THINGS OF NOTE AND A FEW SNAPS OF ME
Since I have a five hour lay over here in Halifax airport, I figure I would jot down a few things of note about Havana and my experience there. My typical reflection post.
1. I loved staying at a casa. It was simple but warm and comfortable with the best hosts. I felt like I was at home. It is a realization how excessive life is back home. So, if you are up for it, check out Hostal Casacuba.
2. Life is not easy at the casa or for the average Cuban people. Families have ration cards for groceries and have to line up daily for basic necessities. The average salary is $20 CUC (about $20 usd) a month. Although it is obvious that anyone who can earns a buck on the side. Doctors who make about $30 a month often do work on the side.
3. Water! There is no ready/guaranteed access in the home. Pressure is low, there is not always enough gas pressure to keep it warm or like last night, you just run out. Orlando was good enough to borrow water so we could have showers before we traveled. Yes, borrow. That means lugging buckets from neighbors to the barrels on the roof.
4. Water! For the first time ever, I did not find bottled water to be readily available. I sometimes went to 6 or 7 stores before finding any and if I found the large bottles, I bought at least two. It was hot and you have to drink to stay hydrated.
5. Cubans can move! Man, I don’t know how but if there is music playing, the people are smiling and moving in a way that would make you think their hips are built different than ours. I could never go on the dance floor without making a complete fool of myself. People have so much fun dancing.
6. People are comfortable in their skin. No matter the size, they are in tight clothes and rocking it on the dance floor. They look good too.
7. Wifi is fairly new to the average person. Internet is sold on the black market for $3 an hour in the form of a little card. Hundreds gather in the local hotspot to make calls and text. Tons of people have cell phones. I am told they come from relatives living in the states. For now, you rarely see people on their phones outside those hotspots.
8. The reported literacy rate of Cuba is 97%
9. I want to learn the Rumba and the Salsa and wish I could have taken up all the offers for lessons as I walked down the street.
10. I need to learn Spanish. English was pretty limited in our area. It seemed better in the tourist areas.
11. I love taking pictures and feel especially lucky to have had this opportunity to take pictures in such a warm community with welcoming people.
12. The boys are very pretty.
Dan was snapping pictures as we moved through the city this week. Here are a few images of our activities.
Great week with great people.