It also feels like rehab: two weeks without internet. It was a lesson, and maybe even a bit of a cure. It is nice to be in a country where people in the evenings get together, also because they lack internet, computer games and any form of appealing television.
We hope to help the owners of the B&B to set up a website for them.
The best thing was to have learned a lot about the real history and culture of Cuba and of the way normal Cubans live. We bought and read four books about Che, the revolution, the invasion by the USA in 1961 and the counter-revolutionaries.
It is great to have been in a country with free education and free healthcare: we, ‘in the West’, have simply dropped that principle because we consider it unaffordable despite our extravagant wealth. But some of the main targets of the Revolution have clearly not been achieved, especially the freedom of speech and press, the ban on political prisoners and a society in which everyone counts. I never had posters or T-shirts of Che, that won’t change after this trip.
The trip to Cuba was worth every dollar, CUC or peso. It’s a great way to learn to know a different culture; it is also good to sympathize with people who fight for a better future. It was essential that Liz could use the Spanish language at a practical level, because without that it would have been much harder.
And if you wonder with me why Cubans talk so much about dogs, than this is the answer. In my Spanish course I learned that ‘dog’ is ‘perro’ in Spanish. Every time Cubans talk I hear that word time after time after time, without being able to hear the full conversations. Liz told me though that the word ‘but’ is also pronounced ‘perro’. And as in any language…. ‘but’ is commonly used.
I’m happy we are slowly on our way back to our own perro.
Adios Cuba, Hola Boris.