Tuesday, May 1, 2012

final day of people to people trip

in Cuba. this morning started out with a tour of the huge cemetery (named after Columbus) where there are dozens of funerals held each day.

the statuary is spectacular - as much of Havana also shows - this was once a place of enormous wealth.

from there we went on to visit Munchkin Land  and the three-year-old kids in a day care/pre-school program for the most disadvantaged children in the area of Old Havana.  the kids were delighted when we came bearing balloons! they sang us several songs and we trotted out our "Old MacDonald" (extremely lame) for them. we had a lot of fun just being with them.

one stop on the way - Revolution Square (formerly Jose Marti Square) images of Camillo Cienfuegos and Che decorate nearby buildings:

some last views of vintage American cars- still being used as taxis:

then back to the hotel for lunch (poolside- and including batidos of guava and banana) - then off for afternoon activities of the Ebony Dance Company in rehearsal... 

one final activity before the farewell dinner- a lecture about US and Cuban relations:

our final dinner is in Old Havana and we are all getting "end of trip" sentimental....

below: Mirelys - our Cuban Guide and Heberto- our driver!

we head back to the bus to return to the hotel and Leo springs his final SURPRISE! - vintage convertibles and a drive home with the top down along the Malecon! really quite a spectacular way to end the trip.

the Cuban Mel Gibson is our handsome driver

later a group of us take our rum and wine down to the Malecon (like the locals do) and spent some time just trading stories while overlooking the sea and saying "no Gracias" to a dozen musicians wanting to play for tips or sell us CDs- LOL

below- a view of the hotel from the Malecon:

the following morning - check out of hotel - check into the airport - check through customs after flight to MIA and check onto another flight home----

the sunrise over Havana

hope you enjoyed following along as we explored the country, met the people and learned about the culture of Cuba with us... a special thanks to Leo, Mirelys and Herberto for their gracious hospitality and unflagging patience.

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