The second month of our adventure here in Cuba has been exceedingly busy. From the academic standpoint, the students have had a steady flow of tests and exams. From the reports that I have received from their Cuban professors they are doing quite well. They all continue to work on their semester projects and this next week we will have our first ¨dress rehearsal¨ so to speak.
Travel, we are literally burning up the roads. We spent a great weekend in Trinidad where we walked the cobblestone streets, climbed bell towers, squeezed our own sugar cane juice, and enjoyed stunning views of both mountains and sea. We also paid homage to Che Guevara in Santa Clara, rehashed the Fidel´s triumph in the Museum of the Revolution, visited the lions at the zoo, enjoyed time at the beach, admired the Napoleonic Museum, attended a production at the Karl Marx Theater, and traveled up the Cuban coast in a fishing boat. Just the other day we took a ferry boat across the bay to Regla, an area known for its deep roots in Santería. Just after getting off the ferry, we witnessed a Santería ceremony taking place at the edge of the bay. A priest was in the process of ¨cleansing¨ a young woman with a dead chicken.
Quite a month!
The students continue to use more and more Spanish. Some have picked up an amazing amount of local linguistic color. They all have by now completely mastered the bus system (guagua system) and the ¨máquinas.¨ They move about the city with great confidence, a task much more difficult than one might think.
But let´s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have almost a month here in Cuba and lots of work to do. The semester projects loom as the most challenging task but we also have trips to the United States Interest Section, Batabanó, the Bay of Pigs, and perhaps one last visit to the beach after a hard week of finals. In Cuba, it seems, one´s work is never entirely done.