If I could sum up my experience of the Puerto Rico immersion trip with one word, it would be: fantabulous. Frankly, I’m not sure if that is a word but I put fantastic and fabulous together because one word would not be enough to describe such an incredible experience!
I learned so much more than I had expected. I not only learned new Spanish vocabulary, cultural facts about music and literature, and historical information about the status of the island but I also practiced clinical interviewing in Spanish, I sat in a session in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, I sat in on meetings with psychology students and professors at the university of Puerto Rico, I attended a psychology conference and I sat in on a supervision class with fellow psychology students at Carlos Albizu University.
Wow! I haven’t even mentioned everything else I experienced while in Puerto Rico! The amazing part is that this was all done within two weeks! I have to give all the credit to Dr. Torres and everyone who helped him put all of this together in a little over a week before we were supposed to leave to Mexico. It speaks to his character as a person and to his determination as a teacher to make things happen for his students!
There are too many things to say and it would take me pages and pages to talk about all my experiences while in Puerto Rico! However, I’ll throw in a few first experiences and other random thoughts…
-Visiting Puerto Rico-Meeting Dr. Torres’ family
-Hearing the Coquis (tiny frogs only found in PR)
-Staying in a tiny cabin next to a river
-Riding in a 16 person van
-Riding along MANY curves on mountains with steep sides!
-Riding a horse
-Getting bit by a mosquito that left me a huge round red circle around the bite
-Go into a huge cave where bats, lizards, cocroaches, ants, and snakes reside! (I did not see any of those except for some bats but they did not fly too low)
-Sitting by the beach overlooking the Carribean Sea
-Rum + Coke = cubrelibra
-How can a coqui so tiny have such a loud sound?!
-Is it possible to avoid the curves?
-Dr. T calling us for class by banging on a pot…ah…the good ole days!
-Mama Torres teaching us typical puertorican dances such “bomba” & “plena”
-Papa Torres allowing us to participate in the sport of Puerto RICO: politics
-Meeting one of Dr.Torres’ mentors: Dr. Toro
-Going to an area called “pinones” & eating the amazing shrimp al mojillo with the best “mofongo”
-getting up at before 6:00am for group activities…more than once!
-Having class outside on a picnic table next to a river with coquis singing to us
Overall…I grew immensely after this trip. I found out more about myself and my capabilities and vulnerabilities. I also got to know everyone in the group on a different level. I love every minute I spent with everyone including all the people i met along the way. I feel so close to my group who will one day be my future colleagues. I feel a strong bond was created and this will keep us connected while in TCS but beyond that as well!