Cuba Day 3 (November 16, 2015)

Rainy morning to start the day.

Now with the race over, Ellen and I have the same itinerary, a people-to-people emphasis. The group is also down to only 19 people who are on the full 8-day tour.

First stop today was a health clinic. We met with the director and head nurse and got an introduction to the Cuban health system. This clinic served 31,000 residents, providing primary care (all for free). If more specialized or severe care is needed, there are then centers and hospitals.

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DSC_0941Next was the grand cemetery. More an outdoor art museum than cemetery, Everyone in Havana can be buried there, but they only leave bodies in the graves for 2 years. By then the humidity has reduced what’s left to bones. The bones get boxed and moved to another area. Our guide told fantastic stories of love and loss, in such a dramatic (and accented voice) that even if you didn’t understand him, you loved the theatrics.

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Lunch was in a palladar, then we toured an arts and barber community project.

Ellen and I then went to the Museum of the Revolution. In Baptiste’s former presidential palace, it told the story of how the Castros came to power. There was some English, which served to remind me that history is written by the victors.

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A short rest at the hotel, then to dinner with 4 others from the group. We dined on the roof of a building with a view of the old city. A cannon sounds at 9pm, a vestige of when the old city would close its gates.

We took cabs to the Tropicana. A dancing/singing show, it had the outrageous costumes and glitzy staging that you might expect. The show went from 10pm – midnight, at which time we found our taxi driver who had waited for us and went back to the hotel.

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