Oh my dear friends and visitors… I want to apologize for the length of time that it has been between my last post and this one. I have found myself so much at home in the past month, surrounded by the most beautiful people, I haven’t wanted to take time away from being with them to update.
My volunteer job consists of cleaning the bathrooms, bar area, common room, checking guests in, setting out breakfast and more. It is absolutely wonderful because of the people I work with. My coworkers have each become a part of my family and I care very much for them. We each work 28 hours a week in turn for a place to live and a daily 40 dollar food tab at the attached restaurant. The hostel breakfast is also offered to us for free which mainly consists of toast, jam, coffee, and oatmeal.
We have a special staff breakfast every Friday at 9 o’clock to go over where we need to improve, and a staff dinner on Wednesdays after cleaning the crew house for an hour. I think that there is a big bond in the fact of working together. We knock out the chores of cleaning and flipping beds with each other and it makes the biggest difference in the world to me. I don’t feel crushed under the heel of some large business. I feel like I am making a much better experience for the world travelers coming through the door each day. You can catch me singing songs with the other workers as we strip the beds or even dancing to music while cleaning the attached restaurant. When 3 o’clock rolls around we check people in and give them a tour around the hostel. Often times we will also tell them about the best snorkeling places, the sunken sailboat, a wonderful hike, and more. In the bottom right picture directly above, you can see the dorm room. Eight air conditioned beds in a converted shipping container. With busy season, the dorm rooms are 30 dollars a night for the week and 35 for the weekends. There are also private rooms which are more spacious with queen beds.
The accommodations for the volunteers are a little less luxury, but special in their own way. : )
My favorite part about the life and work here is that I don’t often catch myself wishing for work to be out or waiting for the weekend. With the part time work, there is time to go exploring with the other hostel workers, go read a book at the beach, or learn a new skill.
I have found some exceptional other places to hammock outside of just trees too! : )
I could swing my legs over and have my feet in the water while still being completely suspended above it. Truly magical.
The motorcycle has also been running well; taking my friends and I to the many different areas all around Vieques.
A lot of the roads here offer up sweeping views to dazzle the eyes and ocean breezes that play on your skin.
The one thing Vieques has in abundance is beaches! Long beaches, secluded beaches, beaches with restaurants, rocky beaches, wavy beaches, calm beaches, and even black sand beaches.
I ended up grabbing the black sand and smearing it all over my body; my face, my chest, my back, everywhere I could reach. Not only was it exfoliating, but ended up making me look like one of my much darker skinned brothers :). (I am still waiting for them to send me that picture!) Quite fun, I must say.
There are so many coconut trees to climb here, mango’s to pick, starfruit to eat, and long beaches to run. If you were to be here, you could catch me on a sunset run down the beach with my good friend Adam.
The next blog post will include exploring the rain forest on the main island, (El Yunque), the fanciest resorts on Vieques, and more.
Until the next time then.
P.S. The managers dog, “Nina,” is such a little lady and always sits with her front legs crossed! I haven’t seen a dog sit like that before, have you?