Spending my last week in Santiago, more than 8 hours away from my original three-week stay in Havana, has me reminiscing about the extraordinary memories I’ve made.
Cuba is definitely a must-see country for anyone who dreams of traveling and seeing the wonders of the world. This island has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined, not because of its lack of WiFi that connects people to the outside world, but because of its vibrant, energetic culture.
While I’ve been here, I’ve been able to experience the joy of time as no more than a suggestion. It seems like the Cuban people work to live rather than us, Americans, who live to work. Of course, my program has a set itinerary, but when we are “set” to meet someone at 10:00 a.m., that really means 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. Everyone is quite relaxed about it. I didn’t realize how much more I was able to enjoy life and take in the beauty of the small things until I wasn’t stressed about deadlines and whatnot.
During the weekends, a few friends and I were able to explore the streets of Havana Vieja (Old Havana), Cuban nightlife, and the various beaches surrounding the area. Along with all of this traveling, I had to converse with the locals a lot and it turns out that the Spanish I had been learning in schools is completely different than the Spanish they speak in Cuba! Yet, out of everything I have been able to do, including celebrating my birthday abroad, my favorite part was going to La Fabrica de Arte. This is one of the top nightclubs in Havana and only cost 2-3 CUC to get in. La Fábrica de Arte had different rooms with all kinds of music from rock to techno and a full art gallery upstairs!
My friends and I would stay out dancing and getting to know the locals and how they danced (let me just say that the guys throw some wicked dance moves!) We also ran into tons of other American students from Florida, New York, and Chicago which made it an absolute blast when Cardi B came on.
Now, I only have two days left in Cuba and I couldn’t be more thankful for this program. I’ve had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit this beautiful island and I most likely won’t be visiting again anytime soon.
The fond memories I have made with my six housemates is something I’ll be able to cherish forever. Like I said before, this trip has been 10/10, something I highly recommend! From your fellow Longhorn, Hook ‘em!!
This post was contributed by Callie Blake, a 2018 Global Ambassador.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Callie’s experience in Cuba>>