Cuba June 20

Hola Padres,

We started the day with a late breakfast at 8:00 a.m. consisting of the usual fresh fruit and bread.  As Fran had requested, we then had the chance to play volleyball with young communists and other students from a polytechnic high school.  It was an exciting and incredible experience for all of us.

Meanwhile, Fran was whisked away to a secret room so as to discuss the fall of the U.S. blockade of Cuba (or possibly George School´s future relationship with this group of students).  Also during the volleyball game, many of us were interviewed by a reporter for a local newspaper in Holguin.  He seemed very nice and spoke the most fluent English we have yet encountered.  We are all very excited to read the article which will be published in English, French, and Spanish.  The plan is to share the link and post it to the George School website as soon as possible.

After what already seemed like a full day, we returned to the church to freshen up before leaving for another Quaker church in rural Calabazas. There we were greeted by the president of the small, one room church who was elated to be in the presence of ¨fellow Christians.¨

We proceeded to paint the exterior of the church blue until we ran out of paint, at which point we had fresh coconut water and went for a walk.  During our walk we visited the house of one of the church members. Tom commented that it was the poorest house he had ever seen.  It was little more than a shack with curtains dividing it into three small rooms. However, they were very happy to show it to us and offer fruit from the tree out back.

Upon return, we were treated to a vegetable and pork soup cooked for many hours in a cauldron over an open fire.  We returned to Holguin with the Calabazas church half painted and had a relaxing evening.  To finish the day, we watched a Cuban propaganda movie about US assassination attempts on Fidel, which enlightened us to the perspectives of many Cubans.

We continue to pack in many life changing experiences into these last few days in Cuba.  We are excited for tomorrow and even more excited to return on Saturday despite the amazing friendships and sense of belonging we have developed here.

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