Puerto Rico Journal

June 12th, 2019

May 16, Water shortages, flexible assignments, frozen treats

Team One returned to “our” house for the fourth day. The Puerto Rican workers were already on the job. Three of us started in painting walls and ceilings while John left with Gabi to help an older couple with electrical needs across the river and high up in the hills.hose of us who were painting (not priming this time) were told to put it on thick so one coat would do – and use a completely horizontal stroke to apply it with the rollers. We were also told that if the rollers were making any noise during the application process we were spreading the paint too thin. We did our best. With three of us applying paint in the same room, we sometimes hit each other with poles and once Sherry’s hard hat fell off as she was painting the ceiling. Her hat hit me on the head (actually, on my hard hat). This was the only time my hard hat was needed for protection.

Team Three joined us later in the morning, the work at previous house being complete. Attempts were made to clean the roof in preparation for sealing it the next day, but lack of water pressure made that impossible. (Later, we learned that Team Two had problems with water as well and couldn’t make cement). All of us at our site painted every wall and ceiling in Jorge’s house that was ready, then we called it a day. John and Gabi returned and Luis took us into town for a special treat, something that he’d hinted at over our lunch hour. I got the impression that this treat would be cold. “Is it like a slushy?” I asked.

“You will find out.” Luis said this in a low voice. Why the secrecy, I wondered. Did these frozen treats contain alcohol?

As it turned out, they did not contain alcohol. He directed us into the town of Barranquitas where we went into a small ice cream shop, where we were introduced to testitas, or “little breasts”. It was the name of the treats that had Luis whispering. They consisted of fruit puree frozen in small, roundish plastic bags. You bit the end off a plastic bag and sucked out the contents. Flavors included mango, lemon, and strawberry-banana. Delicioso!

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