Experienced Cuba with International Yoga retreat leader, Erin Fleming
(Tahoe City, CA USA)
I found the people of Cuba to be so consistently proud and yet, unempowered. WE LOVED our visit to beautiful Regla, where we learned more of the Santeria religion, had our cards/aura read, much like tarot cards. We spent an entire week at the Hotel Grand Nacional, our days were packed with visits to paladars, museums, schools, house concerts, dance lessons, and Tropicana-like attractions.
We brought suitcases full of cameras, flash drives, soaps, nail polishes, calculators, coloring pens and books for kids.. basically "things" sitting in drawers that would certainly some day be tossed. They were so grateful, especially for the old tech items (dead phones were a big hit) and the flash drives. And of course, we left our yoga mats... I have no idea what they'll be used for. After taking ashtanga yoga from a Havana-local teacher, we bought some of his extraordinary but small paintings. I wanted to feel more connected to the people as we encountered them, but there is a veil of distrust or maybe, fear?
I think I need to go back, see more of the island, bring more bounty from my "junk drawers", dance more, connect more. The tour guide was fantastic, but I felt cut off from the people.
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