Friday, March 07, 2008
Havana Cuba: Leaving
I didn’t write yesterday.
I was too busy going to the beach, drinking white rum & sprite and taking pictures. I got burnt for the first time this trip. Now I’m muy rojo.
This morning... I was nearly screwed over big time.
But Jesus must be looking out for me. I set my alarm for 7 am, but forgot to factor the hour time difference! Ahh! I woke up at 6 am and couldn’t sleep. I tossed & turned for 15 minutes by needing to go to the bathroom really REALLY bad. While I was in the bathroom it dawned on me the time was really 7:20am and not 6:20!!! I was so happy that God had taken care of me and forced me to wake up. I needed to leave at 8am inable to catch my flight back to Mexico City. I would have been really messed up if I missed my flight!
Leslie & Luis showed up at my door like they said they would at 8am. They wanted to usher me out of their country and spend time with me during my last Cuban minutes.
Luis said he went to sleep at 5am! HAHA! He takes great pride in not sleeping. These people are amazing! They stop at nothing to be your friend, to come alongside & comfort you when you are sad. Cubans don’t have much interms of money, cars or homes. They lack NOTHING in heart. I’m writing this in the airport & I’m nearly crying…I guess I’m allowed to cry once in a while. The girl next to me is tearing up too at the site of me writing & crying at the same time. Haha, crying must be like yawning….contagious!
I learned some key things from my Cuban friends
Family & friends are the most important thing of Havana. Yes most of them are secretly frustrated w/ politics. They do want change. This is a place where you need to work all day to put some bottled water on the table or cervesa on a special occasion. And yes the Cubans have their issues, but where they lack…they make up w/ their big hearts & patience the love for each other & respect for their heros. In Cuba, life is hard. You can’t leave the country for any reason for fear you will see & experince greenier pastures, incase you won’t want to come back. The Cuban paseo or even CUC are useless everywhere else in the world. (The money exchange is horrible even if you come from a good economy) The Mexican paseo exchanges horribly as well as the USD (usd has a 20% surcharge added to every exchange) my 500 peseos from mexico got me 31 cuban (cuc) in the us, 500 mexican paseos would get me about $46 dollars.
I never thought I would say this, but I’m sad I’m leaving. I am sooo excited to speak to Ira, Josiah & Audrey.The second I’m in Mexico, I’m going to call them! I feel like Truman in the Truman’s show,in a shelter, seclueded from the rest of the world but also being closely watched!
This trip has been hard. I wish I could explain in words how much I've learned, but its just not possible. I've been alone, I've been lost, I've had to deal with getting cheated and stared at and being a minority, dealing with fear and getting fined for being here. Not having contact with the people you love the most is a huge damper on the day. Not only did I struggle with much, but I had no excess money, no credit card and certainly no luxary items...besides my Canon 5D (My best friend).
This trip has been a huge eye opener…the world may continue to get smaller w/ the population online and everyone united, but there is one place that refuses to give in to the almighty dollar…and that is Cuba.
Miguel on his front porch.
A stronger Samuel
I'm sad I'm leaving.