June 16 in Cuba

by Brayden ’17


We woke up early today and got on an air-conditioned bus! There was an English speaking Cuban tour guide on the bus. He taught us about the history of his country as we drove past many interesting buildings like professional baseball fields, hospitals, and schools. In addition, a cool building he pointed out was what is now a school; however, on July 26, 1953 it was a barracks armory that was raided by Fidel Castro and other young revolutionaries. This event sparked the revolution and is now known to the Cubans as their declaration of independence similar to July 4th in America. We could still see the bullet holes from the gunfire.

I sat with Anna P on the bus, and Owen sat next to Jake on the bus; Jake found a love for Pink Floyd. We went to a cathedral of the Cobrae built in honor of the Virgin Mary, where Pope John Paul II came in 1998. A Cuban priest blessed Owen, Isaiah, and me, although Isaiah and I still hold onto our Jewish roots very strongly. Richard was jealous of the catholic priests because they get to wear cool white robes while they preach.

Then we went to a fortress near Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city in Cuba. Jake, Richard, Thomas, Owen, and I took the best pic of 2016 in a cave in the fortress. In the fortress, there was a room that was dedicated to pirates of the Caribbean but it was not about the movie it was actual pirates): I bought a Ché Guevara military hat for 5 CUCs. (Cuban Currency: one CUC equals one dollar)

Next, we went to Santiago de Cuba. We ate at a very nice Cuban restaurant on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the central square of Santiago. I sat next to the Annas. Anna C. was very fond of the bathrooms, the nicest ones we’ve seen in Cuba. In Santiago, we went into many stores and street vending areas. Holdyn bought an American necklace on the streets in Santiago de Cuba for $1. Selah and Setareh shopped and were approached by many people asking for money and food. We got back onto the bus and drove for two hours through the Cuban countryside back to Holguin.

After we got back to the church in Holguin, Jake and I washed dishes very well. Sydney left our nightly meeting to go and practice with the a capella quartette. Also, the current fly killing score is, Brayden: 13, Owen 15, Jake 16, Anna P: 2, Selah: 1. Sorry mom if you think this is a subpar blog. I still got an A- in English though.

Thank you for your time and patience as you read my blog.

1 Comment

Filed under Service, Students

One response to “June 16 in Cuba

  1. Jodi Cohen

    I love your blog and I’m glad you learned to wash dishes! Sounds like you are having an overall amazing experience. Can’t wait to hear all about it.
    Love and miss you.

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