By Bri Vazquez Smith ~
Well I’d like to start off by saying that I ate something that absolutely hated me, and threw up 5 times throughout the course of the day. My stomach hurt so much but I had to rally because it was beach day. I slept for most of the day on the bus with René worriedly staring at me and when we got off at the slave route museum; I was so uncomfortable that I walked off the bus and lied down on a slab of concrete and fell asleep in the sun. When I finally felt good enough to stand, I waded through the water for 5 minutes and called it a successful day. When we got back on the bus though, I realized that there was a cold low pressure shower waiting for me back at “Par Biew” Hotel. Two hours later when we got back and I let the water run, I felt a luke warm temperature and tentatively climbed in. As the trickle was running on my arm so that I could get used to it, it started to feel hot, like really hot, the kind that most people would find too hot, which is exactly how I liked it, and I stood there and started to cry.
“Every hotel has a personality. We just have to figure out what this one’s is.” That’s what Sandra told us when we first arrived at the hotel and were sitting in the lobby, occasionally glancing at the hole in the ceiling that let water leak out. The hotel staff, instead of putting buckets under it, as I’ve seen in every other situation with a leak, put plants under it. Every time I’d gotten on the elevator, I had to press the up and down button, just in case. We were eating dinner, Jake pulled a bug out of my food and I shrugged and ate my rice. There’s a trend around here that we’re all adapting too, small problem, small fix. We’re all adjusting to Cuba. If we had been in the states, we would’ve complained about more than a few things.
There also SEEMS to be no problem with race here at all. People of all shades are seen hanging out together. Our server last night was wearing a white shirt, black apron and was Afro-Cuban and pointed to his skin and clothes to differentiate between beers. Ingrid, our tour guide for the day, said that everyone from here is “just Cuban”, despite their skin tone.