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Old 07-26-2003, 09:50 PM   #1
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Cuba, La habana, with a cuban friend is the best experience

My name is Leonard and I visited Cuba two months ago. It was a very extraordinary experience to meet so honest and open people. Cuba is like a museum, but with amazing characters moving around. I met a person (at the event I attended) who helped me a lot. He is a teacher and organized everything for me: lodging, tickets for buses to move on to another provinces, cheaper taxis, private rooms along the island and so on. He helped me a lot and I would like to help him now because his father has cancer. He does not have Internet and if you want any information about my experiences and feelings about this trip and him, you can send me an email to:

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Old 08-02-2003, 09:56 PM   #2
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Cuba again and again

Because many people have requested some details about my trip here I post some more.
I remember Cuba with very warm feelings. When I decided to make that trip alone I felt worried a
little about the possibility of becoming weary traveling alone.
But it was one of the most harmonious holidays I ever had. It was very entertaining to sit in the rocking-chair in a porch in a house at Trinidad and do nothing that watching people on the street around and talking. Always came to my mind the someday possibility of living here. I was very much impressed from my snorkeling trip to Cayo Blanco.
When talking with people who have been in Cuba themselves I was very surprised to learn that not all of them had the same impressions I had. They sometimes complain about having felt uneasy because of people asking for money. We never felt uneasy during our whole stay and never felt edged by local people. I thought about why people you know and who are not so much
different from myself can get quite an opposite impression. Maybe one of the reasons is that normal tourists going to foreign countries about which they do not know anything are one the hand eager to see and know more about the foreign (and therefore al little bit "hostile") country and its people, on the other hand they are on the alert not to be cheated. In this situation of insecurity they overrate the intentions of people asking for money and cut contact "for their own defense" which seem necessary to them. This suspicious mood is a trap which prevents them from enjoying their holiday in the extent they could do.
Retroactively I think, that I was lucky of knowing a person like the teacher I met and keeping me away from this trap by organizing very nice and caring hosts it was one of the most important benefits of his guidance. Of course I also have come in contact with people who tried to
cheat a little bit, but this I found more amusing than dangerous.
We had a very nice experience on a roof terrace in SanDiego. When I was for the first time I was the only guest and had a live band playing for me and a Canadian girl I met. I felt like a very rich lord sitting on his terrace and having his private band (...I dreamt I was a millionaire..) and I gave a tip which was a little bit higher than usual. It was very welcomed and the bandleader asked us to come back the other day. When they left one of the band members came back and tried to sell us their CD. I was amused but as we were in a very good mood and liked their music, we bought it. So far nothing special to report. When we came back two days later, the terrace was full of guests and we got a table a little apart from the band. During a break the bandleader spotted us, came to our table and offered other CDs for free. He apologized for the one ("he has joined our band just recently) who had taken money for the CDs the other day. This conversation was done in a mixture of Spain and English and the whole band participated in it. I was really impressed by this evidence of Cuban ethics, because I did not felt cheated myself the other day.
I got to know Cuban people as very friendly and open minded and the Canadian girl felt sorry not to be able to talk with them due to my lack her Spanish knowledge.
I am full of admiration for the Cuban cuisine. Especially the meals prepared by the ladies in the houses where I rented. They are outstanding in all respects ( in taste and presentation) .
I put this message in this forum as a way to thank my Cuban friend, it doesn’t matter what other fanatic Americans can think about it. There is something as human beings they have and I have not found in my country, at least not so obviously. Thanks once again for his assistance, for the love he transmitted to those who go to him like me. I would be very pleased to share my experiences and pass the information I have. You can write to me to, and, as he always told me, you will have a different way of having your vacations: as our friend.

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Old 08-03-2003, 06:47 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your travel experience. As an American, my perception of Cuba is tainted by the last 50 years of political difficulty. It's good to hear a first-hand story of travel there.
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