What was a highlight from one of your trips?
Jazz Clubs. The faculty member, Freddy Vilches, on one of the “open” nights on the schedule, took us to some of these really interesting Jazz Clubs. As we walked downstairs into the basement, it was like something from NYC in the 1940’s. Smoke-filled, but so energetic. On another occasion, the program partner gave us a recommendation for a cafe. It was so far off-the-beaten-path we never would have found it without his suggestion. We had a really unique evening listening to some quality acoustic guitar.
Can you talk about the interactions you had with your LC faculty member?
If you know Freddy you know he is super fun, and has great energy. In a place like Cuba it was so helpful to have someone fluent in the language, culturally competent, and who had insight into the pulse of Havana, and the people of Cuba. Additionally, the other experts in the program gave us all a rich, deep experience, anchored in local knowledge.
What was your experience with “Group Travel”?
I was skeptical at first, but the actual size of the group wasn’t a constraint, and in fact, we met some really great people who we got along with really well. Some of whom we have kept in contact with since and who we would not have met otherwise. Any of our perceived possible drawbacks were quickly offset by the ease of the travel, quality of our interactions, and being able to just show-up and experience what Cuba had to offer.
Any other trips elements that stand out?
There was a lot of programming and that was excellent. But we also had some important free-time and we had support to make that special time too. The quality of the restaurants really stands out to me. They were clearly carefully chosen, with an interesting variety and in unique venues.