Twin Cities in Puerto Rico

Well, this is my final report on this subject as I just left the group of eleven
at the airport.

On Thursday they went to the Caves system. They were not allowed to go to some
of the best parts. Apparently it had been raining hard farther up the mountain
and the active river that runs thru the system was flooded. They were allowed to
go to Cueva Clara (Clear Cave) which do show some formations & ends up in a
beautiful sinkhole with a view, at a safe distance, of the river. They were
given rainchecks which they will not be able to take advantage of (but I will).

After that they went to the Arecibo Radar Telescope. I do not have a definite
feedback on that trip. It is not a Tourist attraction, it is a scientific
location. Again, that is Karst country, full of sinkholes. Some years ago, they
built this radar telescope in this huge, perfectly rounded sinkhole. They do
lots of scientific work there about quasars, blackholes, etc. I suspect that
for most of the group that will not be inmediately interesting, but will
benefit from the visit in the future when they read about it in a textbook or
in the papers.

Later this year, they will be able to see it on a James Bond movie that was
filmed there about a month ago. When the crew came, they also saw a beach close
to Mar Chiquita and filmed some scenes there. In the movie they will tell you
that they are in Cuba but now you know better. No, Bill Karbo will not be James
Bond & Connie will not be one of the Bond’s girls.

On Friday they stayed snorkeling in the Mar Chiquita area. They watched a couple
of whales from the beach house terrace. Some went outside the cove of Mar
Chiquita & snorkeled outside the protective rocks. Late in the afternoon I
showed them a beautiful secluded beach called Esperanza (Hope), with clear calm
waters good for snorkeling. Roberto Maldonado went to visit after school &
stayed there thru Saturday evening.

On Saturday, most of the group went to Old San Juan for a last visit to this
beautiful, well kept old city. They also did some last minute shopping. On the
afternoon, some more snorkeling, received visit from Jose Roman, Anthony
Hernandez, Margarita Ruiz, my wife Wendy, and myself. They had a common practice
session where Jose Roman did a figure 8 coasting but Connie did not give him
credit because he did not get back to riding.

At night there was lots of conversation, lots of packing, etc. Bill & Adam
kept their week long hunt for little lizards. They have no teeth, but they can
bite (it will not hurt much). Bill & Adam found out that the lizards can be
used as live earings. Andy found out that the lizard will not let go once you
put it in your ear.

We got up early this morning. At 6AM we left for the airport. They enjoyed 10
days of fun with no major problems. Although I didn’t witness any, I understand
that there was some minor bickering in the last couple of days. It is to be
expected that after so many days, that will happen. It can be a growing
experience for the kids.

Over all, I think the Twin Citiers had 10 days of fun, where they also will come
out as better riders & better persons. They had the opportunity, & took
advantage, to learn about another land & another culture.

>From Puerto Rico point of view, we had the opportunity to mingle
with 11 excellent individuals. We thank the parents of the younger ones for
lending their sons & daughters to us. We also had the opportunity, & took
advantage of learning about another culture. We thank the adults for accepting
the responsability of leading the group. We came out better persons because of
this trip.

Personally I am a very happy person. After spending this 10 wonderful days, I
can look forward to next Friday when my son Javier will be flying in from UMass
for spring break.

Alberto Ruiz