It's hard to put together a fitting reflection of our trip because it's impossible to describe how the entire experience felt, but as your trusted blogger, it's my job to add some final thoughts. Even though I'll be writing this in 1st person, I'm pretty sure the others in the group would agree with my reflections.
The trip was truly amazing. The people I met, the things I did, and of course, the Spanish I learned are all things I hope to never forget. And while it's true I learned some new Spanish vocabulary words, and useful Spanish grammar techniques, in reality, most of the things I learned came outside of the "classroom,"while walking the streets of Havana, riding in a 1950's taxi, eating dinner with my host family, or people watching on the Malecón. In these nontraditional "classrooms", I learned more important lessons about people and life in general, which is probably what I'll remember most about our trip.
Now don't believe that our trip was perfect, because it wasn't, and that's ok, that's how traveling and life works. There were definitely some days and nights that I felt very uncomfortable and thought, "What did I get myself into?" But as time moved on and with the help of my classmates and host family, I became more comfortable and confident with not only living in Cuba, but also with my Spanish skills. Being uncomfortable obviously isn't fun, but during times of discomfort is usually where change occurs, which is ultimately what studying abroad is all about– change.
I'm sad that I won't be seeing my Cuban friends and family for some time, but I'm excited to be back in the United States and hopeful for future travel to Cuba. Thanks for reading my blog over the last month. I really didn't expect people to follow it so religiously. Viva Cuba Libre!
P.S. I've posted a few of my favorite photos that hadn't made it on the blog yet. Check them out!