This year, we began our trip in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have been to San Juan and always love it! We had not returned since Puerto Rico was hit by the hurricane and it was different. As we approached landing, we saw the blue tarps covering homes as roofs and the destruction that was left behind. With that said,
It is a magical place that screams resilience, history and strength!
Throughout our days there, we spoke with an electrician working hot long days on reestablishing electricity while working with generators. He was touched by the locals cooking him lunch and was happy to be helping. We spoke with our cab driver who seemed grateful for the United States assistance. As we entered a local restaurant, we were welcomed by a local couple simply saying, “Welcome to our island!” After such devastation, we found the Puerto Ricans to be as lovely as ever!
Here’s the lesson learned in Puerto Rico:
As we explored the city (and prior to coming) we told our children how it had been hit by a storm. People lost everything! At home, we often discuss being grateful and how lucky we are to have the many luxuries that we take for granted. Puerto Rico was able to put our words into real life realizations.
As my mom walked hand in hand with my son (5years) she was talking about how much people lost. He, very maturely, looked up at her and said, “That’s why we donate.”
When we returned home, without having a discussion, my son looked around our bathroom and said, “We are so lucky to have running water. Not everyone has that. We are so lucky to have pjs to sleep in and a bed. Not everyone has that…..” He then went off on a preschool tangent listing everything in our house and reminding me that not everyone has that.
The amazing thing was, I knew that he was referring to Puerto Rico. I have always talked about gratitude with them (and why we donate) but seeing it stuck with him in a different way. As a teacher and a mom, I can tell you that my words can only go so far. His visual of the homes and experience of interacting with locals having smiles on their faces was powerful.
Previously, I have written about taking my children out of school for vacation. My children are still young and I don’t plan on putting them at a disadvantage academically, but I see benefits beyond school when traveling…..