Today was packed. First we went to the Museum of the Revolution on the 55th Anniversary of the day a group of University of Havana students attempted to assassinate Batista. The bullet holes are still in the staircase of the presidential palace. It was unreal.
The museum was fantastic, way better than the rum museum. It’s amazing to see things from the Cuban perspective. Say what you will about Communism and Fidel but overthrowing a tyrannical oppressive government takes intelligence and bravery I will never have.
After visiting the museum I think I’ll write about Cecilia Sanchez. Her photos were all over the museum and I want to know more about women in Cuba and the Revolution.
Next was a tour of Cuba’s largest tobacco factory. I wasn’t really a fan. I couldn’t sit in those rooms for hours rolling or sorting. I’d go crazy. We watched a woman separate leaves by size and color. She alone processes 600 leaves a day and there are 60 workers for that job.
As for the rollers, each roll 120 - 180 cigars a day and I have no idea how many there were of them. The tour guide said they produce 5 million cigars a year. She was also the person who reads the paper to them in the morning.
Prof. Glidden said it was much better than another factory she’s been to and they make a ton of money off tours. I don’t know, I just didn’t like seeing all those people stuffed in hot rooms doing the same task over and over again.
Then was lunch. Hawaiian pizza and coffee at an Italian restaurant. Boss!
From the restaurant we walked to University of Havana. On the way we saw a yellow school bus from the Bronx painted beautifully by Pastors for Peace. Glidden said they lost their license for travelling here for being too political. The US must not have liked ‘Stop the Blockade’ painted on it.
University of Havana is gorgeous. I can’t even describe it well enough. Giant marble pillars and buildings among large green trees.
We walked back along the Malecon and I was the leader. Apparently I have a good sense of direction. Who knew?
The houses along the Malceon are under construction. They’re badly dilapidated. I wonder what they’ll look like in 20 years.
We walked to China Town, got lost but ate with a University of Havana professor. Didn’t talk to him much. A lot of people begged us for money and food. We shooed the kids asking for candy and pesos away but we gave our leftovers to a man and a woman. The professor and Gildden said the begging is a new trend only in the last 2 years. It made the professor very upset.
Most of the group took a taxi to see the canon shot but I stayed behind and got coffee at the Hotel Telegrafo with everyone else. We talked about travel and school. It was great!
Went back, talked a bit, and now going on an excursion tomorrow. I’m super excited! Can’t wait to write again!