Our first destination this morning was ICAP: Cuban Institute of Friendship with People. Tears immediately sprang to my eyes as I saw a group of beautiful Cuban students in their identical red school uniforms. After we gathered, we were each approached by an individual child and given a hand-colored picture of the Cuban flag. Songs and poems followed. I was certainly not alone in feeling profoundly moved. Pam helped to raise the Peace/Paz flag and Randy helped to “plant” a “marriage” tree.
A lengthy discussion followed which was interesting and quite political – leaving me with a very distinct impression that there are people in Cuba who are optimistic about the future and also committed to improving relations with the U.S. Finally, they gave us a “snack.” Each person’s plate was piled high with sweet treats. I offered an apology for the food we left uneaten.
Our first English teaching session from 7:30-9PM was spirited. I team-taught with Randy and Marietta. We, in my opinion, worked fluidly and easily together and our four students seemed attentive and responsive. I felt really good about it and I got the sense that the other groups of volunteers felt the same way about their students. The time went quickly!