This was one of the most interesting and rewarding trips I've ever been on. I learned so much about birds, people, another country, history, it was incredible. I wondered before we left here what Cuba would actually be like. Would it be safe? Would the people be angry at Americans coming to their country, especially since the US hasn't been very neighborly to Cuba in the past 50 years or so? What would the countryside be like? As it turned out, Cuba was no different from any other place on earth. The people live their lives, doing the best they can. Birds still fly, clouds still pass, plants still grow, the sun still rises and sets. In my humble opinion, unsolicited by anyone, I think that it's time for the US to discuss having a normal relationship with our close neighbor. I do understand that these things are complicated, but the only ones hurt by the US policies are the simple and honest people of Cuba. The fat cats are still fat, the politicians are still interested only in themselves, the people are still so poor. This is an extremely interesting island nation with wonderful, friendly people. It's time for us to be good neighbors.
All the photos, unless otherwise stated, were taken by one of the two people pictured here. The good ones were taken by Ivan and the rest by me! The group photo of the entire gang was taken by the juice man using Giff's camera and I thank Giff for letting me put his photo on the blog. I want to reiterate my suggestion that you check out Giff's website to see even more photos from the trip. Giff is a terrific photographer, as well as being a pretty nice guy, and I think those of you who are interested in birds (or frogs or butterflies or spiders, etc.) would really enjoy his photos. His website address is www.giffbeaton.com/Cuba.htm.
I thank you for reading this blog. I hope, one day, that we can go back to Cuba without having to have permission from anyone. I think there are many of you, my friends and family, who would enjoy the country, the food, the music, the people, the birds, the beautiful beaches. I hope we can all do that some day. This was written, with much affection, for my family and my friends by me, Nora Schwab.