Tag Archives: Cuba 2016

Final Day in Cuba

by Molly Stephenson and Jenna Davis, Cuba service trip co-leaders

Co-leaders Jenna and Molly are the designated bloggers today. Our final day with our gracious hosts here in Holguin started with yet another wonderful breakfast of fresh mangos, papaya, yogurt, bread, cheese, Cuban coffee, and juice. We spent the morning weeding in a community hydroponic garden, which gave us the opportunity to see how fresh the food we have been eating here truly is. We weeded row upon row of cucumbers, garlic, water cress, and lettuce beds. Continue reading

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Exploring Parks and Waterfalls in Cuba

by Isaiah ’17

Urgency. Far and brooding rain.

Emergency. Tires rage in vain.

Dinner. The usual plantain.

Late. It is too late for me.

It. Is far too late for poetry. Continue reading

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A Day in Rhyme


by Anna C. ’17

Today was a day

I’ll tell you about it if I may

To breakfast we woke Continue reading

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Father’s Day Wishes from Cuba (and Other Updates)

by Selah ’17

We began our day with a lovely breakfast including: mangoes, bananas, pineapples, eggs and my personal favorite, bread with Cuban honey and butter. After our delicious breakfast, we went aboard the bus excited to see the “world-class” beach that we have been notified about many times throughout this trip and even before we arrived. Continue reading

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June 18th in Cuba

by Jake ’17

I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and I went back to bed. I woke up at 7:15 a.m. and I went back to bed. I woke up at 7:20 a.m. We went on a long bus ride. Owen and I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. Great album. I wore my 20/20 hat. We went to a Cuban farm. Owen tried to feed Plank (a piece of wood we have adopted) to the pig. We ate weird fruit, including fresh sugar cane. Lots of Cubans said “Happy Birthday” to me. We walked back to the bus. We went to a river. Owen and Thomas had a nice long walk and made cool headgear. Continue reading

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Friday, June 17 in Cuba

by Anna ’17

The day started with the usual array of fresh fruit, bread, and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast, the group and Pastor Maria went into a camion (which is an older bus from around 1960) and drove over to The International Committee for Friendship with the People (ICAP).  When we arrived we were greeted with songs and dances which were performed by young girls from the local art school.  After the introduction we started to learn about the history of ICAP. The group shared that their main purpose was to get others to learn about Cuban history through art. After showing us a few dances, Sydney sang the song “Hallelujah” with Holdyn on the guitar for the entire group.

It was interesting to hear about Cuba from different perspectives, one from Jenna who visited Cuba in 1978 and from the Cuban teachers themselves, who were born after Jenna’s visit. After talking for a little bit, we went back into our camion, drove around, and saw two hydroponic gardens.  Also on the bus ride home, Owen, Brayden, and Jake decided to play guitar and sing songs by Kesha, Katy Perry, and Kanye West, which was fun for the rest of the group to listen to. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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A Day in Haikus

by Sydney ’17 

The day started out like any other: breakfast and then waiting for a truck to come pick us up. Today’s destination: ­Floro Perez, the third Quaker church in Cuba, where Roxy’s dad, Alexis, is the pastor. The truck ride was long and bumpy, which we’ve gotten used to by now.

The truck hits a bump

My booty left the metal

I flew then I fell

We arrived at the church with hugs and kisses from Alexis and Roxy’s mom, Mily. Although we’ve never exchanged words, I feel like they’re my Cuban parents. This church is the smallest that we’ve visited, consisting of little more than four wooden benches. They offered us watermelon and melon juice (served in plastic bags!) to cool us off before we started our dance lesson. Mily had invited a dance teacher named Julia, who was determined to see us dance/make fools of ourselves. We graciously accepted the challenge and tried our hardest to master some basic step-and-touch Cuban dance moves. An hour later we were hot, exhausted, and maybe, just maybe, a little better at dancing.

The Cuban music

How it makes us want to dance

We so wish we could

Next we ate a delicious meal of chicken and rice before Tom suggested we play some table tennis. We traveled next door to the public rec center that had two ping-pong tables. While Holdyn and Brayden took turns challenging Alexis (a success on Brayden’s part, but not on Holdyn’s), Tom realized that we only had two paddles. Being the martyr that I am, I offered up my Birkenstocks, and Isaiah and Tom assured me that they make excellent paddles.

If one lacks paddles

Consider using a shoe

Firmer is better

It was clear that today the heat and constant activity finally caught up with us. By the time we left Floro Perez, half of us were asleep. The minute we got back to church, the Annas, Selah, Seterah, and I passed out for an hour and a half.

A siesta is bliss

Americans should nap more

I feel so refreshed

After a groggy awakening, we moved out to Melissa’s house for dinner. Melissa will be joining us as a junior at GS next year, and her parents treated us to a delicious dinner at their house. Their home is on a hill overlooking Holguin, so we spent most of the evening on their balcony looking at the city we’ve been living in for almost a week. After Richard led us in a prayer, we had dinner, which consisted of imperial rice, pizza, and kebabs, and desert was a two-tiered chocolate cake with the words “Welcome George School” written in icing. We spent the evening eating, listening to music, and talking. Thomas, Isaiah, and Anna C. took advantage of the house’s speakers to blast some Bob Dylan, while Jake and Owen kept up a joke about one-hit wonders for two hours.

The view of Holguin

Music, food, jokes, and good friends

What a lovely night

Instead of heading back to the church at 9:00 p.m., we went to Holguin’s performing arts center to support our new friend, Yasmeen, in her dance recital. None of us really knew why there was a dance recital at 9:00 p.m., but Yasmeen blew us all away.

I saw something new:

A musical of snow white

By Cuban toddlers



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Photos from Cuba

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by | June 15, 2016 · 8:24 am

Water, water everywhere

by Thomas ’17

Water.  Water everywhere.  Pouring down from every angle.  My hair grew damp under my soaked cotton hat.  My socks became soggy beyond belief.  The contents I was harboring in my backpack remained dry.  The water rushed down the street, roaring.  Anna P. remained surprisingly calm. Holdyn ran down the streets of Cuba in the pouring rain, screaming, “I can now say I have ran down the streets of Cuba in the pouring rain!” and in fact, he could.  Jake led the way back to the church sporting a new haircut. Continue reading

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