Puerto Rico Journal

June 12th, 2019

May 15
Day 5 Painting and Priming
First, I’ll backtrack and talk a little bit about our drive home the previous evening. The distance between Team One’s worksite and our residence, Camp Morton, was 7.1 miles. We had covered almost all of that distance when we were met with road construction and told to turn around and “follow the caravan.” We did this and ended up following hilly roads with switchbacks, typical of the area. However, because the road was unfamiliar and because we were pelted with rain throughout the drive, our nerves were a little bit on edge. When we finally reached Camp Morton after following the meandering route, we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

On Day Five, we began painting as soon as we arrived at our hilltop villa project. Actually, I guess we were priming. We set to work on the two bedrooms and the bathroom between them and soon had the walls and the ceilings completed. The white surfaces gave the rooms a more finished look. The cement work in the living room was completed at about the same time, so we needed to exit through a window instead of the front door.

Our homeowner, Jorge, provided us with a coffee break of delicious café con leche with sugar. Jorge is a gentle giant of a man and it was reassuring to see him smile and appear relaxed with us. (The first day he appeared a little apprehensive). In addition to the hurricane damage he’d had several health challenges in his family over the past year.

Our workday ended a little early due to the progress we had made and the need for the last of the cement to dry before we continued. Team One went to the local riverbank and scouted the area for local flora and fauna. After we’d looked around the riverbank for about 30 minutes, the weather turned rainy and we decided to wait out the precipitation at a local panaderia (bakery) until the road construction team’s quitting time. Ordering was a little difficult, but we figured it out and enjoyed some tasty coffee and flaky pastries before returning to Camp Morton. The owner and staff were extremely hospitable. We watched a steady stream of customers come in and make purchases on their way home from school or work. Definitely a “locally popular” place! Too bad no one had a birthday that day in our group, I would have had the perfect excuse to buy one of their delicious-looking cakes!

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