We now only have about three weeks left in Cuba. Something lately that has been most rewarding is having the confidence to reach out to people and talk to them. It has taken a long time to get to that point and at times has been easy to retreat into the comfort of the group I live with and our host family. But in the past week I’ve been meeting more people and am constantly surprised by how open and friendly people can be, especially when you have a common connection. I’ve been thinking about the strength of those sorts of connections a lot. People who I’ve only been introduced to through another friend are extremely willing to help me and dedicate their time to me. It seems like people have a lot of trust. At the same time maybe they have interest because I am from the U.S.
I am also constantly surprised by how easily I meet people who are talented and interesting. I have met many people who do really cool work, whether it is in visual art, writing, science, music or anything else. Many people I’ve met seem very passionate in what they do. I’m not sure if this has been by chance because of the groups I have contact with. I have also been thinking about all of the parts of Cuba I am still not seeing. I have been here almost two and a half months and I still know my view of Havana is only a small slice, all seen through the lens of U.S. student. This is hard to realize but also something that is unavoidable. I am working for the rest of my time to continue visiting new places and getting to know the people I meet.