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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 8 - Havana

Day #8 - May 21, 2012

Location: Havana

I have uploaded 40 high-resolution photos to a web album. You may access them here.

Greetings for the last time from Havana. Today was basically a free day. We all chose to revisit Old Havana for one last time before returning to the U.S. After breakfast at the hotel, we boarded a taxi for the 10 minute ride to Old Havana. Of course, when it’s Havana, it’s not just any old taxi, but a well-preserved 1957 Ford Fairlane:

We spent about an hour walking around the waterfront section of Havana. Along the way, we admired the vintage cars and fine architecture:

We also gave away our last gifts to people we met (in total, we brought 24 dozen pencils, 12 dozen pens, 12 notebooks, 20 packs of baseball cards, and 25 toiletry kits). We really enjoyed hanging around with a group of very friendly school kids:

At 10AM, we entered the San Jose art market, a large warehouse featuring dozens (if not hundreds) of vendors selling art and crafts of every variety. We took advantage of this final opportunity to pick up mementos and gifts:

From there, we walked to Old Havana and took in the sights one last time, enjoying a cub of Cuban coffee at the Plaza de San Fransisco:

We returned to the hotel by 1PM. There, we met our driver Eduardo and our guide Ludwig. We loaded the bus and drove to the airport. We had a poignant goodbye with our local heroes, exchanged our money, paid our departure tax, stood in long lines, handed in our visas, etc. etc. Our 4:30PM flight to Miami lasted only about 48 minutes. There, we passed through immigration and customs, picked up our bags, and then repeated the process of checking in and passing through security. Our 9PM flight to Boston will get us there around midnight, where a bus will drive us to Henniker. All together, it should take about 13 hours door-to-door to get home.

Although all of us loved Havana and have wonderful memories, we are of course happy to be going home. Over the next few days, I hope to update the blog with photo galleries from every day, videos, and photos from other class members as they upload them.

Thank you to all our friends and family for supporting us during this trip. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

All our best,

Ejs

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