Cuba June 14: Buenas Noches!

This blog post comes to you from Carol. We´ve had a crazy, hilarious day that began for the girls after last night´s post. While Allison was helping Desi with the computer, Julia, Kate and I decided it was time to initiate Allison with a little prank. With Martina standing guard, we all hid behind Allison´s bed ready to jump out when she came to bed. Allison, of course, was very surprised and this prank set the tone for the chaotic day ahead.

To reward us for all of our hard work this week, Maria moved breakfast to 8 AM rather than 7. We ate delicious mangoes, the Cuban version of bagels (pretty much the same as ours except very hard almost like a cracker), and sweet pastries.

The work on the roof today was light and the resident brick layer Julio offered to teach us his craft. Michelle tried her hand at pouring our homemade cement onto the already situated bricks and laying a new, 15 pound cinder block on top (it´s way harder than you would think). After a few of us had tried (and failed for the most part) Alberto called us down for a special treat.

As some of you know, today was Kate´s 17th birthday so our hosts went through a lot of trouble to find a cake and ice cream for us to have. After this refreshing snack we returned to the roof to find that there was little work to do, so all the girls decided to work out. With the strong “encouragement” from Dan we completed a 30 minute Nike workout from Julia´s phone, which was made much more difficult by the extreme heat. Kate and Anna got competitive despite the heat and challenged each other to an intense wall-sit competition which lasted an impressive 5 minutes.

We arrived to the lunch table, dripping with sweat, where a beautiful meal awaited us, which consisted of bean and pork chili, rice, perfectly ripe tomatoes and plantains. From there we all decided it was time to get rid of the ridiculous tan lines we had acquired from our work clothes. Dan, Jon, Evan, Kate, Julia, Martina, Anna and I laid on the roof in the middle of our construction site with ambitions of staying there for at least an hour. 25 minutes later, however, we realized that we had sorely underestimated El Sol Cubano and had to flee to the shade.

After a few hours of relaxing, playing cards, and journaling, a multi-talented man came to cut hair, give tattoos and pierce noses, belly buttons and ears. Desi got both of his ears pierced and Michelle got a beautiful butterfly on her left shoulder. Just kidding. But he really did cut the hair of the braver members of the group. Tom, Desi, Dan, Trey, Martina and Julia all got theirs done and they all look great!

Another special treat came at dinner when our hosts presented us with the most American food we have seen here — French fries! We all wolfed down plates filled with the sweetest French fries I´ve ever had, along with ham fried rice, cucumbers, guava juice and rice pudding for dessert.

From there, we began practicing for our impromptu performance. We all participated in a short skit. Jon and Dan stood out especially for their musical and translating abilities, respectively. We spent the rest of the evening interacting with the members of the church and eating orange flavored ice cream. Overall, it was a wonderful day and we look forward to possibly sending you all personal emails from the internet café tomorrow.

Love, Carol

P.S. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Simon for 26 years of marriage today! (Love, D)

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