Our Last Days in Ciego de Avila

Message of the Day – “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

Our last days in Ciego de Avila.  I’m already feeling very sad to leave.  Thanks to Andrea’s birthday, we were able to celebrate with a beautiful cake both a lunchtime, and again with our students.  Andrea honored the Cuban “cake in the face” tradition.

teach English to youth in Cuba

Alyssa and her students.

The projects are simple to explain – we painted, we gardened, we taught.  But, what each of us will take away from Ciego de Avila is so much more.  We’ve experienced the culture – be it at the museums, shops, baseball game, carriage rides, intermittent power outages, or in the meals of rice, beans, pineapple, guava and pina coladas.  But most important, we’ve also interacted with the people, who’ve all been so welcoming.  The farmers were so happy to see us each morning.  Although they spoke no English, they communicated their gratitude through hugs and kisses on the cheek.  But by far, the students who gathered at the community center to talk with us were extraordinary.  Their knowledge of English and their extreme enthusiasm for learning made it a pleasure to talk with them!

We concluded our last evening with a sing-a-long.  Paul led the Global Volunteers in “America the Beautiful,” and two of the students accompanied the entire group on their guitars.  We sang two songs – one was “Guantanamera.”  Many hugs and kisses, photos and email exchanges followed.  A very poignant conclusion to 12 days of “relaxing conversations” in Ciego de Avila.
-Alyssa and Susan

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