Flew from London to Havana via Madrid landing at 2am my time. Exhausted after a week of little to no sleep due to the Mayfair show/talk, family in town, and last minute packing/preparations, I was met by RoosterGNN staff who cheerfully informed me dinner and music was awaiting me.
Changed money, but not able to get that Cuban SIM card I read about, and realised my phone (despite unlocking it, and other prep) was not going to work here. Too tired to think much more about this, and praying my family wouldn’t send Cuban authorities to come find me, before I could get word out I’d landed safely.
Our Casa (or BnB) is in Central Havana on Calle Animas, in a marginal area full of Cuban heart and soul, and piles of rubbish and worn down buildings lost in time. Prior to coming I booked a second accommodation so that I could experience the “2 sides” of Havana, at the same time, and to potentially have wifi access to get these blogs out.
I met the group at dinner. Eleven university aged students who came to study travel journalism with RoosterGNN tutors here in Cuba--mostly from the USA (with some from China, Germany, and the UK)--a primary tutor, a secondary tutor, the benefactor/director of the program, and 2 wonderfully positive support staff—along with myself and another artist in residence. Most of the staff/tutors are experienced journalists from Spain , the other artist is a photographer from the USA, and Catherine (support staff), is my angel from Cuba…
After dinner with some fun local music, it was 6am my time and time to finally collapse. As I was organising my stuff (aka spread piles all over my bed) the electricity went out. In my delirium, I soon realised this meant the air conditioning was down. I could deal with no lights, as I used this flash gizmo I had for my phone, but the AC being down might kill me.
I thought I was the one that caused the outage by plugging in every device I owned, and maybe/hopefully it was only my room. So I started turning things, fuses, etc on an off, and then went to look for someone in our Casa. Realised we were basically locked in, and I couldn’t find anyone for answers---not that I could’ve asked any questions, as my best laid plans to learn Spanish during the past 4 weeks didn’t get past “El mundo esta loco” –The world is crazy.
I gave up, and went to bed. As I laid down, I realised the plug that was charging my devices was still live and charging. Everything else was down. El mundo esta loco…and tomorrow I might be able to let my family know I arrived from Havana, side 2.