Today started this morning at 3 am after a 4 hour night of sleep. A member of Jeremy’s church, Jim Weaver, came and gave us a courtesy lift to the Denver airport.
We met up with the team- 21 in all- at the airTran ticketing area and then checked in between 4:15 and 4:45, and then en masse wandered through the airport to concourse D to board our plane. Our flight from Denver to Atlanta left at about 6, and we arrived at Atlanta around 11.
After another walk to change concourses, we boarded another plane. Our flight from Atlanta to San Juan, Puerto Rico left at around noon, and after a longer and less coherent flight (due to sleep deprivation), we arrived at a rainy San Juan airport at 3:30.
Once we got 3 vans rented for the team, we rolled out and through San Juan in convoy until we got into Bayámon. It was drizzly as we left the airport and drive through the city.
One of the host pastors gave Scott and I lift to our lodging- an Episcopalian conference center- and pointed out some city sights and talked with Scott as I snapped a lot of random pics along the way. Arriving at the center, the men unloaded their belongings into rooms on one wing of the center, and the women went to rooms on the other side.
After dropping off our stuff, we had a nice group dinner of chicken and pasta with salad and bread, followed by an initiatory meeting together as events of the week were laid out before us. The meal hit the spot, as most of us had nothing since breakfast, and in Scott and I’s case, our breakfast had been one protein bar.
Following the group meeting, Scott and I joined a group of seven women to check out a nearby Kmart, and to pick up some cases of bottled water. It was nice to see we were very much in America at the mall we visited. It featured a Chuck E Cheese, a Home Depot, a Popeyes chicken joint, and a number of other familiar small mall
It’s been a good day. I am very tired tonight, and feel less than stellar with people, as I often do in a new group
of acquaintances. But I am happy to offer what I can in terms of work to serve here. The team here is made up of a diverse and sincere group of people. It will be good to get to know them more.
Two other things. While the air outside is warm and humid, the conditioned air in the dining hall is freezing. And, as night fell tonight, Scott and I heard what sounded like a jungle of bird squawks erupt behind our lodge. It turns out it is birds talking as well as frogs calling. It was a festive welcome for us, on this, our first night in Puerto Rico.
Tired, Scott and I have laughed a lot together today. It has been enjoyable.