Our caribbean surprise
Our stay in La Habana was a surprise. It was a stop we did not expect… Hazard of airline companies fares…
We landed in La Habana few days after the hurricane Irma… As you know, it made a lot of damages on its way and gave a lot of worries to our families. When we took the plane to Cuba*, we had strictly no idea what we could expect…
* The flight Madrid – Cuba is an exceptional experience. Our flight (with WAMOS Air, an airline company that we could not recommend except if you look for some really cheap tickets) has 3 hours delay. Indeed Varadero airport is still closed after Irma. Our airline company is not very communicative and we understand only while boarding that our flight is going to Guatemala…. From there, we will come back to Cuba. Well! Why not?! But the problem is nobody knows when Cuba’s airport will open. At that moment, we even think to stop in Guatemala and start our trip from there… So for 10 hours, we don't know what is our final destination. Great experience!
La Habana, the colonial city
Once in La Habana, we cannot really feel Irma’s effects. Except the Malecon (the famous Caribbean promenade) which is closed to the public, everything looks like already repaired. We stay in Geraldine’s place. Geraldine is a 60’s lady renting rooms thanks to her 2 daughters living in Europe (in Italy and in Spain). Thanks to the decision of the government to “open” to tourism, Air B&B is highly present on the island land it makes things easier.
La Habana is a special city. Some people love it ; some hate it. Anyway, time stopped in that city especially since the american blocus. Cubans have a special way of life which is difficult to explain but present at every corner. Such an experience to live…
When we arrived in Geraldine’s house, she was stressed and nervious. Living 200m from the Malecon, water came in her house up to 60cm. It is clearly full of salt. No strong damages but she has to deal with that salt. Living by herself, we decide to help her and start to wash all the house with big water… and well, we find out that Geraldine’s house is quite huge.
That are great moments for us. Geraldine is so sweet and appreciates our help. Somehow we are discovering Cuba, La Habana and her story.
Finally, without making any generality from her story, we discover a piece of the history in the Caribbean.
A history worthy of the best Caribbean counts
Geraldine is the grand-daughter of a french living in Cuba in the beginning of the 20th century. Married to a Cuban lady, he lived from a horse farm. He had a pretty confortable situation and stayed in Cuba all his life. Geraldine’s mother married a Jamaican and when Geraldine was born, they were living in the american Guantanamo base.
After the revolution, Geraldine and her family came to live in La Habana and she stayed there all her life ; living under a revolutionnary movement in which she does not really believe.
(From what she knows) Géraldine has 22 brothers and sisters. She has an active fertile father. With her sister, she inherated from her grand-father’s death. Whit this donation, she bought the house she is living in now. It was more than 30 years ago.
She explains us her daily life and also complains about the governement which does not help her.
Another vision of the world
This political exchange, we had it with almost all our hosts in Cuba. What can we conclude? Nothing! Impossible to say ; everyone has is own truth… everyone has his own interpretation of the history… so; asi es la vida!
Anyway, for us in Cuba, what we can observe ? This is a really quiet country where it is good and easy to walk around. It is very safe. You cannot buy everything (or better say you can almost buy nothing) but there is food everywhere (not diversified, at our time: avocado, guava). In the place we've been, it seems we did not see people without food. There are hospitals and healthcare centres everywhere and one can access for free. Schools are also everywhere and education is important. We even visited Habana university which made David regret that he did not make his Erasmus over there. ..
Well, that is Cuba! An unforgettable experience and a country worth to visit. For everyone, Cuba is a place which will give another perspective to life; whatever you are pro-capitalist, pro-communist.
We are Ela & David, 2 citizens of the world. In quest of a new way of living, more respectful from the environment and the Humans, we travel slowly to discover new cultures, to look for inspirations and with a wish of sharing. Wants to know more?