by Courtney Heffelfinger ’19
So today was our second full day in Cuba and it was better than the first, for me at least. Today we woke up and ate breakfast of fruits, toast, and eggs. Alice and I struggled to keep our eyes open during breakfast even though we got about 8 hours of sleep.
After breakfast we went right to work with Roxy where we were getting the gravel we moved from the ground to the second floor up from the first with our pulley system. It wasn’t so bad because I was with Priya, Alice, Maddie, and Miranda and we had our rotation system down so each of us could take breaks. Priya struggled a bit with moving the wheelbarrow full of gravel to the big pile we were making on the roof, so Jose helped her each time that it was her turn to push the barrow, saying in Spanish that she needed “one big push”. After we got all of the rocks up we moved this huge thing up from the floor the rocks were on. I literally have no idea what it was or what purpose it served, but I had to stand on bags of rice while Eric had to climb up the wall and help Jose get the thing onto the roof. We also filled buckets with sand and did the same thing that we did with the gravel. I think it was easier because the sand wasn’t as difficult to shovel up into the buckets.
After our shoveling and filling the wheelbarrow, we had a snack and watched the World Cup on the TV in the living room. Ahmed was rooting for Egypt against Uruguay but I think it ended up being a tie at zero, however I could be completely wrong because we missed the end of the game. Alice, Miranda, Sara, and Maddie washed the dishes after lunch while the rest of us continued to watch the World Cup until we started rehearsing for our dance for our Sunday service. That was a mess. We’ve been getting better at it but I think we have come to the understanding that we are all really bad at timing. Aaron has to be a grandpa in the ending scene of the dance, but when asked to walk like a grandpa, he instead walked like he was having a heart attack. He tried and eventually fixed it, because that wasn’t exactly how Leo, our choreographer, imagined the dance.
The last sort of event we had today was our first family dinner. My group was Sara, myself, Maddie, Ike, and Angie with our host Sergio and his family. We were apprehensive at first because we had just met them and only half of us knew Spanish – myself, Maddie, and Eric excluded. As we continued to talk with the family, I started to understand more and more of what the conversations were about. Our family made every effort to include us in conversation and they had the most bubbly and amazing personalities of the people I have met so far. Sergio is an artisan who makes bracelets and we found that out after he pointed to Maddie’s bracelet she got yesterday in the shopping plaza and said he makes them. He elaborated on how he works and what he does saying that he uses cow bone to make certain parts of the bracelets and then makes a certain design with the string and puts it all together. He asked us all what our favorite colors were and at the end of dinner gave us all bracelets that he had made. We walked all the way back home from his house which took nearly and hour but I’d say it was worth it. Today was actually such a good day and if I could spend all of my time walking around Holguin like we did, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to do it forever.
-Courtney Heffelfinger 🙂
p.s. Mom and Dad, we got my luggage and I’m happy as a clam. Thanks Pops.