Stories of a Local: Condado Beach
Whenever I travel, I love to chat with the locals. Well, let me first say that I am naturally a timid person. However, each new place I travel to helps me feel more comfortable with strangers. It encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and learn about a place through someone's story.
When I went to Puerto Rico, somehow my sister ended up in the emergency room. Being a good sister, I followed her. Can I just add that this was an overnight ordeal. Anyways, the title says this is a story of a local at Condado Beach, so this ER story will have to wait for another time.
Here is the story of the local of Condado Beach:
When I got to the ER there was a lady walking out of a room. She held her fragile mother with both of her hands. She placed her mother gingerly next to my sister and stood there with a concerned expression on her face. It wasn't long before she asked my sister what happened. We exchanged our stories and it explained how all of us ended up in the same place in the middle of the night.
She was kind and showed us genuine care. We spend the night chatting about Puerto Rico. She explained the best places to eat authentic Puerto Rican food, she told us where to go for the best sights, but one story stuck with me. When I asked her about Condado Beach, she said that she did not want us to go there. She explained that her brother passed away at the beach because the waves were too strong. Ever since then, she said she has never step foot on that beach (even though it is a ten minute walk from her house). At that moment, I appreciated this person. I was just a stranger to her, but she showed the same concern for me as she would for a friend.
The next day, I woke up late (for obvious reasons). So it was convenient for us to walk to Condado Beach, which was a 15 minute walk from our airbnb. When I got there, I laid out my towel. As I gazed into the ocean I couldn't help but notice the waves crashing into the jagged rocks. I thought about the lady from the night before. I thought about her story, but my thoughts were constantly disrupted by a whistle. The lifeguard stood there making sure people were out of the dangerous sections of the water.
The story of the Local in Condado Beach taught me to show the same care and concern for others. People all around the world are going through their own struggles in life. Most importantly, she has made an imprint in my heart.Through her, I was able to see the true beauty of Puerto Rico. It's not about the crystal clear beaches or the tropical flowers blooming in the rain forest. Puerto Rico is about care and kindness.