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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Student impressions on day #5

Day #5: May 18th, 2012

Student impressions

This blog entry contains one paragraph from each student describing something that they found remarkable about Cuba.

Kory Raymond:
My favorite part of Cuba so far was visiting the location of the Bay of Pigs invasion. Today, there is a resort on the beach where the invading force of exiles landed. The museum was great as well because it allowed you to see the Cuban perspective of the invasion instead of the American perspective.

Max Weinberg:
My favorite part of Cuba so far was snorkeling today at the Bay of Pigs. It was the first time that I had ever been snorkeling, and it was really cool to see all of the different colorful fish in the coral reef. I enjoyed learning about the different types of fish that are in Cuba that we do not have back home.

Kameron Luther:
The best experience in Cuba so far has been the jazz club we visited on the second night in Havana. We all went together as a group and we kind of sat in the corner. It gave us a great place to dance because no one in the club was dancing except for us. The band, the atmosphere, and the dancing were so much fun. So far it has been my favorite part of the trip.

Robert Hoyt:
Cuba has been a fantastic experience thus far. From the culture to the places we have visited, everything has been more fascinating and eye-opening than the last. Havana and the Bay of Pigs have offered us beautiful scenery and wonderful memories. I have to admit my favorite experience so far has been enjoying the culture but it’s hard to deny how much fun the snorkeling was. It was a beautiful experience that we can’t wait until tomorrow to do again.

Katherine Raymond:
So far Cuba has been an amazing adventure. Cuba has been a culture shock thus far. They lead such simple lives. My favorite experience would have to be shopping at the San Jose craft market. It was filled with some of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen. I cannot wait to come home and share this wonderful adventure with my loved ones! Mom, I love you!!!!

Meaghan Thibeault:
My time in Cuba thus far cannot be described in so few words, but I will try. Traveling far from home to a country that has so little has made me appreciate my life and the privileges I get to enjoy every day. This is not to say that Cuba has nothing to offer; it is a beautiful island with new and exciting adventures around every corner. A few of my favorite moments have been shopping, visiting the art complex, snorkeling, and above all else, feeding the stray cats and dogs! And I know that the rest of the trip will only get better!

Sarah Vita:
My time in Cuba has been an amazing experience. It definitely has made me appreciate all that I have. I liked giving back in small ways that we did, for example cleaning up the Bay of Pigs and handing out the gifts that we have brought. My favorite parts have been seeing the country, shopping, seeing the art, and experiencing the culture. We have had some great nights hanging out with everyone, especially dancing at the jazz club. I really enjoyed snorkeling since it was my first time. I also got to hold a crocodile which was pretty cool. We are having an awesome time and this once in a lifetime experience is one I will never forget! I know that the next days will be awesome. Thanks Mom and Dad! 

Abby Jones:
My time in Cuba has been amazing; I love the people here, they’re kind and very interested in our class. I loved the food at first but now I’m getting a little tired of rice and beans. My friend Sarah and I are in charge of giving out gifts to the local people and children, and that has been a blast. We loved every moment of seeing the children playing with their new NEC toy bears. Cleaning the beaches was also a good time. I saw people watching excitedly from their homes. People don’t realize that having clean areas and land is a privilege. It costs them money that they don’t have to be able to have recycling and even trash bags. I am looking forward to more snorkeling. The area we went diving today was so beautiful. I am glad I have gotten to experience Cuba. I would even love to come back again one day. I remember everyone saying “come back alive!!!!” However, so far this has been what I would say even safer than being in New York City, or even smaller cities. I have met a few furry friends (dogs) here too; they enjoy my dinner every night by the ocean. I guess I’m weak when it comes to the needs of man’s best friend. I have picked up a little bit of Spanish here; maybe when I am home I’ll try to learn more. You can learn things you never knew about a culture if you can communicate well with one another. I will hold this experience with me forever.

Morgan Whitney:
I will try my best to not be so wordy…Not to my surprise, this country reminds me a lot of South America, hence the Latin culture and way of living. As we all create preconceived ideas before we enter a new and unknown environment, my expectations have exceeded what I originally had pictured. What I mean is that a culture that lacks so much seems to still be so incredibly content. Although it is quite depressing to see little kids walk around with torn and tattered clothing, people begging for money, and to see the dilapidated make-shift houses that they all live in, it is refreshing to see people still smiling and laughing. All I want to do is give people the shoes on my feet and the clothes on my back, but I know in my heart that I can’t fix an entire poverty-stricken culture. The most memorable day for me was two days ago when we went to an artist community where young adults, from ages 17-23 (approximately) live together creating art, music and dance. We walked through a truly impressive art gallery and watched a dance performance of 3 girls and 3 boys. They were so talented, so enthusiastic, and so theatrical. I loved it! It is clear to me how ambitious these young people are and like I mentioned, it is a breath of fresh air to see people with so little radiating such strength and happiness. I was overwhelmed with joy and I got an instant dose of motivation. Mama and Daddy and Alien, if you’re reading this I love you! Wooooo hoooooooo!!!!

Frederica Crafts:
My adventure in Cuba has been bittersweet. It has been difficult for me to see the poverty and suffering amongst the people and animals that I have come in contact with. On Thursday we picked trash up from a beach. It was heartbreaking to see such a beautiful place be turned into such a dump. Unfortunately this waste stretches beyond the beaches, it’s everywhere. All I want to do is stay here and help clean up. Cuba would seriously benefit from having relations with the US, and it saddens me that the people here don’t have the freedoms and opportunities all thanks to an outdated and irrelevant disagreement. I have had an amazing time sharing so many once in a lifetime experiences with some truly fascinating people here and CAN NOT wait to share when I’m home again ! Mommmmy if you’re reading this, I love youuuu!!!

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