My ten weeks in Cuba finally came to an end and I flew out of Havana two days ago. Since I had a stopover in Miami, I decided to stay for several days before heading home to New York. I traveled to Little Havana yesterday and spent the day exploring the neighborhood and talking to the people.
I saw my first iyabó on a dark evening in Vedado. I had recently arrived to Cuba and was out exploring the city with a newfound Cuban friend. “Look,” my friend said, pointing at the mysterious figure crossing the street. I glanced over at the back of the white-clad silhouette. “That’s an iyabó,” my friend continued. “A newly initiated santera.”
I’ve spoken to several people in Cuba who have opened up to me about their political views and personal life experiences in this country. Each conversation is always proceeded by a verbal agreement to not repeat what is being told to me; the person then looks around to make sure no one else is listening, and, in a lowered voice, begins to tell me what things are “really like” for them here.
Although statistics on the number of Bahá’ís in Cuba are unavailable, Bahá’í representatives are located in Havana, Villa Clara and Camagüey City.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was relaxing at the top of a tall peak called Puerto Boniato on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba when I spotted them: three assassins, a long machete and their soon-to-be-dead victim.
Two nights ago, I boarded a bus in Havana and traveled across the island to Santiago, the second largest city in Cuba.
Earlier this week, I discovered the dance company Carnavaleando de Alexis Matos, located on the corner of Jovellar and N Streets in Vedado. Salsa music can be heard blasting through the windows of this studio just about any day of the week. (11 photos)
Today when I went to pick up my academic visa from the immigration office; the woman behind the desk greeted me with a wide smile. “I saw you on TV last night!”
I am in the middle of a strange dream – a collage of tropical flowers, ripe fruit and an oppressive sun that does not relent, even when the wind appears to greet me. This strange dream started when the airplane touched down in Havana.