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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Havana, Cuba

Apr 11, 2014 - Cuba

Our visit to Cuba was spent traveling between various locations and staying in Casa Particulars (rooms rented out by Cubans in their own house). We visited Veradero, Guanabo (a small beach town just east of Havana), and Havana. We managed to ride in several of the old classic cars, and spent lots of evenings sitting on the beach and watching the sun set.

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Mar 14, 2014 - Cycle of Life 2

Classes So Far: After finally picking the 4 final classes I will be taking, I have been able to limit my class week to Tuesdays through Thursdays meaning that I have a four day weekend to do whatever I feel like doing. So far, that means walking around Havana Vieja, Vedado and some times, Miramar. Out of the four classes, I really enjoy my Spanish and film classes the most. Spanish because that is what I am here for and film because the lady has great movie taste. Last week, she announced that she is making plans to go to a Cuban film...

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Xela 2012

Mar 13, 2014 - Cycle of Life

It’s been a while since I put my pen on a paper to document my adventures here. For a while, I felt like I had nothing to say but now, I have realized that I have been busy chasing adventures and forgot to take notes for my memory/records so I just spent the last minute selecting headings to help me make a concise summary of what has been going on; Internet Trouble: After my last post, there was a shortage of internet cards in Cuba thus I spent the last 3 weeks or so trekking to every telecommunication office within an hour’s radius only...

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Xela 2012

Feb 11, 2014 - Music Appreciation

Up until this this trip, I feel like I never appreciated music/art enough. Growing up, the folks tried to get me to learn the piano and do some art but I was more interested in other things so never took any of that seriously. I know people say it is never too late to pick up a hobby but I am too busy now so maybe when I retire, Ill but some canvases and a guitar to pass away the time. All jokes aside though, I need to take some type of music lesson in the near future. My general attitude in life and the arts can be summed in once phase, “I...

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Xela 2012

Feb 11, 2014 - Back to Havana

Tuesday 11 Feb Today’s drive was to the Bay of Pigs which is known for the 1961 US CIA invasion but is, in fact, quite an extensive area of marshland, rice paddies and charcoal. The area was extremely poor pre-Castro which mal-nutrition, short life expectancy and low literacy. Castro changed all that and therefore gained the loyalty of the area. When the invasion was threatened these people started the first line of defence in support of Castro. We saw a small industry of charcoal burners – what ahorrid and hard job. They build up walls of...

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Cuba and Colombia

Feb 11, 2014 - Beach Day Aquarium Extension

The next morning while everyone else was still tired, I woke up for a nice hot breakfast well rested and ready to go to a beach house owned by the lady in charge of the casa particular. The bus was supposed to leave at 9:30 but just like any real Cuban event, it didn’t get here on time. At about 11:00am, we got a call that the bus broke down and another means of transportation could not be arranged so the day at the beach house had to be canceled. With all my frustration, I immediately changed and decided to check out the national aquarium...

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Xela 2012

Feb 8, 2014 - Wild Boy Edition

It’s a regular Saturday night in Havana and somehow, I find myself at some type of music event with the other American cats in the house. We were supposed to go to a cultural event titles Los Vanvans by some type of Cuban group but unfortunately, Carmita fell and sprained her ankle really bad so could not accompany us. Instead, she organized to have the tribe join the kids on the other study abroad programs who were also going to this event. I got lost trying to understand all the logistics involved with this so I just followed like we were...

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Xela 2012

Feb 8, 2014 - Economics 101

Being American in Cuba requires serious budgeting mostly due to the fact that there are very limited means to get money replenished when you run out. The second reason why it can be hard is that Cuba uses two currencies- the Cuban pesos (CUP) and the Cuban Convertibles (CUC). Understanding the exchange rate in any country is difficult enough but it’s more confusing when there are two different exchange rates and what might seem to be a different services and products provided to tourists and locals. $1=.98CUC=24CUP. Let me explain (Kevin...

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Xela 2012

Feb 7, 2014 - First week of classes

Ok so classes started this week and honestly, I feel like I would rather not be restricted to only take classes in the philosophy and history departments at the University of Havana but this is what it is so I have to resolver (In Cuba, this word means “make it work”). I don’t have a problem with the classes but I wish I could take pure Spanish, classes about Cuban music or even pure math classes. It is kind of weird being on this trip with other liberal art majors and not really being much of a history/political/economic geek. In Cuba, the...

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Xela 2012

Feb 7, 2014 - You know I lost myself in the arms of a cuban whore….

Then I ran down to the clinic with a rash I've never seen before But the test, to all of our surprise, it showed unusual high sex drive I said soul livin', soul livin', soul livin’ we live and learn…. Okay, side trip….to Cuba! WOW! What an incredible experience. It is so different from anything I have seen so far that I was constantly amazed. How a city, a country, a people, can be so old and so new and so resilient is beyond me. First stop, Havana or Habana as they spell it. I flew in from Cancun to Habana and the Airport alone was a trip...

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Feb 1, 2014 - Marina Hemmingway

Today is the day of my two dives in Marina Hemmingway. I called ahead, set up a reservation and requested to do one reef dive and one cave dive. Last night, I reviewed some material relating to scuba just to make sure the information was still fresh. Right before I passed out, I realized that units everywhere in the world are the SI system which means I cannot talk pounds or feet with the dive master on the boat. I thought my phone had a unit convertor but I couldn’t find it so I guess it doesn’t. Last fear of mine was not being able to...

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Xela 2012

Jan 31, 2014 - National Botanical Garden

After smelling all the smog in Havana, it was nice to visit the national botanical garden today. We left with nos maestros after breakfast in a taxi which was fully air conditioned. After a 20 minute ride, we arrived at this haven filled with national flora and a few international floras. They also had 3 greenhouses – one for desert plants, one of rain forest plants and one for sub-tropical plants. Given that the park was very big, we took a train around it. The train was made of a carriage dragged by a tractor which seemed to have problems...

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Xela 2012

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