I am starting to get into the flow of life here in Cuba. One of the things I have adjusted to us “Cuban time.” When someone here tells you that they will meet you at 9 o’clock what they are really saying is that you can expect to see me within a few hours of that time. There is no real sense of urgency here, things will happen when they happen, and I love that. Cultural adaptation is key when traveling abroad and Cuba is no exception. Havana is an incredible city. It is unlike any other place I have visited in Latin America. When I asked my hosts about the dangerous areas which I should avoid they responded that there aren’t really any. I am able to walk back to the Cathedral from the local hotel, the Melia Cohiba, no matter the hour. I am writing this post at 9 P.M. with no fear of having to trek back to my room in complete darkness. Don’t get me wrong I am still being cautious and aware of my surroundings but Cubans are not people of violence, they are people of love and family.
One thing that you will notice over the course of this year is the degradation of my English abilities, and you must excuse me for this. The internet infrastructure here unfortunately won’t allow me to post pictures, so the only way that I will be able to do this is if I am fortunate enough to send pictures back with visiting groups from America.
But I tell you this, Cuba is an island made up of MacGyver’s. An item is not broken until a Cuban declares it broken; how do you think they are able to maintain the classic cars Cuba is know for? I spent two days helping the workers at the Cathedral install an air conditioning unit in one of the apartments here. Using the most basic tool imaginable we blasted through a brick wall to make room for the new unit. There is something incredibly satisfying about using your hands and basic tools to accomplish a task like this. The AC unit is a refurbished piece of machinery that is easily older than I am.
Bishop Maria Griselda Delgado del Carpio and her husband Gerardo Logildes Coroas are incredible people. Not only have they welcomed me into their home like their own son, they spend every free moment of every day working. Whether it is filling out basic paper work, visiting local churches, or installing a new showerhead in the guest apartment, they bring a new meaning to hard work. Thank you for your hospitality and all the work you do for the church in Cuba.
I also what to give a shout-out to my fellow YASC’rs. I regretfully will not be able to follow your journeys, as I am unable to access to your blogs at the moment. This being said, I encourage everyone reading this to click the links to your right and check out what these incredible people are doing around the world. I can’t wait to reunite with all of you to talk about the things we have accomplished over the course of this year.
This blog post is sponsored by the anonymous donor from Christ Church Exeter. Thank you for your support, it is much appreciated.