3/7 Island Life

Rocky shoreline at Mar Chiquita

Finally getting some good wifi!  Going to do a quick recap of Monday of my trip to Puerto Rico with the ART+BIO Collaborative program.

The flights went well, no problems switching in Newark, NJ.  I met up with our little group of 10 after arriving in San Juan, and we were off!  There are 5 other students besides me.

When we got to the area we are staying at, Dr. Saul took us to the beach to explore the rocky shoreline. There were giant waves overtaking the cliffs we climbed on, and some of us got a good taste of salt for not paying attention to the waves :p. I spotted 2 tiny hermit crabs along the rocks and picked up a few seashells for later observation.

Next we set up camp, and we have a beautiful view of the ocean from the backyard.  Dinner was delicious, cooked by our other leader, Stephanie. I got to try some tostadas (which are fried plantains), limeade, and quinoa.  I’m definitely enjoying the cultural experience and refreshing a bit on my Spanish while I’m here!

Next, we all presented our stories via powerpoint to each other.  It was really neat getting to hear what the others have been doing and why they are interested in the arts and sciences.  I also enjoyed hearing our group leaders, Dr. Saul Nava and Stephanie Dowdy-Nava, talk about their past and how they ended up where they are today.  Dr. Saul’s story was especially intriguing to me because he doubled in art and biology as an undergraduate student and went on to research the Sphaerodactylus geckos of Puerto Rico, which combines all of my own interests – biology, art, and herpetology!  So it was really neat meeting someone who started out with the same interests as my own and getting to see the art that he and Stephanie make.  After the presentations, we all went to bed with the wind and the ocean waves to accompany us. Great start to the trip!