June 13, 2016 in Cuba

by Owen ’17

As I sit here eating my helado (ice cream), I look back in reflection at the very eventful day that was today.  After the usual tasty Cuban breakfast we hit the road in a nice air-conditioned van as we headed for Puerto Padre. Ronald, the van driver, proved that he was a NASCAR driver in a past life.  After an hour-long drive, we got to the church where we promptly got to work moving rocks from one place to another. 

Selah, Anna C, Isaiah, Seterah, and Sydney proved that they are quite the trabajadores (workers) as they hauled brick after brick, and moved wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow.  As Jake, Brayden and I sat down for our meal, we continued our game of brutally ending the life of every fly in our path, the current score is Owen: 14, Jake: 13, Brayden 12.  After a meal of rice and beans and chicken, we got back to work as a seventy-four-year-old man put the entire George School service group to shame as he moved many more bricks much quicker than we ever could, all with a smile on his face, exclaiming that he is “muy fuerte” (very srong).

When discussing our lives with the pastor of the church I discovered that the pastor is in fact a Phillies fan, proving that even in Communist Cuba, the world is a very small place.   Holdyn worked very hard and maintained his usual cheery demeanor as he used a pickaxe to break up the piles of rocks that were dumped in front of him.  Thomas was his usual mellow self as he reminded everyone that we do not need to go about our lives at 100 mph, we can just move at Thomas speed (not saying that Thomas did not work very hard).  Isaiah bonded with his communist comrades as he engaged in deep conversation with a man named Pablo, a well-spoken American-Cuban-Communist-Anarchist-Quaker-Jew, we considered leaving Isaiah behind at the Church but figured his parents would be disappointed if he did not return home.  Richard talked with the pastor of the Quaker church about his life, and discussed his aspirations to join the AME pastors as a career.

After five days in the country, it is safe to say that Cuba is a very high-energy nation.

PS: To Leslie, Sydney would like you to know that she is currently alive and well.


Filed under Service, Students

2 responses to “June 13, 2016 in Cuba

  1. Leslie

    Thanks for the post script! It meant a lot!

  2. Sheila

    Owen, I wasn’t worried, but I’m happy to read in your blog and others that you are getting plenty of good food, music and blessings!

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