Our first weekend in Cuba brought our first Cuban excursion and a trip to the beach. On Saturday, we went to Las Terrazas, which is a self-sustaining mountain community about an hour southwest of Havana. We left around 9:00 am in one of the really cool school buses with a group of students from Kirkwood Community College, University of Iowa, DePaul, and Brooklyn College. All of these students are doing a very similar program to ours so it was fun to be able to connect with them and hear about their experiences in Cuba. When we arrived at Las Terrazas, we had a small tour and history lesson on the community and the old coffee plantation nearby.
After our tour and history lesson, we ate lunch and then had free time to do activities in the community. We had the choice to go zip lining, horseback riding, swimming, or just relax. The majority swam or relaxed, but a few decided to go horseback riding or zip lining. Before we left to return to Havana, we visited a small market that had a lot of unique hand made crafts and CDs. Somehow I ended up buying a Polo Montanez CD containing 70 of his most popular songs. If you don’t know who Polo Montanez is, that’s ok, I don’t know who he is either, but the man that sold it to me said he was the best Cuban artist ever…I’m sure he was being honest.
On Sunday, we had our first free day and everyone (but me) decided to go to the beach. The beach was unbelievably beautiful with white sand and aqua blue water. Sam said, “It was like one of the Sandals commercials coming to life!” Unfortunately, around 1:00 pm a torrential downpour started and ended the beach day early. As for me, I decided to dutifully stay near the computer to write this post…AND to keep an eye on the Vikings game. Unfortunately, the Vikings lost and the torrential downpour outside matched the torrential downpour inside my heart…
All in all it was a great weekend and we’re excited to continue our adventure in Cuba. I hope these posts are keeping you all informed and interested. Also, there may be some “guest bloggers” coming soon so be on the lookout for them!
P.S. Happy Birthday to Jan! (Amalia’s Mom)