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Monday, May 14, 2012

Day #1 – May 14th, 2012
Location: Miami International Airport

Greetings friends and family! Although I don’t have a lot to report at this early juncture, I figured I might as well update the blog while I have easy Internet access. I honestly have no idea what the access will be in Cuba. I am hoping that each hotel will have access that we can purchase, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we don’t have access for many days or at all. I hope to update the blog daily, but please do not become distressed if you don’t hear from me for a few days or, at worst, when we return to Miami!

Our day started brutally early when we all met at the NEC Simon Center at 2:15AM:

Thank you very much to Maria Colby of NEC for picking us up and driving us to Logan airport in Boston for our 5:30AM American Airlines flight to Miami:

We landed with nearly 5 hours between flights, and it turns out we needed every minute of it! It took nearly 3 hours for us to get our bags, complete our paperwork, check in, make it through security, etc.:

There was a lot of paperwork to be done. Here, for example, is a copy of an affidavit provided by the College that attests to our participation in an educational course in Cuba (a State Department requirement for travel to Cuba):

Luckily, our travel company (Holbrook Travel) provided us with an experienced local travel guide who walked us through the confusing process of filling out visas, entry forms, etc. Thank you to Cookie, visible wearing green on the left side of this photo:

We are flying with a charter company called Sky King from Miami to Havana. We will arrive at the charter flight airport (not the international commercial airport) around 3PM, where we will hopefully be met by a local representative who will bring us to the hotel. We have an orientation talk scheduled for 5PM following by dinner out on the town.

Everyone is in good spirits, has all their paperwork, is reasonably awake, and anxious to get our first sample of Cuban culture. Hopefully I will be able to post an update from Havana soon – but no one knows for sure!

Please feel free to leave comments below. If you include your name, I will make sure to relay your messages to the students. I’m sure they’d like to hear from you. Our cell phones don’t work in Cuba, so this may be the easiest means of communication.

Goodbye to the U.S., hola Cuba!

Eric J. Simon

1 comment:

  1. Great to see the blog come to life! Looking forward to hearing your impressions and insights as the adventure begins. Savor, savor, savor!