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 Post subject: Cuba
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:51 pm 
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Location: Canada
Well, first of all, there were tons of English people there. We met loads of them. The resort was excellent, food was good, beaches gorgeous, weather perfect and no kidlets--it was adults only.

Cubans are wonderfully friendly and talented.
No, didn't go to Havana. There was a small plane you could take, but the car or bus ride was several hours long. We were on an island in an archipelago and no Cubans lived there. The workers were bussed everyday from the mainland. They work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. The bus ride home is at least 1-1/2 hours for most of them. They earn around $17 or $20 a month and are employees of the government, not the resort. One of the lobby bar waiters was a teacher, but made more working there. We learned on our last visit that they are given a ration of food supplies each month, but only basics. So, they are all poor as dirt. We brought some things to give away, but had limited suitcase room.
One guy in our group had a US baseball team shirt on. A gardener showed great interest in it, so he took it off and gave it to him. Although the workers don't ask for anything, when they know you are leaving they will inquire if there is anything you'd like to leave behind. They are so grateful for the smallest things and especially need everyday items like soap, toothpaste, aspirins, razors, baby clothes & supples, etc.
A Cuban rep for our airline was telling us he is lucky enough to have a 1958 Dodge car he inherited but he can't drive it because it needs two tires. Tires are about $60 each and he can't afford that. He said one litre of gas would be three days wages. Anything that is mailed to their homes vanishes before it reaches them. (Hubby wanted to send him spark plugs, points, wires, etc.) There was a chance of small items making it through to the resort if sent there, but corruption is bad.

We went on a motorscooter tour of the island. You've heard the expression, "ten miles of bad road"? We had about 100 km of bad road. Most of the bikes had two people on and the shocks couldn't handle it. My back is still aching. Visited an underground bat cave. Will post pictures. It had several chambers in it and one of them was used as a disco each week. Don't know what the bats thought of that.

And I guess that's about it.


Last edited by Torre on Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 6:15 pm
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Location: london
Hi Torre, lovely to see you back.

Cuba sounds fascinating. I would love to go to Havana - ever since I saw the movie/documentary Buena Vista Social Club - the music is just fantastic. I saw a tv prog this evening which showed how the people have developed their own project of producing food organically for the local communities in Havana by cultivating small plots of spare land. They could teach us a thing or two about that.

It's such a country of paradoxes. The people are, in general, very poor but the healthcare system and childcare system have been held up as beacons of excellence - systems functioning much better than the UK in many respects.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:58 am 
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Can't wait for the piccies!!!

Glad you are home, and accessible by HH, Torre. We are always connected by our love for one another.

Poor of spirit is a sad thing. Joy in poor-ness is bliss.

Sending tires in our minds,
taking addresses,
love

linnyx


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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:01 am 
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Location: Devon, England
Interesting post Torre & nice to see you back on HH. Look forward to your pics.

yay Janey, Buena Vista Social Club. We always liked Ry Cooder, loved that album and the film.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:08 am 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
Lazavanti wrote:
Joy in poor-ness is bliss.

Yes, it's odd, isn't it? People in poor countries seem to enjoy life, complain less & face adversity with a smile far more than the wealthier ones do. There is a lesson to be learned here.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:14 pm 
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Location: london
Lynn,

I love the Buena Vista Social Club, both the movies and cd are wonderful. I need to get myself some more cuban music, I think. Perhaps one of Ibrahim Ferrer's cd or the other guy whose name I'm not sure of - Compay Segundo? I used to think that was a band but I think it's a man :? Recent reviews of his/their album look pretty good.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:18 am 
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Location: Canada
Janey, I happened to read about the organic gardening in an unrelated magazine article before we went. Although inspiring, it's on a tiny scale. Last time we were in Cuba, we visited a farm. The farmer said the soil never had to be fertilized. :shock: Don't think that applies to the whole island though.

The medical system is always held up as being so good (hello Michael Moore) but the doctors are paid little more than anyone else (which is next to nothing) and they have no supplies. Advil, Aspirin, Tylenol are highly valued by the "peasants". I honestly don't know what kind of healthcare individuals get because we've never spoken to anyone about it. But there was a female security guard at our resort (that one of our group fell in love with when he stepped off the bus--but that's another story) who was very attractive but had a broken front tooth. I didn't speak to her, but if dental care was free, you'd think she would have had it fixed. There are some subjects we're reluctant to bring up. One of us did ask how the "election" went on that Sunday. The employee snorted and replied, it didn't matter nothing ever changed.

Pictures are on my computer, just have to put them in ImageShack and post. I don't have many of interest because they're mostly the gang in the bar, the gang at the beach, the gang in the bar, the gang at the pool, the gang in the bar, but I'll see what I can do. I'm waiting for other digital pictures to be emailed to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Torre-
I for one, would love to see piccies of Canadian Gangs running amok in Cuba. Of course, would also rather be among said Canadian Gangs :lol: :lol: .
amok, amok, amok
love,
linnyx


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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:28 pm 
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Location: Lewisham, Greater London
I'm waiting for the 'gang' photos too! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:34 am 
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Still waiting for a couple of those pix, Torre!

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:38 pm 
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OK. Nobody has got around to sending me their photos. I don't have any with the whole gang, just bits and pieces of the gang, but will post today or tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:00 pm 
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Location: Canada
Image Off to see a beach & bat cave. I'm in front seat.



Image Image
Image Image
Bat cave entrance & trees growing from inside.......undeveloped beach


Image Image

Scooter ride. Sore butts all around.


Last edited by Torre on Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:19 pm 
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Image Different beach. We're standing on black coral.As for the gal next to me....no, they're not real.

Image A poor picture, but these are clay people. They were in the lobby of the hotel one night. All their movements were slow, like the statues they were supposed to be.

Image Pool volleyball game.

Image Husband (mine :))

Image A dark photo of the Geezer Gang at dinner.


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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:09 pm 
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8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Cuba
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:20 am 
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I LOVE THESE.....a bat cave!!!!!!
The gang!!!!
Your hubs is so 8) !!!!
the sore butts,
clay people,
the country is beautiful.....
the bat cave,
swooning,
thanx Torre

(it'll be a cold day in hexx before us US'ers will get to see that country-means alot to share your volleyball game.....really liked the cute little guy hidden behind the bat cave tree, is he real!)
XOX


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