Monday, May 14, 2018

Take Me Back

Last month I celebrated my Jesus year, YES 33 and proud of it. The past year has been very rewarding yet challenging.  While professionally, I'm on an upward slope, my personal life took a couple of unexpected detours. So with a vast array of ups and downs, I decided that I wanted to do something big to celebrate me. My success, my challenges, my growth, my life. So, I went to Cuba to support the people and experience the culture of this little island that most Americans have never visited despite it being only 90 miles from Florida. The history, architecture, culture and people have always peaked my interest.  And because of the recent changes in regulations for Americans to visit Cuba, I thought it be best to go now before travel is completely prohibited as it was for decades. So my Cousin Kim and Friend Crystal were elated to take the adventure with me to Havana and I'm so thankful they were.  We had a FREAKING BLAST.  We stayed in a beautiful Air BnB (that was just a block and half from the Museo de Revolucion), to support a local Cuban family.  We also visited many of the historical landmarks, purchased music and art from local artists, learned how to salsa, went dancing with locals and more.  Many people have asked "What was your favorite part of the trip?" Well I have to say, Callejon de Hamel which is an Afro Cuban art and dance festival. It was an amazing experience full of beautiful people (who looked like me), dancing, singing, telling stories of their ancestors, reenacting their history, cooking traditional food and keeping their culture alive. It was an awesome event and I felt right at home. So far, 33 is off to a great start and I can't help but think Cuba was just what I needed to kick off the year.

P.S. A close second favorite was meeting a sweet, kind and humble woman name Marta.  She (mother of five children) was a local vendor who asked for pampers for her baby instead of cash money. As you can imagine, this saddened my travel mates and I deeply and we decided that before we flew back to the States, we would donate anything we could to Marta and her family. And we did. We gave clothes, shoes, baby wipes, toiletries, maxi pads and more. I often think about Marta and the other amazing people that I met in Cuba. They reminded me to be more humble and definitely more thankful. I pray for them and I hope to see them again one day.

As for what I wore ... lots of summery items with a Latin flare!  Most of which now belongs to Marta :)


My fabulous travel mates!
Marta excited to be receiving our donation!