Jabeh Peabody previously served on a Global Volunteers program in Montana with her colleagues from inVentiv Health Clinical, so she already had experience working hand and hand with local people in one of our host communities before arriving in Cuba. “This kind of travel is right up my alley, ” she explains. “Global Volunteers makes it possible to meet local people through service rather than traditional tourist travel.”
As many Americans, Peabody wanted to go to Cuba for many years – “to make Cuban friends and explore this forbidden land.” Well, it’s safe to say that she developed some meaningful Cuban friendships. “I formed strong relationships both with the students I taught in class and with the people I met on the streets. Some will be long-lasting, and in fact, ” she continues, “I feel as though I now have an extended family in Cuba.” In addition, she feels that “the community members can now say that they have American friends as well.”
When asked if she plans on staying in contact with the people she’s met, here was her response: “Oh yeah! The experience impacted my viewpoint on Cuba so much that I plan to return on a Global Volunteers Cuba Program in 2016.” And it’s true! Peabody is already signed up to go back to Cuba as a Global Volunteer in January of 2016, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!