The problem with traveling, and enjoying it, is that once you start, it’s hard to give it up. I fantasize about putting roots down and settling in one place…except, the reality of doing that some how scares me. I think of the routines and habits that come along with being “settled”, the consistent parade of familiar faces, sites and scents, and I run for the nearest airport and farthest/quick destination point. Why that is? I do not know…perhaps I do not want my roots to show. Roots being a metaphor for permanent settlement and not my socio-cultural /ethnic background.
So the constant question these days is, “Where are you going?” My standard response has become, “The Caribbean for two months and then we will see from there.” This is the plan that is not. Going to Cuba has slightly side tracked my Ecuador plans because while it’s markets are spartan, compared to Cuenca (Ecuador), Cuban people are really hard to beat. And in the end, isn’t the experience of being in a new place more about the people than the marketplace? Of course I can’t work in Cuba, so unless I create a project for myself, the Cuban adventure will last until boredom sets in and we move off to the next country.
So, this summer’s adventure is all about discovering Cuba, its culture, history, people and food. We will see where the adventure leads us from there. I am committed to spending at least the next 12 months abroad, so we will see. And if I happen to meet my prince and fall in love in [enter the country name], I may consider planting my roots in the ground and not simply in a portable/roll-away flowerpot.
Yes…every so often we record ourselves saying relatively random and superfluous things. And today we thought we would share some of those things with you.
Three things that the Cuban government does very well are (1) educate its people, (2) include cultural knowledge and the arts as part of the national curriculum; and (3) foster environments that are inclusive, from an early age.
The underpinnings of a society are best seen in the behavior of its children and Cuban children could not have been more engaging, enchanting and inclusive of a little girl who had no idea what they were saying. So below is a clip of three scenes: (1) Reflects the value Cubans place on providing an education that promotes critical thinking, strategic analysis, and active engagement (all children learn chess); (2) Reflects the high value placed on culture and the arts in Cuban society (this young girl attends a boarding school in Cienfuegos that specializes in classically trained musicianship (Cuban education is, by definition, State-run and free); and (3) Reflects the innate inclusiveness of Cuban children and how it extends outward to everyone (there is no fear here).
This is what makes Cuba unique in the world.
QUESTION – Little Lucie, why did you take so many pictures of school children?
RESPONSE – I think the school children here would be interested in them, because they would be really interested in how they look and how they dress.
Presenting Little Lucie’s Gallery of Cuban School Children
My little travel buddy, Little Lucie, loves to play chess and Cuba was the perfect place to indulge in the game. She did a presentation for our local chess club yesterday and she posted her thoughts on her blog page.
Click here to check out her page and her presentation.