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Cuba February 2019 Photo Journal

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GLOBAL VOLUNTEERS C u b a T e a m G o a l s T e a m 8 3 T e a m C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Patience To serve Communicative To learn about Cuba To experience another culture Humor Calm Common Goal Open Minded Tolerant Flexibility Even keeled To be immersed 2

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February 16 17 2019 T SALLY COATES J o u r n a l E n t r y he boarding gate for Santa Clara was filled with primarily people speaking Spanish What are they speaking about that sounds so urgent and important So many words and so fast After boarding the captain says we re going Takeoff clapping Is the clapping because we took off Or because we made it safely to the skies We land and more clapping Because we re safe Or is this clapping just a Cuban thing We disembark At the airport a big crowd awaits their loved ones I feel a bit nostalgic for the days when we could meet one another at gates So much sweeter than a text to someone waiting at a cell phone lot and being picked up amongst all the traffic on the arrival ramp I watch the crowd greet their loved ones Lots of embraces Lots of kissing sounds But more like air kisses I soon learn the standard Cuban greeting I look around I wish I would have attempted to learn some Spanish phrases But of course I always came up with an excuse I start scanning the area looking for a Global Volunteers sign I scan some more and see a cute young man approach He asks Are you with Global Volunteers Big smile from me I m in Cuba Stop about half way to Ciego de vila to have a hamburger It s fabulous We noticed many people walking on the side of the road in groups in the dark On Sunday morning we attended a church service from 11 20 til 1pm I don t understand much but attempt to sing along to the chorus The teens run in and out as different friends come to talk to them Some church women correct them and it s rather humorous 3

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February 18 2019 PAT HARPER W J o u r n a l E n t r y e started our first day with breakfast at 7 00 am and were on our way walking to the organic garden to do some weeding of several plots that contained radishes Cindy Sally Pat and Yanel worked hard for several hours We were pretty muddy and cleaned up where the workers had several basins of water one to wash in and one to rinse We saw several customers buying onions at the stand This structure also served as a storage place for tools and material for the garden The garden measures four hectares so there were many tools for the eight workers to use I t g o o d w a s a f o o d f u l l a n d d a y a w i t h v a r i e t y g o o d o f c o m p a n y t h i n g s t o d o We left the garden about 10 00 am and walked to the Community Center A young couple met us outside the Center and said they needed some help preparing for an English test the next day They had a sheet with 68 questions that they could be asked and were to be judged by a panel of three teachers from their trade school on their ability to answer in English They were taking classes to help them get jobs in the tourism industry We stopped working on English instruction and had lunch at the Center about 12 00 noon We went back to the hotel via carriage pulled by a bicycle driver At 6 00 pm Sally Pat and Cindy walked to dinner near the Center and got to the Center at 7 00 pm to teach some more English Pat took the twenty year olds to work on their English further Sally Cindy and Yadi took four beginners There was much enthusiasm from both groups but the older ones were much quieter We finished about 9 00 pm and returned to the hotel via horse drawn carriage It was a full day with good company good food and a variety of things to do 4

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I SALLY COATES February 19 2019 J o u r n a l E n t r y slept in and headed to breakfast around 7 15 Yay The coffee pots are full I grab coffee toast fruit and a surprise meat that I though was ham I pick a spot near a window so that I can watch the different modes of transportation pass by horse and buggy bici taxis bicycle cart motorcycles mopeds some electric automobiles bicycles walkers side saddle bike passengers an occasional American auto from the 50s I was soon joined by Pat and Cindy Around 8 30 we walked to the church via the lake path An occasional horse can be seen eating grass in the fields next to the path Also an occasional man is cutting grass with a scythe We think this is for the horses but aren t sure Sculptures made of old metal parts align the path We see an alligator porcupine buffalo and many others Whoever made these is very talented Once at the church we meet the ladies of the sewing circle We may try to help somehow Neither I nor Pat is keen on this activity I don t know how to sew We all moved to an adjacent room and sat in a round This includes the ladies of the sewing circle other members of the congregation Yanel and Yadi The next hour or so is fascinating We were back at the Center from 7 00 til 9 00 Pat worked with Melissa and Leandro as well as two other beginning adults Cindy Yanel Yadi and I worked with the girls We started with memory and then Yanel wanted to play Uno I did not know how to play but Yanel assured me that they could use English We took pictures with Melissa because she has to work tomorrow and we won t see her 5

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F PAT HARPER February 20 2019 J o u r n a l E n t r y eeling at home going to breakfast in our hotel We set out walking to the church at 8 30 to observe the sewing circle doing their thing Yadi explained their work and showed us the three sewing machines that they have They have a supply of fabric to work with and Cindy brought some with her for them to use The sewing machines were like the one my Mother had in the 40s that had to be pedaled The most impressive piece of their work is a quilt hung in the meeting room at the church The sewing circle had used buttons to make designs on squares of cloth Each square had a different design on different fabric The squares were then sent to a church in Minneapolis MN where the sewing circle there made them into a quilt Then we went to the Center for English classes Rafael and Leandro came but Melissa had to work We worked on reading about the paintings of Norman Rockwell to encourage reading and improve their English and learn new vocabulary words We finished up the lesson with Yanel and Sally about pictures of Rafael Leandro and Melissa and pictures of us on our phones Both Rafael and Leandro used their phones during class to record new vocabulary words Both Rafael and Leandro were interested in the paintings Rafael has attended art school and sketches portraits with pencil Today was pizza day for lunch Cuban pizza has a thick crust and is topped with cheese No garlic oregano or tomato sauce is used 6

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February 20 2019 We took the same horse drawn carriage from the restaurant to the church so that we could be on time to take a bus to Chamblas We had a long school bus with plenty of seats for us and members of the church We drove one and a half hours and arrived at Chamblas at 8 00 pm We went into a small church that appeared to be full already but they made room for us There were pews enough for 30 people but by squeezing together and bringing in extra chairs we all fit in and were warmly welcomed We had a lot of laughter and fun together on this trip Everyone we met was so welcoming and kind It was an experience to remember We had a complete Baptist service just like the one we attended on Sunday the day after we arrived in Cuba The music was beautiful The prayers and sermon were not understood by Sally and Pat Stan Hastey gave a long talk about Thomas Merton He told the story about Merton coming to Cuba because a monastery here would accept him He had been refused admittance to a monastery in the U S Later he returned to the U S where he was accepted into a monastery to spend the rest of his life Stan was presented a gift for his many years of service to the Baptist church The service ended with the Kiss of Peace Everyone smacked everyone with a big kiss on the cheek We got back on the bus and Eduardo came down the aisle with a big bowl of sliced cheese It was cold and very refreshing Later we had crackers and then set off for Ciego de vila The bus took us directly to the hotel We had a lot of laughter and fun together on this trip Everyone we met was so welcoming and kind It was an experience to remember 7

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W SALLY COATES February 21 2019 J o u r n a l E n t r y e started early this morning at the garden Yanel came to the hotel around 8 00 and we took a buggy to the garden We were able to take pictures today so we took pictures of the garden Rafael joined us to weed After the garden we went directly to the Center However we only had Rafael today so Pat worked with him and Yanel took me on a tour of the block We stopped at a ration shop and he explained how every year each person gets a new ration booklet Everyone is rationed 1 or 2 lbs of sugar 5 lbs of rice some bread oil and other staples each month Back at the Center Adelia showed us how to make espresso on the stove as well as how to make the Cuban sugar cream Adelia showed us photos of her son He has a strong resemblance to her I joined pat and Rafael where they were discussing Cuban history including Fidel Castro Che Guevera and Camilo Cienfuegos the one whose plane went missing After lunch we walked to Cindy s friend Juakina s house Cindy stayed with her and her husband several years ago and has remained friends with her She rents rooms and has a very beautiful home We had coffee with her her husband and her brotherin law She has quite a green thumb and has many healthy plants She has a small very old dog birds fish and turtles We met at 4 45 tonight to go to the Center for tutoring Leandro worked with Pat Sally and Cindy initially only have Analis We decided to have Analis teach us Spanish words and we ll teach her English words She is quite strict on Spanish pronunciation Eventually the other girls joined We taught them some new words and they all ran home to get their notebooks They added the new words to their notebooks Cindy discovered that little Carol hadn t learned her ABCs yet so the girls took over and began to teach her math She was wearing a little headband with two antennas that had pink butterflies on the ends Watching the girls work with her broke the cute factor scales I think this has to be one of the sweetest things I ve ever observed 8

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February 22 2019 W PAT HARPER J o u r n a l E n t r y e began the day with a walk to the church We were met by some of the members of the sewing circle Sally and Pat worked on a project that uses scraps of fabric and a mesh canvass A tool is needed to hook the fabric and pull it through the holes in the canvass Pat started the process and Sally cut the strips Then they changed places and continued to work on the project Marilita and her mother Gladys were there Marilita was doing her own project with a canvass she had started some time ago She usually works on it on Tuesdays Yadi came and made coffee for us Cindy bought desserts the breakfast kind for us to share too Yanel also came during the morning Yanel Yadi Cindy Sally and Pat left the church at noon and went to the Center for lunch After lunch we went to the city center to look in shops and buy cigars and coffee to take home We set off in a horse drawn carriage for dinner at Garnish We arrived at the Center at 7 00 Many eager students came Five were in the adult group two in the older beginner group and five in the children s group Sally s group had many varied activities and the most fun was working with temporary tattoos We returned to the hotel at 9 00 by horse drawn carriage and rested for a trip to Moron tomorrow 9

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February 23 2019 E SALLY COATES J o u r n a l E n t r y duardo picked us up in the minivan around 9 00 am We went to the Ciego de vila museum where we were given a tour by the director Eduardo translating Yadi and Yanel met us there The museum had a display of the original native Cuban people who were killed by the Spanish Since all the locals were killed these Spaniards brought in slaves from Africa for labor The religion Santeria was born from combining the African religion with Catholicism After the museum we went to see a performance by Rumbavila It involved drumming and dancing The dancer performed a variety of dances including one where he used kerosene in his mouth to blow fire After the performance we drove to Moron We ate at a very nice outdoor restaurant which reminded me of Hawaii After lunch we visited a crocodile farm There was only one Cuban crocodile and the rest were American crocodiles The Cuban crocodile didn t play well with others so was in an enclosure by himself Cuba is trying to save its nearly extinct crocodile species We then picked up Larry Morales He is a local historian We drove to Milk Lake It is the largest lake in Cuba and has a wonderful breeze Pat and I stood in the lake for a while and it was the coolest I ve been all week On the way back to Moron we stopped at the Rooster of Moron statue where we heard the story of the Rooster from Larry He wrote a book on the history of the Rooster and was instrumental in getting it rebuilt I really enjoyed his passion for telling the story Pat thought he was long winded Articles about Larry can be found on the internet We all enjoyed the music and sang along as best as we could Afterwards we went to Larry s house in Moron He lives with his wife who is also an author We had a concert by a Son Cuba musician We all enjoyed the music and sang along as best as we could He played Eric Clapton Willie Nelson one of his own and several others Cindy and I danced to Footloose 10

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T PAT HARPER February 24 2019 J o u r n a l E n t r y oday is Election Day in Cuba We walked by several voting locations and looked at the sample ballot All voters must be pre registered for their neighborhood and they must show ID before getting a ballot This election was a simple one where the voter checked Yes or No to the new constitution The Cubans were well informed about the issue and many posters were seen in shop windows that said Vote si for Cuba TV ads were also used urging a Yes vote Results would be announced on Monday All ballots were counted by hand Yanel came to the hotel and walked Cindy Sally and Pat to the city center Along the way we stopped to look at eyeglass frames that Yanel was going to buy when the store was open We may go early on Tuesday to help him select the most attractive frames We took a horse drawn carriage to the club for the salsa lessons The club was open for just us Yadi brought her boyfriend Alejandro Yanel was there to dance with Sally and Pat before the instructor came He was Yadi s friend and they illustrated some excellent Cuban dance moves We all tried the one two three steps of the salsa while salsa music played on the sound system Junior was there to see that all was going well and when the lights and sound went out he said Welcome to Cuba The salsa dancing lesson was very well delivered and we will not forget the one two three steps A fuse had blown and was easily fixed We had an enjoyable rest of the evening listening to music and talking The salsa dancing lesson was very well delivered and we will not forget the one two three steps We went back to the hotel via horse drawn carriage around 10 00 pm We will need to be in the lobby by 8 30 am tomorrow to say goodbye to Sally 11

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February 25 2019 W PAT HARPER J o u r n a l E n t r y e said goodbye to Sally as she left for Havana with Eduardo to see a little of the city before taking her flight to Miami Yanel Cindy and Pat walked to the church to spend the morning with some of the church members Pat continued to work on her project of hooking a small rug Yadi brought some new fabric to cut and hook We had a pleasant morning with Marilita We went to the Center for lunch and then for some walking Cindy and Pat walked under a bridge where many different spaces were used for playing basketball tennis and handball Some spaces had tables for cards dominoes and other games We walked further and stopped at a synagogue and met the Rabbi and his wife They invited us in to see the synagogue and their home There were pews for 30 or 40 people A long Hebrew prayer was written on a side wall The Hebrew alphabet was written on a chalkboard in the front Their home went a long way to the back of the lot They had two bedrooms a bath a kitchen a sitting room a garden and a shed all in a row Then we parted to go our own way taking pictures and looking at the sights Melissa Leandro and Rafael came for Pat Beginning English learners came for Yadi and many little girls came for Cindy Yanel floated between the groups Lots of interesting teaching for two hours and then returned to the hotel by horse and carriage 12

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C PAT HARPER February 26 2019 J o u r n a l E n t r y indy invited Yanel to come to the hotel to have breakfast with us and walk to the Center We pulled weeds in the Center garden until students arrived at 10 00 We all Yadi Yanel Cindy and Pat listened to Leandro and Melissa recite the paragraphs they had memorized for an English test on Wednesday morning We helped with their pronunciation and asked questions about the content of the paragraphs It was all about Halloween Rafael worked on his job interview coming up on Friday He practiced his vocabulary on nautical terms He wants a job at a resort taking tourists for rides in a catamaran and scuba diving Lunch was at the Center followed by free time and sightseeing After dinner we went to the Center for English lessons Mostly the same students came and worked on their English for two hours The older students are very focused on their learning We went home to the hotel in a buggy and then caught up on emails 13

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February 27 2019 C PAT HARPER J o u r n a l E n t r y indy and Pat met Yanel at the optical store to help him select frames for his new glasses He only had one choice He will get them on Thursday when he gets paid We stopped for coffee and sweets on our way to the church It was my treat for the three of us At the church we joined the sewing circle again Pat did more hooking on her project and Marilita finished hers It is now ready to be sold We left the church to get to the Center at 10 00 10 30 Idelia had an English lesson while we waited for students to come Only Rafael came and worked very hard to be ready for his interview on Friday He is only 21 and has done so many things elementary school sport school high school electrician school military service art school and lifeguard school Today was Pizza Day We had a big group join in to have pizza Cindy Pat Yadi Yanel some ladies from the sewing circle Idelia and Eduardo It was a very festive occasion After dinner we went to the Center to give English lessons The same loyal students came We worked for two hours and said goodbye to the students It was sad to not return the next day to see them again One unusual thing for Pat was to watch a video on Leandro s phone in which Melissa is saying goodbye She was working and could not come this evening It was so well done and a very touching thank you for helping her 14

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February 28 2019 C PAT HARPER J o u r n a l E n t r y indy and Pat left for Havana via taxi at 8 30 am Yanel Yadi and Eduardo came to the hotel to say goodbye This was hard to do too They will be missed as well as all the things we shared We stopped for lunch along the way and enjoyed looking at the countryside as we approached Havana We arrived at the Ernest Hemingway house outside of Havana about 2 00 pm We were met by Giuliamo who took us throughout the grounds We had a beautiful view of Havana s skyline and the ocean from the hill on which the house sits We could look at each room from the doorways and windows No visitors are allowed inside The house is completely furnished and his 9 000 books are just as he left them Some of his valuable paintings have been removed by his heirs We left there to enter Havana and go to the guest house where we will stay for two nights Dinner was at a lovely restaurant in this quiet and fashionable neighborhood We took a taxi from there to an old cooking oil factory that has been converted into an exhibition hall for artists and a theater for the performing arts It was jam packed with people We enjoyed live orchestra music that resounded throughout the building We walked to every floor to see paintings sculptures crafts and very small shops selling art pieces and craft items Pat especially liked a painting of historical persons that had been redacted The faces of the people were covered in squares of paper It was so timely in terms of the Mueller probe and all the redacted documents we see on TV We took a taxi home from there at nearly twice the price we paid to come We retired for the day 15

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March 1 2019 W PAT HARPER J o u r n a l E n t r y e had a lovely breakfast at the guest house and walked to the Baptist Church s national headquarters We met our guide Umberto there and we also met Jema Pat gave Jema some money from Jane and Bill Teaford that they want Global Volunteers to use in purchasing Spanish to English dictionaries for use in Global Volunteer s English classes in Cuba We left there in a taxi to go to Old Havana We walked all over that part of the city and saw the port There was a huge cruise ship docked there From there we went to a cultural center for a working class neighborhood of Havana near the port It is a center where painting sculpture and music are taught by professors who charge nothing Our guide is an aspiring opera singer who studies under a teacher who discovered her and who lives in the neighborhood She sang for us briefly and it was just wonderful Umberto came with us because he likes going to this cultural center It was started as a neighborhood project and is now sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Income from selling works of art made there and donations from the public also support activities at the center We had a buffet lunch at a restaurant near our guest house and then returned to the guest house for a break We had guests come to the house about 4 00 pm Amy and her daughter Emalie talked with us about education and at the same time could practice English Amy wants to work abroad and that requires that her English be very good Amy also wants her daughter to choose a profession and be fluent in English Emalie wants to be a cook After they left we hopped into a robin s egg blue 1948 Ford convertible for a ride through the city It was a beautiful evening to ride in the open and have New Havana whizzing by We finished the evening back in the neighborhood of the guest house We ate outside on the second story balcony of a very good restaurant near the guest house We walked back to the house to pack rest and prepare to return to the U S tomorrow 16

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TEAM 83 JOURNAL Ciego de vila Cuba February 2019 The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention Oscar Wilde Thank your you for service GLOBAL VOLUNTEERS 375 East Little Canada Road St Paul MN 55117 1628 USA 800 487 1074 toll free 651 482 0915 fax globalvolunteers org email globalvolunteers org GlobalVolunteers globalvolunteers globalvolunteers