Monday, October 17, 2016

Program Visit: SAJU

Where we last left off....we missed our flight from St. Croix to San Juan.  The missed flight meant that our visit to San Juan National Historical Park was cut a full day short.  But, ProRanger Nick Fitzke rose to the challenge and made sure to pack in two days of meetings and tours into a day!

Chief Ernesto Padilla accommodated our change in schedule by coming in from vacation to meet us in the evening for dinner and an interview.

Preview of Castillo San Felipe del Morro at night
We started the next morning bright and early with a quick meeting with Superintendent Walter Chavez and then we were off for a private tour of the San Cristobal fort before it even opened!  Despite the early hour the sun was already hot and there was a lot of "hiking" within the fort, but the views were worth it!

The SAJU gym was as small and hot as advertised in Nick's blog!

At the gates of Castillo San Cristobal!

View from Castillo San Cristobal with Castillo San Felipe del Morro in the distance

"Graffiti" from the soldiers in the San Cristobal dungeon.

Why did the iguana cross the road?

Such interesting things in the curatorial workspace.
We then headed up the streets of San Juan in a golf cart to Castillo San Felipe del Morro.  After touring the fort, we rode down the Paseo del Morro to the Puerta de San Juan and then through the streets of San Juan back toward the Castillo San Cristobal.  There is a sanctuary for stray cats located along the walkway and we encountered muchos, muchos gatos!!

Castillo San Felipe del Morro by day.


ProRanger Fitzke documenting a helicopter possibly flying over park property (prohibited!)
Trust me guys, just a little further.....
We held our meeting with Ranger William Morales, who has been supervising ProRanger Nick Fitze this summer, over a cup of coffee.  The rumors of his love of coffee were well founded!  After Nick presented him with a plaque, we were off to the airport for our flight home.

ProRanger Fitze presents a plaque of appreciation to Ranger Morales.
We definitely did not want to miss another flight, so no time for lunch!  But we did stop for some takeout snack on the way to the airport.  What to choose?  Flan.  Definitely flan.

So many choices...
So many more choices....
And, so many more choices....
The right choice

The joint park visits were very productive.  Ranger Fernandez and I came away from the visits and interviews with a lot of ideas for tweeking the evaluations, taskbook, and the outline for a "Guide to the ProRanger Program."  I learned about the the high level of collaboration and cooperation between these three Caribbean parks while also getting to witness their spirited but friendly competition!

Up next:  COLO

1 comment:

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