Blogs from Cuba, Central America Caribbean - page 6


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Cienfuegos August 21st 2014

Cuban Blog Day #16 Ask For What You Want. You Just Might Get It Diving! When you live in Colorado, it’s a little hard to SCUBA dive. I make sure every trip I take includes some sort of diving so as not to get rusty. It still doesn’t work all that well. Each new dive, I’m a little nervous and worried that I may have forgotten how to do it. To ease that worry I’m not shy about telling my Dive Master that it’s been awhile since my last dive. This usually results in a little extra attention underwater, which in turns relaxes me a bit. I got to the dive shop and was happy to see it wasn’t a full boat, just a Canadian girl and two older Mexican men. While getting ready, I casually ... read more
Dream come true

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas August 18th 2014

A Comer (a reflection by Stan) “A comer!” It’s the call to the table – “let’s eat!” Or you can say “al ataque,” that is, “dig in.” There’s so much to write about the Cuban culture of food, I’ll need several blogs. Using the “farm to fork” model, I’ll start with the fork, the actual meals we’re enjoying, and work my way back in future blogs to talk about food prep, shopping, and Cuban agriculture, all of which provide fascinating contrasts to the American food culture. To begin with, breakfast is simple, a piece of bread and coffee. Lunch consists of leftovers from the night before, from the comida, the dinner meal, the big meal of the day. I’ll try and describe a “dream comida” – what the typical fare might be for the a-typical family ... read more
Kim and Paco with Birthday Cake
Armando's Merienda
Stan's treat -- cafe with mango and bananas

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Cienfuegos August 11th 2014

I was happy to be on the road again. So much of visiting a country for is actually about the traveling, the getting there, the being on the way. After a failed attempt to visit the closed on Sunday, even though everyone said it wouldn’t be, tobacco factory and a brief visit to the cigar store which was open and had plenty of cigars, the cheapest of which was $10, and several lovely bottles of Havana Club rum, I was on my way to the bus station. While I waited to get on the bus, grateful to be taking a bus that I was pretty certain would be more or less on time, and on which I was sure to have a reclining seat and air conditioning, I chatted with a Danish girl. She was traveling ... read more
Sunset on the Malecon
On the malecon

Central America Caribbean » Cuba August 5th 2014

The car I’d arranged for the next day to take me to Santa Clara, was, you guessed it, late. Nearly two hours, which pretty much negated the whole reason I was taking a car and not the bus. On top of being late to pick me up, I also enjoyed a very un-scenic drive around the town of Camaguey for about an hour or so before, you guessed it, picking up two other passengers. And, you guessed it, the price didn’t change. When I finally arrived in Santa Clara, I went walking to find the famous Che memorial. It was a very hot day and a lot longer of a walk than I was anticipating. Once at the memorial I walked around and read all of the statues. Then, I went inside to the museum and ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas July 31st 2014

The Games People Play (Stan’s Reflections) The Spanish word for “game” (as in baseball game, or game of cards) is “partido.” Our first month here has been filled with “partidos” of all sorts. It was great to be in a Latin American country during World Cup time and experience the intensity of highly partisan soccer fans. We also got to watch some of the friendhip series taking place here between the Cuban national baseball team and a group of U.S. collegiate all-stars. What is more fun, though, is watching Cubans at play on an everday basis. A wonderful part of the culture here is that they really do know how to play. From stickball and soccer in the streets and parks to card games and dominoes on the sidewalks, they play with great abandon and full-throated ... read more
Pass the Pigs
Neighborhood Futbol
Sidewalk Dominoes

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas July 31st 2014

Max Cap (Kim’s reflections) Stan and I were reviewing our travels since we arrived about one month ago, and we realized that we have been surrounded by angels on every trip. Most every transport has been filled like a can of sardines, and in the heat of Cuba, it’s cooked sardines! Delicious! Every trip has also had its unique components. We went to Camaguey to visit our sister church, and it was a beautiful family reunion to see old friends who are now family. The children call us “Uncle Stan and Aunt Kim.” That more than anything else has helped me understand the concrete reality of all of us being members of the family of God. On one trip we were picking up children, youth and adults from four churches to go on an outing to ... read more
music on the bus
Pastors for Peace Bus
Stan with niece Nailen

Central America Caribbean » Cuba July 27th 2014

Cuban Blog Day #13 Ask the Right Questions I took a $15 CUC taxi back to Holguin from Gibara. I had just missed the bus to take me to Camaguey. It was very disappointing as it meant I had to choose between waiting for three hours or taking another taxi and spending more money. I’d asked la dueña and some other folks around Gibara what the schedule was, but nobody knew it. Viazul is a bus mostly for tourists. It is much more expensive and nicer than the busses for locals. Because of this, most locals do not know the schedule. I decided to take another taxi the three hours north to Camaquey. I didn’t want to waste any more of my precious little time left in Cuba. I was already freaking out about ... read more
The view from my little plaza

Central America Caribbean » Cuba July 16th 2014

Cuban Blog Day #12 Can You Spare Some Shampoo? I was very excited to go to the beach the next day in Gibara. I walked toward the ferry I needed to take to get there and was stopped by a man on the street who told e the ferry was not working. He walked with me while I went to confirm this, worried he was simply telling me this to get me to take a ride in his taxi. He was telling me the truth, and I was upset that this information was not included when I asked the man at the hotel the day before, perhaps he didn’t know. I walked toward the beach in town disappointed about the change in plans and unable to afford the price the man who was still walking with ... read more
Bats in the cave
My cave guides

Central America Caribbean » Cuba July 12th 2014

I only needed one day in Bayamo. It’s a great, quaint city, but it’s tiny and there’s not much to do on a second day. I suppose if I were to do the trip again I would skip Bayamo, but then I would have missed out on Alberto and his seemingly endless shots of Havana Club at Bar Esquina. So I was off to another town on another bus. This time my destination was the town of Holguin, though I didn’t plan to stay long there. It was a short one and a half hour bus ride to Holguin, barely time to sleep. Once at the bus station the most incredible rain began to fall. I’ve never seen anything like it. It came on so quickly and so heavy all at once. It forced me to ... read more
The view of the courtyard from the casa
The grand foyer

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas July 10th 2014

We are having a wonderful time so far in Cuba. It is truly full of wonder. An interesting language note: there is not a literal Spanish translation for our word “wonderful.” The closest word I have found is “asombroso”, which literally means “shadowy.” That is perfect for Cuba. When you are experiencing mid-summer weather that approaches 100 degrees and 100% humidity, the shadows, i.e., the shade, is a premium. This is quite evident during the day as you see all the pedestrians jostling for space on the sidewalk on one side of the street – the shaded side – while the sunny side is empty, except maybe for a visiting gringo or two who are in a hurry or who have not yet learned to get out of the sun. Cuba is a shadowy place in ... read more
Streets of Matanzas
Paco and Lila and El Burrito
Proclaiming in First Baptist Church Matanzas

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