September 27, 2010

AYCJetter visits Playa de Piñones

The below is a passage that one of our AYCJetters posted on his blog, describing his adventures in Puerto Rico:

As one of my All You Can Jet adventures, I jet to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and trek on two buses to the deserted and wild Piñones Beach.

When I reach the beach, a dog greets me and follows me. I expect it to stop soon and go back to its master.

After a while, I realize it has no leash. It has no collar. It has no master.

Like me, she’s alone.

At first, I’m unsure whether I like her: I think she might bite me. I think she wants my food. Then I think she wants to chew my Hollister shoes. Finally, I think she just wants a friend.

We do have a few things in common.

She’s a wild dog. I’m a wild boy.

She’s a beach dog. I’m a beach dude.

She’s got naturally multi-colored hair. I do too.

She leads and follows me. When I walk, she walks. When I stop, she stops. When I swim, she swims.

When I emerge from the surf, she dances and barks. When I lie in the sand, she jumps on me and freaks me out. When I throw her a stick or an object to fetch, she runs after it, grips it with her teeth and lets it be. Like I do.

She chases birds and urchins and beautiful things she can’t catch. Like I do.

I name her Playa. If I were a dog, I’d live free on the beach like she does.

As we walk, we encounter a few other people and other dogs on the beach. Surely she can find a companion more interesting than I am. And one who loves dogs more than I do.

But she stays with me. Like me, she doesn’t want to stay in one place: she wants to run around the beach and be free.

I feel safe without her. I feel safer with her. She watches out for me. For the first time in my life, I understand why dogs are man’s best friend.

We walk together on the beach for five miles. The sun begins to set, and we reach the end of the beach. I look back, and I see only palm trees and her footsteps and mine in the sand.

Starving, she starts to forage for food. Even though I don’t know when or if a bus will come for me, I give her my food. I feed her Terra Blues, the official snack of JetBlue, and a Chocolate Chipper.

She waits for the bus with me. I tell her what a good dog she is.

When the bus comes and I have to go home, she is Elliot, and I am E.T.

As I jet from San Juan to New York, I tear up thinking of my perfect dog and our perfect day on a perfect beach.

Adios Playa! Adios amiga!

You think she’s a dog. I think she’s God.

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2 Comments on “AYCJetter visits Playa de Piñones”

  • Posted by maria on September 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

    maria.raknes@jetblue.com

    You have made me cry with this story, not because you left back to your world, but because she was left behind in hers. She found a friend in you, and now you are gone; I’m sure she wonders why, and you are right about dogs, they are man’s best friends, and that is why God send them to this earth to watch over us, like Playa did while you were there alone. What can I say I’m a dog lover.

    Maria.
    maria.raknes@jetblue.com

  • Posted by steve on October 8, 2010 at 4:37 am

    We just returned from AYCJ and had a similar experience in St Maarten. When I was traveling solo earlier in the month, in the D.R. the neatest personality I met there was a dog. I think if I had your experience, I would have reflected on it pretty much exactly the way you did!

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