to throw up, and ended up with a horrible sun burn.  (And did eventually throw up when I got in the water, only to have a wave throw it all back in my face...)  Needless to say, there was some anxiety that this day was going to turn out similar to that one.  So I popped to Dramamine and hoped for the best.

The boat ride was great.  I was just a little queezy, but really not bad.  I laid down and just enjoyed the view for the hour it took us to get to Icacos.

The closer we got, the more turquoise the water turned.  It was just stunning, and I couldn't wait to get off that boat and in to that beautifulness!

With orders to not go past the point of the island, that's exactly what we did.  Went for a long walk along the beach, out past the coral and around the point/curve to get away from everyone else.  The water was seriously just like bath-tub water.  It was crazy!



While Ryan and Shannon went out for a swim, I sat on the beach and just took it all in.  So beautiful!  Found a couple of cool sea shells but ended up leaving them there.  

We were there for a couple of hours,and I had spent most of that time without any sunblock on.  Oops.  The sun and warmth just felt so good, I thought I would be okay to just be in the sun a little bit to get just a little color.  HA!  I never learn.  

Anyways, the crew sounded the horn and we hopped back on the boat for sandwhich lunch and then set sail to another private island to go snorkeling in better coral.

As we got closer to the other island, you could tell it was just as clear as the other one we were just at.  But this one had big signs on it that said something about guard dogs.  It was really a private island and we weren't aloud to go on it.  But their was great coral around it, so we anchored the boat a ways of shore and hopped in to snorkel.  (I only took a little coaxing from Shannon to go do it...still terrified of a repeat experience from Mexico.)

The private island we snorkeled around
Lucky for me, the Dramamine was doing it's trick and I was totally fine...minus a slow leak in my goggles.  (Salt water sucks in your eyes, just fyi.)  But the fish and the coral...oh man...more than made up for it. 

Ryan had some bread in his pocket and not far from the boat, we started throwing pieces of it.  Almost instantly, we were literally surrounded by these big, beautiful, fish.  And when the sun hit them, which it often did, they just glowed in bright iridescent colors.  I didn't take these pictures, but this is exactly what it looked like where we were snorkeling when we dropped the bread:

I was kind of worn out after 30 minutes or so...even though I wore the floaty around my waist, haha.  So Shannon and I headed back to the boat.  We knew we were getting burnt and decided to cover up.  Clearly  we had had enough sun for one day.

Ryan and Willie doing back flips off the boat before we left

I fell asleep at some point on the ride back (we were up pretty late catching up), and when I woke up, it was raining!  Just a quick little storm, but being out in the ocean when that is going on just freaks me out.  I've decided I'm much more of a hiking/mountain girl than an ocean/beach girl...

Back in the room, we literally had about 10 minutes to change and get ready to leave for the devotional/worship time and then it was straight to the bus for the double-header softball games that night.  While Shannon showered, I just changed clothes and quickly sorted out all of the stuff I had brought for the kids.

And this is what your hair looks like after not touching it all day
...and swimming in the ocean. 
Yikes.  But thank goodness for the curls!

I was absolutely starving and refused to leave without getting something to eat.  So I ran (literally) about a block down the street to Subway and grabbed a sandwich.  Shannon hates that place and went in every single food place around there trying to find anything else that would be quick no avail.  She ended up in Subway right behind me.

Regular menu, but everything was in Spanish!

The big school bus pulled up right on time and we loaded up.  About 20 minutes later, we were at a small local park where the games would be played that night.

So the whole point of the SCEI program is for these guys to kind of bond through a shared experience (softball, in this case) and earn the guys respect through the game, and then in between games, they have a little program kind of thing where they share about God and their faith, give them bibles, and an opportunity to accept Jesus in to their lives.  It's pretty cool, and I think 9 people decided to be Christians that night!  But Shannon and I didn't have much of anything to do with it except pass out programs and fliers to the people in the stands.

We were both hurting from the sunburns, and tried to walk around a little bit, but our legs were both just burning!  We did find some kids to play with and gave out some toys, books, bracelets, etc.

The other team provided dinner after the game...which was lots of beans and rice. And some chicken.  Oh, and I took this picture below because a giant rat (GIANT) had just scampered by on the big metal rafters in the stands above our heads!

The buffet style dinner the other team made for us
We got back pretty late - around midnight I think - and the sunburns were really kicking in by then.  So not cool.  But at least I wasn't the only one that got destroyed on day 1! Ryan and Shannon were both just about as bad as me...and we all (eventually) put on SPF 30!  The water just intensified the sun so much it didn't even matter.

Sleep will not be easy tonight.

Stupid sun.

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