Just over a month ago I went on a trip with my band to Cuba. It was an amazing experience that I would love to share with you. I hope you enjoy it and we would love to here some of your fun trips that you have been on.
So I am in band at school and every other year they go on a big trip. This was my first year going and with the Canadian dollar being so bad there was a little dilemma. Most of us thought that we would end up going somewhere in Canada so when they sat us all down in the auditorium to tell us we were going we were overjoyed when we heard the words “We are going to Cuba.” For the months leading up most of us could not believe that we were actually going to go.
The plane ride there felt like the longest ride of my life because I just wanted to be there already. The morning of April 10th we got to our hotel and guess what? The only beach close to Havana, Cuba was right across the street! It was so beautiful with vibrant blue water. The first day we slept until lunch since we had a red-eye flight. That was pretty hard because all of us just wanted to explore. In the afternoon we got to have a walking tour of old Havana.It was amazing with all the intricate architecture. On the tour we got to hear history about a few different squares. We got to see the Cathedral in Plaza de la Catedral in La Habana, a dance performance and venders in Plaza de Armas, and San Francisco de Asis Square, to learn about slavery in Cuba. It was a great tour with so much cool information. That day we also visited the Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabana which dates back to the 18th century. It was beautiful and really fun to explore.
On the second day we got to hang out in the morning and then go to a Jazz Cafe in downtown Havana for a percussion workshop. It was our first time experiencing Cuban music in Cuba and it was really fun to be able to interact with them too. After the workshop we got to listen to an acapella group. They were amazing. That night a bunch of us got to go back to the Cafe to watch our jazz band as the opening act and then an incredible group as the main act. Words can not describe to you how amazing that group was. About half way through some of my friends and I could not handle how loud it was right next to the speakers so we headed to the back. The crazy thing was that most of us could not believe the warm up the guitarist did. Most of us probably couldn’t have done that was our main piece.
During the week we got to perform and listen to/watch four different groups in Cuba. Most of us came to realize that music is just as important to them as food; when they have nothing left, they still have music. I loved performing our pep band tunes because they were more up beat and people would dance along with us, which was so cool to see. I loved all the times that we would just break out dancing and it was totally acceptable. We also got to hang out at the beach a few days: that was so much fun and the water was so warm. Other places we visited were the market in downtown Havana, it was to cool to walk around and try to bargain your way through; Vinales which has an amazing view with some cool caves that you can walk through; a waterfall decent where we got to swim and walk behind the waterfall.
At the end of our week we had a farewell party with one of the groups that we performed with and let me tell you I have never had a more fun dance party in my life. They were teaching us some awesome moves and by the end of the night we were exhausted. When we were dancing we didn’t care that it was 30°c out because we were having the time of our lives. I am pretty sure that most of us had mixed feelings about going home. I myself would go back there in a heartbeat.
Thank you so much for reading my travel diary. There is so much that I left out but I made sure to cover the big things that we did. Until next week, xoxo Vienna