yesterday, i posted about being in singapore with my wife, waiting in starbucks while waiting for our plane to take us to india. a very fond memory. as i continued thinking about different things, one thing stuck out in my mind, and it's not one particular moment, but a collection of memories built together.
i love cuba. the first time i ventured to that little country was the first time i had been out of the collective north america. it was an eye opener and a life changer. i won't lie. it was a struggle. many times thinking to myself, "LORD, what am i doing here?" everytime i have gone, something has changed in my life. the experiences, the people, the culture, my translator/brother (wow, do i miss him.)
there are many thoughts that bring me back to that island. i remember one instance after a hard day of working in the villages, we got back to the hotel and got cleaned up. the temperature was around 115°f/46.14°c and the humidity has extremely high (every morning when we would leave our hotel, as soon as we stepped outside, sweat just began dripping off your body. i love humidity, but that got old very fast). we went and had dinner, came back and went out to the pool to relax. at night, the temperature dropped to about 85°f/29.4°fc and the humidity fell a little. the pool was a mixture of chlorine and salt water. interesting. but we would float there. one night, we watched a huge electrical storm in the distance.
driving back and forth from the hotel to the villages was an adventure on one particular road. every morning, the road was covered with roadkilled crabs being eaten by vultures. the majority of the roadkill was from our tires from the previous night. the first time we witnessed this phenomenon, we were awestruck by just the massive amount of crabs scurrying across the road to get into the sand. no matter how slow we drove, the crabs popped underneath our tires. you couldn't see the pavement, just a moving road of grey crabs.
the people that i met were completely different than those that i have met around this world of ours. genuine. caring. loving. true, many people are like that, but the cubans that i met seemed to be more.
one day, before our plane was leaving, we had to travel from one side of the island to the other, which took around 4 hours. we stopped in a "tourist trap" for lunch and continued on our way. when we got to our hotel, it was still mid afternoon, so we checked in and decided to meet at the front of the hotel for dinner later on that night. everyone went their ways and rin and i decided to go walking around the city. there is a dollar store (our nickname for it) right next door. the city we were in is more of a tourist place, so they cater to the european/asian/etc people that come through. but they have ice cream and sodas. rin and i bought some and walked down to the beach and then to the merchant's market. the sun was high and hot and the ice cream was cold and the sodas were wet. good times. . .