Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Getting Ready for San Juan

It's about 1 month before I leave for San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I have been searching far and wide for blogs about Puerto Rico, with limited success. So, I've decided to start my own, hopefully with some travel tips and stories, and probably even some recipes. Okay, definitely some recipes.

First of all let me give you my (brief) story. I am not Puerto Rican, but I grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut, a city with a large Puerto Rican population. During my college years in Boston, I became more interested in Spanish language and Latin American culture. I traveled 3 times to Oaxaca, Mexico, spending almost a year living in Oaxaca City. Oaxaca, incidentally, is so far my favorite place in the world. I wish I realized then how easy it was to make a blog, as I could share more tips and stories about that city than anywhere else in the world.

The only thing that got me to come home from Oaxaca (besides a mild political insurgency and running out of money) was that I started medical school at the University of Connecticut this past September. Throughout my first year, I was able to have a lot of exposure to patients, many of them Puerto Rican. I noticed that Puerto Ricans speak Spanish differently than Mexicans, and I was not accustomed to their slang and word usage. So I decided to spend this summer in Puerto Rico to get the know more about the language, people, and culture.

Of probably little interest to the reader: I will be spending two months living in San Juan doing research on social factors influencing obesity in Puerto Rican women.
Of probably significant interest: I plan on making the most out of my two months in Puerto Rico, which means I hope to engage in lots of traveling, learning, and of course, eating.

I probably forgot to mention that my real passion is food in all of its forms: cooking, restaurants, street vendors, etc. I spend entirely too much time each day cooking new recipes, watching Food Network, searching for new ethnic grocery stores, and surfing food blogs. So, this blog may be more "food-oriented" than a typical travel blog, but I believe food is one of the best ways to get to know a new place.

If anyone has any recommendations on things to do, places to see/eat, places to avoid, etc. while in Puerto Rico, please share them with me! Additionally, this is my very first attempt at blogging, so please bear with me or feel free to help me out! Otherwise, I hope that whether you know me (Hi, Mom), are traveling to Puerto Rico, or are interested in Puerto Rican food/culture, you find this blog helpful and entertaining. Ciao!