2022 Life Logs, Day 322: Puerto Rican Festival; Water Walks
Date: Friday, November 18, 2022
Weather: Sunny, High 85, Low 74 degrees F
Location: At Home with JJZ&C, Rincon, Puerto Rico
Ziggy and Coco attend a small private school called Foresta and today they hosted a Puerto Rican festival for the families of students. We dropped Ziggy and Coco off at 9 am and then headed to the beach to take a walk while waiting for the festival to begin at 10 am. We went to the beach near the school, Corcega Beach, a beach I had never been to before. It is a beach lined with homes, hotels, and condos that were built way too close to the water, and since Hurricane Maria in 2017, much of the beach has disappeared and structures are at the water’s edge. It is a beach where sea turtles come to lay their eggs, and when one of the condos tried to rebuild a swimming pool on the beach, the people went to court to claim their rights to a public beach and won. Many of the condos are truly beach front as high tide comes close to the structures. But we had a delightful walk sighting birds and one turtle in a wet area beyond the beach.
Then it was back to Foresta for the festival. All of the students were invited to sell the products they have been making as part of an entrepreneurial unit of study. Coco and her friend Maya were selling plants, cookies, and juice and were thrilled that they made over $50. All of the entrepreneurs were girls as all of the boys declined to participate. So, Ziggy was just hanging out with his friends Caleb, Tommy, and Marlowe. Justin took me for a tour of the property. There is one permanent structure that houses the pre-k and kindergarten students. You then walk by classrooms under tents for some grades, cross a practice field and come to some portable buildings that house the older students. My favorite thing was an outdoor pencil sharpener attached to a utility pole!
We were then treated to entertainment by the students. The youngest students sang the Rincon anthem and danced the Salsa. Four and five-year-olds were paired as couples for the dance and they were unbelievably cute. Then girls in grades five through seven danced the Bomba. This was Coco’s chance to perform and perform she did. The dancing was followed by a play out on by the younger students about the struggle the local people went through to claim their rights to public beaches. The backdrop was a cardboard condo, one of the ones Justin, Jo, and I had seen on our earlier walk. It was quite engaging and all of the older students watched intently. After the play, we ate a traditional lunch of roasted pork, rice and beans, and pasta salad. Then school was out for the day, and for all of next week.
At home later in the afternoon, I went for a walk to a small nearby river. We walked down through the property, went into the woods, climbed down one very wet and slippery bank to cross a small creek and then up another steep and slippery bank and on the river. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I persisted with help from Ziggy and Coco. When we reached the river (more the size of creek), we walked upstream and then downstream before returning home. Coco taught me how to play the card game called Stress and I finally won one game. Then tonight we had homemade pizza for dinner and watched a movie.