Johanne and I were very thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Cuba in October to celebrate our wedding. It was a little break between our steady House Sitting assignments.
I have always had a lot of questions and curiosities about the island and Johanne was eager to explore with me.
When you start contemplating Havana, people will say “it is noisy, dilapidated and the air pollution is bad”.
Yes it can be all of that but what we also discovered was a vibrant city full of magic, colour and cultural surprises.
Even Johanne who is adverse to the crowds of big cities, thoroughly enjoyed our meanderings up side streets and down wide shady boulevards.
We were told to be prepared for a country economically on it knees after 57 years of a crippling US blockade however we did not see that at all.
The quality of life appeared to be higher than most other Latin America countries, and the expected shortages were not obvious to us.
Many pre-revolution buildings are crumbling, at the same time the government is doing their best to restore what they can.
Cubans are very resourceful and are quite accustomed to making due with what is available.
We were warmly welcomed and everyone was so polite.
And then there are the cars:
Most obvious to us after just one week was:
-how squeaky clean the streets are with virtually no litter in the cities or on the beaches. (Being poor is not an excuse for throwing trash everywhere).
-the level of education of the population with 99.8% literacy the 10th highest globally
-the family unit seems to be well in tact with the average family having just 1.4 children
We also to a side trip to Varardero which makes for a wonderful beach vacation.
So after just one week I would say a few of our questions were answered but many more are yet to be answered.
Put Cuba on your list!!
the joyful travellers