Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

Since I got back from my trip, I have been thinking about everything that I posted while I was on vacation and how negative a lot of it was.  Please know that my time in Puerto Rico was anything but negative.  If anything, my time there was definitely eye opening.  
  • It made me realize how truly blessed I am to be able to even take a trip like that.  At a time when most people, young and old, are trying to make ends meet, I was able to take time off and stay in a beach house for nearly a week there.  A few of us were out the first or second day we were there and met a local man while he was walking by and during the conversation, he pointed to the house that we were staying in and said that's where the rich people stayed.  This man didn't know that we were staying there and we didn't tell him, but it really made us feel good. 
  •  Coming from Michigan, one would say that Puerto Rico is a very poor "country", but I would have to disagree.  Yes, their buildings may not tall and glorious looking like the ones found here, but they seem to be way more sturdier than many of the ones that are found here.  I found that Puerto Ricans have so much pride in their small country and more often than not, this made up for everything else. 
  • Coming from a place where we are in such a hurry to get place to place, I feel like sometimes we don't really enjoy the trip or destination.  There, though, they drive like crazy people, but once they get to their destination, they seem to relax and enjoy themselves. 
  • There, if you don't speak the language, then you are S.O.L.!   Every time we asked if the person helping us spoke English, the person would laugh at us, turn to the person standing next to them and speak in Spanish and turn back to us to say that they would find someone to help.  This experience definitely humbled me.  When you think about it, we do the same thing.  We talk down to the non-English speaker when we really shouldn't.
  •  Another thing that amazed me was that this country would rather build on top of other existing non historical buildings instead of cutting down a ton of trees.  Everywhere were went weren't buildings, like we see here.  Some would argue that that just can't be done here, but I would have to disagree.  Unused buildings could be reused or torn down to be used for something else.  That's just my opinion!
  • Do you remember the mom and pop stores that used to be around?  They are still around there!  Wal-Mart has not been allowed to take over and I commend Puerto Rico for that.  To me, those small stores add something that these huge superstores can't. 
Could we learn from this tiny territory?  Yeah, they have everything that we do, but the way of life is a little different, slower.  Well, as long as they aren't driving!  Could that simplistic lifestyle be what we really need in our society where our status is determined on what we have, rather than who we are?  Maybe....  Yes, there were a lot of "Did that really just happen?" moments on that trip, but I have to say that I would definitely go back.

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