This past weekend I was able to cross off a major bucket list item, piloting a plane! A local scientist took me out with a flight instructor and I was able to copilot a Cessna 172 around the island. The views of Arecibo from the sky are absolutely incredible. The topography of the island varies greatly; from steep cliffs and sinkholes to plains and beaches, Puerto Rico has it all. A piloting license will now be a goal for my future.
Throughout the work week the other students and I attended lectures from all areas of work performed at Arecibo. It was a great opportunity to learn the basics about the variety of experiments performed and the equipment used here. We learned about everything from cataloging near-Earth asteroids to searching for pulsars to maintaining the radio receivers. As the only engineering student, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the science being performed by the other students and their mentors.
The following day was Father’s Day. We hoped to use the day to travel into town for grocery shopping and were surprised to find that nothing was open. Even Walmart was closed! Family is very important to Puerto Ricans and I was happy to be in a culture where workers were allowed to spend Father’s Day with their families.
This week I will be able to focus more on my project and plan to design a prototype for testing purposes.