Hello everyone! Sorry for not blogging this week, but not much has happened this week because of the weather. Unfortunately, this week we heard a lot of people say, "It usually never rains in January!" It rained on Monday...Tuesday...Wednesday...Thursday...and...Friday! Therefore many of our outdoor activities were cancelled or limited. But have no fear, the rain didn't stop us from attending class everyday and learning more Spanish. The best part of class this week was learning how to salsa dance. It was a lot of fun, but we still need a lot of practice before we'll be ready for the dance floor. Besides going to class, this week we listened to lectures on Cuban public health, the Santeria (an Afrocuban religion), and race and culture in Cuba. We also visited the Museum of the Cuban Revolution and Cuba's most famous art museum, Bellas Artes. The lectures and visits were good ways to get a better understanding of Cuba's past, present, and future.
On Saturday, we went to Las Mantanzas, a northern coastal city, which is about two hours east of Havana. At Las Mantanzas we toured an old Spanish/Cuban fortress that protected Mantanzas bay. After the fortress, we visited a pharmacy museum (yes you read that right), which was in operation from the early 1800's until 1964. Not many of us are really interested in pharmacy, but it was actually cool to see how medicine was created before today's technology. After, we ate lunch in a beautiful hotel and then headed to an Afrocuban dance performance. The performance was very energetic and fun, even though I didn't always understand what was happening. After the performance, it was time to head home, but before we left, we were surprised with a stop at the highest point in Las Mantanzas. The views were breathtaking. On Saturday night, many of us went downtown to The National Hotel to relax and take in the ocean view.
Sunday, was another free day and we were able to spend more time outside! We went to Habana Vieja (Old Havana) in the morning to walk around and shop at many of the nice tourist stores. Even though shopping was great, the best stop of the morning was at the Museum of Chocolate (yes you read that right was again). In reality, it wasn't much of a museum, but just a reason to eat and drink chocolate. There was all different types of chocolate dishes, including the group favorite, a chocolate ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sugar....delicious and nutritious! After shopping, one group headed to the beach to take in the sun, while the other stayed longer at Habana Vieja to continue shopping. On Sunday evening, a group headed down to a small café by the ocean to reminisce about the weekend's activities and plan a few more adventures...
It's hard to imagine we only have nine days let, but we're excited to see what's next. Thanks for reading!