Thursday, April 02nd, 2015

We have been in Cuba now for approximately two months and Mike, Rachel, Kyle, Talia, Shelley, and Kennedy are all doing a super job. I am very proud that they are speaking more Spanish than any previous group. All my communication with them is in Spanish and much of the inter-student dialogue is likewise in the target language.


We have been travelling a great deal and we have two weekend trips–Trinidad and Cienfuegos–ahead of us. The trip to the Bay of Pigs was especially rewarding and enjoyable. After a lengthy visit to the museum where we studied battle strategy and viewed a curious film on the Cuban victory the students had the opportunity to snorkel at Punta Perdiz.


Semester projects seem to be progressing nicely. Architecture, music, politics, medicine, film studies and the role of women in Cuban society are the selected topics. This morning (April 2, 2015) we took time to visit the elegant Napoleonic Museum located near the University of La Habana. Next week we will have the chance to dialogue with a Catholic priest, visit the beautiful campus of ISA, the music and arts school located at old golf country club, and travel to the colonial city of Trinidad where we will swueez our own “guarapo” (sugar cane juice) and see the “valle de los ingenios.”


The following week we meet with famed poet Omar Pérez, learn about Cuban dance, and travel to Santa Clara and Cienfuegos, the birthplace of Benny Moré. A few weeks back the students and I had the fortunate opportunity to meet and talk with one of the great figures in Cuban sports, Javier Sotomayor, winner of the Olympic gold medal in 1992 and current holder of the world record in the high jump (2.45 meters). “Soto” talked with us for almost 90 minutes and then answered the many good questions that the UA studenst had prepared for him.


Although we have only a month left in our stay, we still have many exciting activities to look forward to. This is a group of students with a great deal of intellectual curiosity, energy, and linguistic talent. I am sure they will make the most of their last 30 days in Cuba.

Category: Director's Blog