The weather was almost indecently beautiful, so different from the drive-you-inside-to-work, puritanical drizzles of winter in Seattle. Instead the air and sun were soft and warm, and only lightly salted with Caribbean sea-scent. I was there to teach a class on coaching skills, but in the evenings and for a couple of extra days I explored, spent time with friends, saw the sights. This was the first time I’ve been to Puerto Rico, mostly spending my time in and around San Juan, and it seemed so clear that the dollar, American mercantilism based on cruise ships, the presence of Starbucks and Burger King and a multitude of souvenir stands, form a very thin veneer on a much richer, deeper culture that somehow is constantly escaping into the background, perhaps as a form of self-protection. Such is the mystery of an island historically subject to too many attempted conquests. There are parallels to other situations at a more personal level: how thin a veneer can be and yet how persuasive.
Of course, all the people I met were wonderful and warm. It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced a workshop that was as open, engaged, and where there was so much laughter.
If you’d like to see a few images from San Juan and a nearby rainforest, you can click here.