Well, the adventure has finally begun! Today we left for Puerto Rico. I have been looking forward to this trip for months, and even after the first day, it has been quite an adventure. Let me say that today was definitely a quite interesting day of travel. Heading to Philadelphia from St. Louis, I had maybe the best flight I have ever had. But from Philadelphia to San Juan, the flight was quite interesting. The few times that I have flown I have had an unusually large amount of bad flights. I have had flights delayed for long periods of time, have had a flight cancelled while I am in a foreign country, but I have never had someone sitting next to me almost die. The flight started fine, I was in the middle seat between two people I didn’t know both of them only spoke Spanish. Half way through the flight there was a medical emergency with one of the other passenger. I can honestly say that was the most peculiar flight that I have ever and probably will ever be on.
After that ordeal, I realized that I was in Puerto Rico. I looked around and noticed it was different than what I expected. It was as if I was in a whole new world. The culture is completely different. Spanish is spoken by everyone while english is spoken fluently by few. I also have noticed many of the drivers have interesting driving habits. We just drove to our hotel and it was a frightening experience. Driving around looking for our hotel I was able to look at some of the Christmas decorations that were still up and I was a surprised. Along with the traditional Christmas tree there were also nativity scenes every where. While there are a lot of nativity scenes on the mainland as well, there were several that were very large and right next to the highway. It has lead me to assume that the Puerto Ricans are a very religious people.
After safely making it to our hotel, we were able to experience our first island meal. I was excited to taste, what I have heard from several people is, some of the best food on earth. I ordered cassava stuffed chicken, which is chicken with a potato-like root in it, and tostones, which are flattened plantains that are fried and taste similar to french fries. It was really good and I am looking forward to what I am gong to eat next.
I am excited about what the Island has to teach me this week. I am looking forward to learning some of the history behind the Island, as well as, interacting with the locales and learning more about the island’s agriculture industry.
Freshman – Agribusiness Economics and Political Science