The month of March in Cuba has been nothing short of exciting, and it wasn’t until now that I realized the magnitude that the announcement of normalization in relations has had and will continue to have on Cuban- U.S. relations. The visit of President Barrack Obama was one of the most exciting moments of my Abroad experience, because I knew that I was witnessing a significant moment in history. For the first time I am at an age in which the true significance of political changes manifest, and I am able to fully understand what’s going on. Watching “The Beast” drive down the streets of the neighborhood I have been living in for the past month was somewhat surreal. My usual routine of walking to the market or to class was now mixed with waiting on the side of the street among a crowd of Habaneros waiting on the passing presidential motorcade. The President’s visit created somewhat of a stir within the group, which consisted of watching CNN, then catching the “guagua” to President Obama’s location in the hopes of catching a glimpse. It was unbelievable being able to turn on CNN and then walk directly to the location and knowing that we were a part of such a monumental moment in History.
Though the Presidential visit to Havana will remain a vital part in history, some say it was only the opening act to the Rolling Stones. Never would I ever have though that I would be sitting on a balcony jamming out to the Rolling Stones, let alone in Havana, Cuba. This place never ceases to amaze me. I am not sure if I just came at the right time or if this place has some serious Santeria charm, but I have defiantly have experienced some “good juju” since being here. Havana has been absolutely full of surprises and the amount of change that is going to come, if done with care is going to make Cuba the place to be. I could not be more satisfied with my semester abroad and am sad that it is coming to its end. This last month I am sure will be filled many more memorable experience and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store.
Asia Monet Hayes