So ya ya ya, I’m a slacker on the blog once again. Sorry dudes. I’m going to skip ahead to what I’ve been doing lately and hopefully fill in the gaps later on in life when things calm down a bit. Explanation for the rush-Throughout our program we were told that we would have our carnets (Cuban Temporary Resident card) until the end of our trip. However, at the end of March, Immigration let us know that they would be revoking them at the end of April to begin processing our exit visas. So…subtitles, this means that we are only able to pay for travel in Cuban pesos and rent rooms in casas particulares as students until the end of April. Due to that, we bumped up our planned travel schedule (us being my travel partners in crime Katie, Susan and Mary) up to fit in all of the places that we’ve wanted to visit. Our professors have been awesome and taken a week from our April class schedule and moving it into May so that we could have an extended time to travel to the farther ends of the country.
Three weeks ago, Katie and I ventured to
Week=same ol’ same, classes, research for paper writing, the boys playing their guitars on the porch, eating peso pizza, watching half-century old restrictions being lifted. Ok, maybe that last one isn’t so bland. One of the cooler prohibitions that was removed was the inability for Cubans to enter or book hotel rooms in tourist hotels. A few of us ventured out just before midnight and headed to the Hotel Nacional to celebrate the change-over and picked up a Cuban friend along the way. The hotel was just as quiet as it would be on any other night, are friend being the only non-hotel employed Cuban there. We had a great time celebrating, but it was a definite sign that although there are changes here, Cubans won’t be immediately affected if they still don’t have the money to take advantage of the opportunities. Anyway, as we were leaving, our friend stood in the middle of the lobby and yells, “I’m legal in here now!” and all of the employees started cheering. It was quite the fun time.
Oh yes. A fun detail on Friday. I was bitten by a dog. Yup…chalk that one on to my “I do my own stunts” list. I was walking with Katie in Habana Vieja looking at paintings when I went to look closer at a piece on an easel and caught the tail of a dog that was sleeping underneath. He jumped up and bit the left side of my left foot, then when I tried to shake him off, he went for the right side of the same foot. Not a pretty site, but three Canadian tourists with a car came to my rescue, pouring purified water on my foot and took me to the hospital. Apparently “
After that ordeal, we packed up once again and headed toward
After a nice nap, we toured the area around our casa, which was right in the heart of the historic district with a famous church 3 blocks down, a few museums scattered around and the site where Fidel proclaimed the Revolution’s triumph on December 31st, 1959. We attempted to buy bus tickets the next morning, but as
The next day, Susan and I headed five hours northeast to
The next day, we took it slow. Saw the Moncada Barracks, where Fidel and his army first began their rebel activities in 1953. They failed miserably the first time around by the way, got sent to jail for a bit. Later that afternoon, we met up with some friends that we had met in a park and went to the first game of the Cuban Baseball World Series between
We took a ’55 Chevy out to the
Friday was set aside to go into the Sierra Maesta mountain range to hike the trails that the Castros had followed as they started their Revolutionary regrouping and planning in ’58. Long story short, the driver never showed and we ended up going to
Ok…more to come: Isla de Jovenetud and more daily life!