Showing posts from April, 2007

The spool comes to a dizzying end!

Santiago de Cuba provided us with more dazzling culture, and amazing people, both foreigners and Cubans. Alex and I have been astounded by the amount of Cubans who have really opened up and shared their ideas with us. Knowing our stance on the situation, they have spoken out with honesty and voracity. It is at this point that I would like to say that I do not feel that I have done a ¨complete¨ job in telling it all. As I mentioned in my first blog on Cuba, there are so many layers to the country, and trying to capture the true essence in only a few blogs is like trying to do an overnight course in learning to speak fluent Arabic! It ain´t gonna happen!

In Baracoa, we had met a Spanish couple called Juan and Maria. As we were strolling through the streets of Santiago, we bumped into them, and they invited us into the house of some Cuban friends they were staying with. What a wonderful family! In no time at all, they were making and offering us snacks and drinks, and we stayed for hours.…

The reel keeps unravelling, the Cuban odyssey continues.

Our next destination was Trinidad, heading further east. What a beautiful and delightful colonial town. It is actually classified as a world heritage sight, and it truly deserves the title. The centre is full of cobblestoned streets, gorgeous colonial houses and tiled colonial courtyards. It is also a town full of places that you can go and listen to bands, singers and music, and watch some mind blowing salsa as well as congo and other forms of traditional Cuban dance, rooted in African traditions. We certainly did out fair share of that!

One of our favourite places was La Casa de la Cultura (The House of Culture), which was an outdoor venue that you could hang out at and watch various bands perform. The variety and talent, yet again, left us astounded! When some of the locals danced to the tunes of Cuban salsa, I could only watch in amazement! I had lots of fun dancing along with them, but their dexterity compared to mine was.......well, incomparable! Oh, in my next life, when I come …

Cuba - 100 years to see, 1000 years to understand it.

My, my I do beleive that I have caused, and am continuing to cause, quite a stir with my last entry on Cuba. As I stated, no promise was ever made that I would not offend! Some thought that we had not enjoyed Cuba. Quite the contrary, we enjoyed it immensely, and met some amazing people as well as made some phenomenal friends. But, we did it Cuban resorts, expensive drinks or hotels....we tried to do it like the Cubans do it....or try to do it. Doing it this way, opened our eyes to many things, and the reality is that every time I hugged a new person goodbye, I could feel my heart breaking and sinking. As I walked away from many of them, my eyes filled up with tears (as they are doing so now), as I struggled to truly understand the emptiness behind their eyes, despite the smiles on their faces!

The following will reveal the places we saw and the people we met, which I will treasure forever! Cuba may be another planet, but it is certainly worth seeing, and trying to …

Understanding life on a different planet -destination Cuba.

Nothing could possibly prepare us for what we experienced in Cuba! We spent 21 days there, and only just returned a few days ago. My mind is still reeling from the experience, as is Alex´s. To be truthful, my head is in a bit of a scramble, as I try to collate my thoughts and ideas. What do I write? What do I tell you about? Alex suggested that I write it as it is, as we felt and saw it. Although it is not my intention to offend anyone, I can make no promises! Follow my thoughts and feelings as I try and unravel the most intricate web I have ever been caught up in; Cuba was both everything and nothing we thought it would be! No amount of reading or investigation could ever have prepared us. So, this is how we felt it, warts and all! Destination Cuba!

For me visiting Cuba had been the dream of a lifetime for many years, and as we boarded our flight from Cancun, I felt a surge of excitement. My dream was about to become a reality! I met Rita Garcia when I was only 12 years old, in my fir…