Sunday, February 10, 2013

My recent visit to Puerto Rico was enhanced by the lovely hospitality of one of the members of Self Realization Fellowship.  I attended the Sunday service.  The San Juan center is in a building with a downstairs entry room and then a lovely chapel upstairs.  The service was well attended,  and I understood part of it, since it was in Spanish.  After the service I was unable to get a cab back to the hotel due to an enormous festival taking place that weekend in old San Juan.  Luckily, I started talking to a member who agreed to drive me back to the hotel.  She strongly encouraged me to visit the retreat center in Cayey, about 45 minutes from San Juan, and kindly arranged to pick me up the next morning to go there!!  Olympia and her daughter Beatriz picked me up at 9 the next morning and off we went to Cayey.  The first stop was the home of Armando, who lives just down the road from the retreat center.  He helped build the retreat.  He graciously showed me his lovely home with a deck overlooking the mountains. He served cheese from Portugal  and cinnamon snacks from Spain (available in Walmart in  Cayey, but not San Juan!)  The mountains looked a lot like Silver City's but the plants and trees were more tropical. I was very lucky  to meet such loving and friendly souls.

Our visit to San Juan also included two bike rides through Old San Juan.  You would find old Spanish fort construction all along the city.  The walls were incredibly thick. On our first ride we returned to our hotel  via a route that took us past many empty and graffiti stained buildings. There were so many people walking because of the festival that I was not too frightened.  The second day, we were careful to avoid that route.

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