First Impressions of Cuba – Libby Larson

Since landing in Havana 9 days ago, I haven’t stopped learning. Every taxi ride, every bus ride, every walk down one of the beautiful streets and every conversation with a Cuban has been informative and has taught me something about not only Cuba but about America, too.  You would never know from talking to a Cuban just how oppressed and poverty-stricken the island is as a whole. Not only are they welcoming to Americans but they are often curious and inquisitive… I have yet to come in contact with a native who has any animosity towards us as US citizens, something you would think would be more common. Cubans will talk to anyone about anything and are more than willing to answer any questions we have for them… its refreshing to be around such genuine and humble people.

So far this semester I have also enjoyed learning more and more about the basic functions of life for Cubans not only through hearing their stories but through getting to know the transportation systems and experimenting with cooking and shopping for food in general. To reiterate, its all been such an amazing learning experience and I cannot wait to soak in everything around me. Cuban history, Cuban/American relations, and the daily lives of Cubans in the 21st century are just a few of the topics that have caught my attention and that I look forward to diving deeper into as the semester goes on.