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Arrival in Matanzas

Today was our last day in Havana. Before breakfast, my roommates and I packed up our belongings so that we would be able to enjoy some last moments of free time before taking off.

After breakfast, we went to the José Martí museum in Havana. I had never read any of José’s poetry, but I was very interested to learn more about his impact on Cuban history and society. The plaza, with a tall grey tower and massive statue of José looked to me like something straight out of Star Wars. A tour guide took us around the museum. I thought it was fascinating how closely linked the ideas of José and Fidel are. Previously, I thought it strange that the state would fund such a huge museum for a poet, but this experience has provided me some valuable context for understanding this.

Afterwards, we went back to the church council for lunch and finished packing. Around 3:00 p.m., we departed from Havana. Matanzas is only about an hour away, and the view of the Cuban countryside is beautiful, so the drive wasn’t too bad. Our accommodations in Matanzas is in a seminary and they seem like they will be very nice. The other girls and I have an apartment to ourselves.

We had dinner in the seminary’s dining hall. They served rice, beans, and meat, which I have gathered to be a pretty typical Cuban meal. After dinner, we drove to the Plaza de Libertad so that we could access the internet. Everyone was anxious to see their grade reports and call their families, but the plaza itself is gorgeous and those who finished using the internet are playing soccer or just enjoying the city of Matanzas. I am looking forward to seeing what else Matanzas has to offer in the days to come.

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