Reading Week Part 3: Havana Nights

Oh, Havana – the famous capital of Cuba. It is well-known for having pastel coloured streets and flashy 1950s cars that zoom down the roads. Havana is the New York of Cuba – crowded streets…mysteries…charm…history. Havana is the most popular tourist destination in Cuba and I’m glad I had the chance to experience it. Brittany…

Reading Week Part 2: Varadero Ocean Blue

Brittany and I spent a lovely two days enjoying the beach town of Varadero. Some Cubans say that Varadero “isn’t Cuba” because it is filled with tourists and bustling resorts. However, I have come to disagree. Varadero is a sweet little nook of Cuba with welcoming people, delicious food, and inviting beaches. There aren’t meant…

Reading Week Part 1: La Cueva

Viñales is a beautiful quaint town in the heart of the famous Cuban province, Pinar del Rio. The lush green mountains and valleys host a diversity of flora and fauna. It is a popular tourist destination for hiking, horseback riding, climbing, and an array of other outdoorsy activities. Viñales is also the location of Cuba’s…

Cuban-Canadian Dialogue (Inspired by True Events)

I’ve had the chance to get to know many Cuban students. Often, I find myself having conversations with Cubans about Canada (they are keen to know about us). Sometimes it’s been difficult to describe things that don’t exist in Cuba. Cuba is an isolated island – internet or media access is very limited. Here is…

Life Without WiFi

I’ve had an amazing time in Cuba so far. But, I must admit, it’s hard to be so distant from family and friends. If I could text and message people whenever I wanted, it would be different. I sometimes feel like I’m trapped in an abyss with no contacts whatsoever. This week I felt homesick…

La Gran Piedra

Last weekend, the whole group embarked on an adventure. 15KM uphill in +30-degree weather – all to see the third biggest rock in the world. La Gran Piedra, or “The Big Rock”, is a UNESCO World Heritage site about 20 minutes outside of Santiago de Cuba. Only small vehicles can make it up the crippling…

30 Things I Love About Cuba

Since I’ve officially been in Cuba for 30 days now (one month down), I thought I’d share 30 things I love about Cuba (so far) in no particular order. 1. 1950s vehicles: they’re everywhere and seeing them never gets old.   2. Pastel coloured buildings: though the architecture isn’t phenomenal, most houses and buildings are…

What I’ve Learned About Cuban Agriculture

As a part of my Agricultural and Coastal Management in Cuba course (GDS223), I’ve already had the opportunity to go on three field trips. For our first trip, we visited a farm just outside of Santiago (only about fifteen minutes by car). At the farm, we had a tour of the facilities and learned about…

Las Gatas and the Lost Parrot

On Saturday, my classmates and I headed to Siboney to spend the day at the beach. Siboney is a beautiful beach town about 15KM away from Santiago. While we were walking to the bus stop, one of my friends, Morgan, said she heard meowing. I heard it too. It was loud meowing – the sound…

5 Things I Wasn’t Expecting

No matter how many blogs I read before I travel somewhere, there are always surprises. However, I think that’s what makes travel so addictive – discovering things that were previously unknown to us. There are so many opportunities to gain knowledge of different cultures and revel in the endless choices of what to see, what…

Six Things I’ve Learned from 20+ Days in Cuba

Six Things I’ve Learned from 20+ Days in Cuba I’ve been in Cuba for several weeks now, and I’ve already had so many new experiences – here are six things I’ve learned from my time in Cuba so far. #1 Always carry plastic bags. On one of my first days in Santiago de Cuba, our…

Sunny Daze

Brittany and I arrived at the Holguin airport and it took almost two hours to get through Cuban customs. Thankfully nothing went wrong. We then took a 45-minute cab ride over to Blau Costa Verde, a resort on Playa Pesquero. The last few days have been great – spending time swimming in the bright blue…

Adiós Snow!

It’s 5 a.m. I’ve been sitting in the Toronto Pearson International Airport for the last three hours – and I’ve got four more to go. The airport is buzzing with activity and I can’t help but stare at the departures screen.. so many places to go. I’ve been thinking about and planning this trip for…