The First Day and Thankfully not my Last

Google Maps view of John's journey from Cleveland to Puerto Rico.

Getting to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Cleveland, Ohio, turned out to be quite an adventure. I had to board an express jet from Cleveland to Chicago, which was an hour flight, and also jumped back a time zone by an hour. I left Cleveland at 6:20 A.M. and landed in Chicago around 6:40 A.M. even though the flight was an hour and twenty minutes. Riddle me that. From Chicago I met up with one of the other members of our group and we both got on our flight to Puerto Rico, where yet again we changed time zones two hours ahead. We finally landed in Puerto Rico after about four hours of flight, running on little sleep as well.

Upon our final arrival to the observatory we had a little trouble getting in as the security guards didn’t have our keys to let us in our rooms, but once it all got sorted out we met with everyone else who had already arrived.

Thankfully, our little group of five people had gotten food on our drive to the observatory, because all the people who arrived earlier had not and were all waiting for our instructor to arrive with food. Finally they got to eat when he arrived. Around 10:45 P.M. we were finally able to go into the data center of the observatory and see all the equipment they use for taking samples with the dish and I have to say, it is intense. Lots of coaxial cables all over and about 12 racks of computational components filled from top to bottom. It looked like something out of an old James Bond movie, which is ironic since a James Bond movie actually was shot here.

By the time it finally hit midnight we were all ready to get some sleep so we headed back and decided to start performing experiments the next day.

- John Thomas