Cuba, a full day
I went with Barnard and so the trip had been planned for us. My friend Liz invited me to go along as she is not only a graduate of Barnard, her company Great Performances, planned and put on the trip. She had been before and we were able to steer off the beaten track of the planned activities. Our excursions made the trip.
We began the first day in the area of old Havana to see the Museo Nactional da las Bellas Artes and the Museo de la Revolucion. We just took a walk through the art museum. Two floors that focus on one floor of colonial art and the other of contemporary art. There was not one artist in the entire museum that I had ever seen before which is interesting. There is a lot of meaning to be interpreted from the artists who have lived through the revolution. We were both surprised that some of it was actually allowed to be hung.
We took our own walk down a few side streets before heading back to meet the group for lunch. The streets have small shops in the bottom of many of the buildings. Some shops sell fruit, some are artists selling their wares, others sell three of four items of clothing and others just sell one particular bread roll. This woman shared a small shop with another vendor that sold just some fruits and vegetables.
The women across the street lived upstairs in a nicer apartment. They had come in to take care of a woman who got sick and died and were able to secure that apartment. 50 years ago 80% of the people lived in the country side and 20% in the city. That has literally flipped so now 80% of the people live in the cities and that is one of the reasons for lack of housing.
The photos do not do the decay justice. We were all a little bit speechless after this behind the scenes look. We drove back to the hotel and drove by Havana University. The alumnae could not get over that the university had the same stairs and lights that Columbia University had.
We went back to the hotel where I was able to download some email and get ready for dinner.