Last week was, if not one of the most stressful weeks of my life, then certainly the most stressful week I can remember in a long time. I spent much of the week at school completely overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of me—setting up my room, planning a syllabus for the year, deciding on classroom routines and procedures, planning lessons for the first days of school, becoming familiar with the school website and school policies…and the list goes on. By Friday afternoon, I felt completely disheartened and worn out.
Friday evening, a few of us when to a Thai/Indian/Sushi restaurant in Coamo (about 30 minutes from Guayama) called Bangkok & Bombay. I had only had Thai food once or twice before, and Indian food never, so I was excited to try it. The ambiance of the restaurant was great, and at 8pm a belly dancer began gliding amongst the tables performing and entertaining. Attempting to read a Thai/Indian menu in Spanish was interesting, given my unfamiliarity with the foods, so I stuck to recommendations from Jenni and Rachel and had pad thai with chicken (and was not disappointed!).
The evening was peaceful, and I enjoyed getting to know Heisha (one of the Puerto Rican elementary teachers) and her husband Sergio. The one downfall, however, was the service…the waiter kept forgetting about us. We requested more water 3 times, but never received it. Our dinner took 3 ½ hours.
By the time we got home, it was nearly 11:30pm, and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. So I did.
I woke up Saturday morning rested, but not ready to face a day of school planning. Yet I got myself out of bed and began work on syllabus planning. And then, a wonderful thing happened—the day turned itself around. Planning went well, and I got quite a bit done in the morning. Around noon, Jenni got up, and we did some Insane Abs with Billy Blank (tai bo dvd) …a workout was just what I needed. After a quick shower, I went and had my bad tire replaced on my car, and then 6 of us took the afternoon to go to the beach.
We went once again to Playa Caribe, the beach we visited my first day in PR. In contrast to my first, overcast day, Saturday was beautiful, making the beach exquisite. And, as always seems to be the case—we had the sand to ourselves. It was a refreshing, relaxing, glorious afternoon.
On our way home, we stopped for pinchos at a roadside restaurant where the cook drummed along to the music with metal tongs on the grill as he tended the meat and cooked up a bacalaito (cod fritter) fresh for us. Delicious (cheap!) food in a great atmosphere…perfect end to the afternoon.