01.05.2009 - 06.05.2009 31 °C
Recuerdos de la Habana!!!!
Sorry for the lack of contact- this is my first time online (I wanted to wait with writing till I had something to say plus the Internet´s very expensive here)...
Havana is WONDERFUL!!! I absolutely love it here and so far, everything has surpassed my wishes beyond what I could have hoped.
The people are incredibly friendly (and beautiful) and the city is just breath-taking. I arrived early Saturday evening (after a 15 hour journey)- was a bit nervous at customs, but it all went well. Got a taxi straight to my casa particular, where I met Jose and Carmina, my host family. Jose is a retired engineer and Carmina works at the post graduate department at the University. The house is really great- I have my own room (with double bed, airco) in Vedado (a district next to Central Habana) and it takes me about 20 mins to walk to Uni. Every morning I get a wonderful breakfast- half a guava, banana, mango juice, warm white bread bun with bacon and cheese, hot chocolate, water and coffee (!) and evening meals vary (but are very nice- mainly consisting of black beans, rice and fruit). For 20CUC´s a night (about 16 euros) its a really good deal! (It includes laundry!)- seems the people on my course have not been as lucky as they all seem to be paying more and live further out.
Spanish is... difficult! But its great- the teachers are friendly and only speak Spanish to us, so we´re picking up the lingo pretty quickly, hehe... My group is varied, with people from all places/ages- Japanese, American, Canadian, Australian, Finnish, Danish and Chinese.
I´ve explored a little so far and have been really impressed with the buildings- wow! Especially along the malecon (a 4km seaside promenade) - HUGE old crumbly colonial houses, though some areas are obviously being renovated/tidied up. Old Havana (or Habana Veija)- a UNESCO-declared World Herritage Site, is just gorgeous (once I figure out how to post photos, you´ll see :-) and Vedado (the area where I live) is very lively/social, though I haven´t been out yet (!!!) I live about 10 minutes away from the ´Plaza de la Revolucion´(type in ´Memorial Ernesto ´Che´Guevara´and you´ll recognise it...)
Think my body´s still adjusting to the time-difference a bit, but yesterday an Australian guy moved into the other free room in my casa, so at least now I have a going-out buddy :-)
My phone unfortunately doesn´t work here in Cuba, so I´ll be hard to contact whilst I´m here, but I´ll try to check my mail at least once a week.
But for those of you worried: don´t be! I´m having a great time here and am absolutely loving it!
The thought of having to leave at some point already makes me feel sad!
I´ll try to post my photos soon (though its not possible from this hotel)
Hope all´s well with you,
Hasta luego! xxx