The following report is from the trip diary of Melissa Spindler, FLI Residential Dean/Trip Chaperone.

The 3 am wake-up at Franklin Academy was very cold and black. However, our students were giddy as we loaded onto the “party bus” (dark blue lights make everything more fun!). With a short layover in Baltimore, we maintained good group discipline as we traversed the airport and took morning meds before heading to Puerto Rico. Sunny skies and 85-degree weather greeted us with a friendly “Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!” We grabbed lunch (and sunscreen) before heading to the beach at our hotel, where students were thrilled to find the ocean “as warm as a bathtub.” Ben convinced his friends to join him on a Banana Boat adventure (Eli, Kyle, and Nick) that was a bit like a mechanical bull in the ocean. All four reported it was awesome! After a long day of travel, students had some time to explore the city. We enjoyed local flavors such as yuca fries, mofongo, and rice and beans. After a fabulous but long first day, it was time for bed. Tomorrow we head to the rainforest!