Today was the final day on the farm and while today was a moment of relief of our duties of “farmers” after our days struggles and hard work, to me it was a moment of sadness. This was the case because while we were just getting to accustomed to the work that we were doing because of our commitment and dedication to completing the job and not slacking at all; working on what needed to be done was that boost of confidence that we needed in order to complete our job. We were ripped from this experience within a few days which felt like a little amount of time to me. Meanwhile, it was a happy day also because it was Señora Gasper’s birthday as well as the farewell party celebrating the both with a heartwarming feast, including, salami and cheese, an endless amounts of pig meat (plus fat) and tons of cake and cookies. The activities were mainly focused around picking the rotten cabbages from the garden and composting. I worked endlessly pulling cabbages from their roots, picking up and putting them in the wheelbarrows, and hauling the cabbage to the compost station and continued this loop of work for about 3 hours.
After the long haul of farmwork, we were planning to play soccer alongside other Cubans and unfortunately it got canceled after several scheduling errors and ended the day, having a little bit of free time, saying our farewells to our families, and departing for Havana.
Last night, we all ate together at a restaurant called “El Patio” and enjoyed some delicious Cuban pork and chicken before going out later with our guides to immerse ourselves in the Cuban celebration of Carnival. It was fun hearing the loud music and seeing the people of Viñales partying together and dancing. Though not many people went out at 9:00 to explore the festival itself rather than looking from afar, I went with a few of the chaperones and enjoyed seeing all the flashing lights and feeling the bass of the music hitting my chest as we walked through the crowded streets. After walking around for a bit, we went back and joined our group talking with our guide, Dayan on the roof of one of the hostels. We went to bed later than usual at 10:30 at night, and I woke up late the day after.
I quickly enjoyed some pineapple and scrambled eggs before our group went over to work at the farm. I was assigned to tie onions together and hang them to dry in a tobacco house. After working and taking a snack break, all the groups converged together to work on finishing the compost pile with the remaining time we had. After working, we celebrated our accomplishments in Viñales with a hearty going-away dinner with a chorizo/salami style appetizer, pâté, rice and black beans, and eating a large pig (which was mostly fat). For dessert, we had 3 different types of cakes, with one being for Profe. Gasper’s birthday and two to celebrate in general. We said our goodbyes and rode back to our hostels in our taxis to finish packing and to get ready for the pickup soccer game we would have with the Cuban kids our age. But, sadly, the game didn’t happen due to scheduling errors, so we had time to ourselves before packing our stuff on the bus and driving to Havana.