Monday, August 29, 2016

Adventure in Puerto Rico: Day 5

We (and our feet) were quite ready for a day of rest on Sunday.

(Zoom in to find the blue symbols for Sunday)

Another advantage of the apartment we chose was the LDS chapel within walking distance.  I fully intended to take advantage of its nearness and walk to the 9:00 am meeting.  But it is hard to wake up on vacation . . .

This apartment is equipped with very good shutters.  On Thursday morning, our first there, I woke up to see light streaming in under the door.  I stumbled my way to the boys' room, where Scoot was sitting up and reading.  "Turn off the light!" I said.  "People are trying to sleep."

"Mom, it's eight o'clock," he said in his calm way.  Then I noticed that the bright light was coming from the window, not the fixture.  It was still dark in my room, but one of the shutters in their room had gotten stuck open after we arrived.  The other boys could still sleep with all that light, but not Scoot, our morning person.  And I noticed it eventually, too.

We knew we'd need to get up earlier on Sunday, though.  So the boys all set the alarms on their watches.  But with jet lag and staying up to watch the Olympics and whatnot, the alarms didn't wake us.

I got up Sunday morning, saw Scoot sitting in his room, fully dressed, and went to check the clock in the kitchen.

"Ack!" I shouted.  "It's 8:59!"

We did not walk to church that morning.  But we did arrive by car, sixteen minutes later, just in time for the missionary who was passing the sacrament to open the chapel door and look for stragglers.  And we were grateful.

The Luquillo Branch has its own small building.  The screenless windows were open and the fans were spinning.  About fifteen members were present, but there was clearly room for more to attend.  Once the sacrament was over and we found seats, the branch president's counselor welcomed our family from the pulpit.  In fast and testimony meeting in a small branch, I think the members must feel some duty to speak at length, and they did, mostly about how life is hard, but faith in Jesus Christ gets us through.  After listening to a couple of testimonies, the Caterpillar shared his own.  He spoke in Spanish, and despite small grammar mistakes, was quite comprehensible.  It was wonderful to hear.

The family in the branch that includes children and the Primary president was out of town.  There weren't any other youth present, either.  A visiting high counsel member offered to teach our boys a lesson in English, so Scoot, Rollo, and D2 went to a classroom with him and discussed the Title of Liberty.  The Caterpillar came to the adult Sunday School class with us.  By the third hour, attendance had petered out and everyone who was left fit into the Sunday School room.  Then the high counselor discussed efforts to perfect the saints and strengthen the branch.  It was interesting.

After church we flopped at the apartment, enjoying our rest.  Here are a few views from the terrace.  This is looking east, from the front of the apartment.  Most of the buildings in the neighborhood seem to be vacation rentals.  The residential part of the town is across the highway, by the church.  I wanted to take pictures, but forgot my camera in the morning rush.  The houses over there are low, with decorative bars on the windows, and painted in bright colors like you can see here.
 This is a north view, toward the gate from our complex to the beach.
Looking southeast to the cloudy peaks of El Yunque.
 After dinner we took a sunset walk along the beach.  This time we headed west around the point, toward the balneario.  While, according to the guidebook, nearly all beaches in Puerto Rico are public, the balnearios are equipped with parking lots, changing rooms, and lifeguards.  This one has a pretty big parking lot, but many people seemed to prefer parking along the narrow road to our apartments, and swimming on the east side.  It was a bit late for lifeguards when we went out, but it was a perfect time to stroll along the sand.
 We saw a few birds and some little crabs, but not many people.

For more of the adventure, see:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Day 6

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