First off, thank you. Reyka and I dream of riding camels across the Sahara, watching Siberian tundra drift by our train in Eastern Russia, stargazing in the San Pedro de Atacoma Desert in Chile, and making friends with native Greenlanders underneath a collage of shifting Northern Lights. We dream of taking you with us as we see the world, all while giving back to causes that benefit as many people as much as possible.
However, the only way we get there is through your support. And therefore, we thank you.
With that said, I want to issue a grand welcome to the W&R Newsletter. The current plan is for me (Wyatt) to do the writing here and for Reyka to continue working her magic managing the Youtube channel.
Let us begin.
In a little Airbnb in the neighborhood of Cupey in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We decided to spend a month on the “Island of Enchantment” discovering the culture here, making friends, and seeing the sights, and so far it has gone great. We’ve learned that this city is more expensive than we originally hoped, but we are adapting by buying long term train passes and cooking a lot of food at home. In the coming weeks we plan to explore deeper into the island, as the Yunque national forest with waterfalls and Vieques island with the brightest bioluminescent water in the world are both calling us.
This one was a series of random and sorta-stressful events that shifted between sketchy and exciting as quick as a lightning bug glows on and off.
After eating some pizza at Paseo Pizza south of our Airbnb, we decided to book a ride to a grocery store, Mega Fresh, but outside in the parking lot a guy struck up conversation and began to recommend nearby places in San Juan we should visit. When we told him we had a Youtube Channel, he said we must see this beautiful lake nearby, named Aljibe las Curias. He continued imploring us to go, and, even though we mainly wanted to get our groceries and go home, when our Uber driver arrived, the man gestured for the driver to roll down the window and loudly told him how to get to the lake nearby.
Thankfully, he let us go and Reyka and I both relaxed. It was midday, we were both dehydrated, and we were finally going home. But he was not finished.
As we were pulling away, his car, a black one with tinted windows, pulled beside us, honked and a hand rose from the driver-side window, motioning to us. Our driver followed, and soon we found ourselves led down a little road towards a bridge. We leveled off and on either side spread out a gorgeous lake bordered by thick, tropical plants and trees. The driver asked us if we wanted to stay or continue to the store. We decided to stay, and the man, whose name we learned to be Elecier, waited while we admired the natural, hidden phenomenon.
One of my favorite parts of the lake was the little remote-controlled boats which zoomed, with the sound of a high pitched lawn mower engine, back and forth on the water. The ripples would stop near the shore, and, looking at the bridge and shore, it was obvious that this was not a popular spot. Very, very few people were around, and none of them tourists. We felt grateful to have found such a hidden luxury in a city with continental Americans stomping around everywhere (us included) trying to make the most of their vacations.
Still, despite the lake being fun to look at for a time, questions lingered. Do we get another Uber? Do we walk to the store? In talking with Elecier, who was still waiting for us, we learned that he was a boxing instructor at a gym nearby. I asked, as casually as possible, if he would be able to drive us to Mega Fresh. For background, Reyka and I (me more so) have wanted to try out hitch hiking for a while, and this seemed to be an easy way to try it out, rather than literally sticking a thumb up on the side of a highway. After some translation issues, he nodded in agreement, we got in his car, and he began driving us to the store. We passed a building, “that’s my gym,” he says, “that’s where I give lessons. You two should come in sometime.” Or at least, that’s what I think he said. We laughed along.
Eventually, though, he turned around and went in the opposite direction of the store. “Where are we going?” I asked. “The gym,” he said, “You said you wanted to get shown around.” Apparently we heard wrong, and, admittedly, at this point, I began to stress. This huge man was a fighter, and this Sunday, even though his gym was closed, he wanted to give Reyka and I a tour. Did he have any hidden motives?
Then, to make me worry even more, he pulled into a random driveway on the way there. “This is my house, I have to move some laundry into the dryer.” We were even more confused. Chickens roamed the property and while we were there, a neighbor came home, pulling in behind us and blocking us in. No, no, no, no. Were we stuck here? Were we about to be robbed or something?
Thankfully, no. Elecier chatted with his neighbor, got back in the car, we maneuvered out of the driveway, and went to the gym. It was literally not even 100 feet down the street, and after the past hour or so’s events, it seemed fitting that “Never fear,” was written in big letters on the Gym’s sign.
It turned out to be a normal boxing gym. He showed us trophies and gear and belts and an entire, official ring in the center, lifted multiple feet off the ground. He appreciated it when we filmed and told us we could come in later and he would let us put on gloves and tape and get a training session in with him.
As it often seems to happen, the person who seemed scary on the outside turned out to be a nice, driven man who just wanted to make friends with people who might advertise his boxing gym a little bit, a place he obviously cared a lot about. Without any issue, after leaving Elecier took us straight to Mega Fresh.
The moral of the story? Friends are wonderful things, most people are good, and we are going to take a boxing lesson soon. Stay tuned for that, as it will inevitably be somewhere in the vlogs.
In the only Puerto Rican vlog we have published so far, we travel to Puerto Rico, explore the oldest fort in the new world, and disinfect our Airbnb. It also features new animation and a new jingle - you can watch it here!
With that, we wrap up our first ever W&R Newsletter! Again, thanks for reading, and make sure to look for our next one in October and November and December and January and… okay, okay. One at a time.
Take care, everyone.
Wyatt and Reyka