We were given all afternoon to decompress after visiting the previously mentioned Santería and visiting the home of an Afro-Cuban equivalent to a priest although saying he’s a priest doesn’t begin tell his full story. We decided to cool down with four hours worth of cards. We started by playing hearts, but quickly we became tired of the overplayed game. Tyler suggested we play a new game called “Lucky”. Even though it took over fifteen minutes to learn, we only actually played two games. Next we played the game which we stuck with for the rest of the afternoon: Presidents. Half way through our first game, Profe Gasper told us the previously optional walk was now mandatory. At 1730 we headed out into the streets of Havana. We walked through Paseo del Prado and the other side of the Malecón. Here there was a fort, and we learned the Cuban tradition of firing a cannon (with blanks) every night at 2100 originating from colonial times when the Spanish had control of the country.
Then Dayan led us all the way back to the hostal where we had dinner and got ready for our second and final salsa class. Instead this time, after going over what we learned yesterday, we had a live band! Going over yesterday’s salsa steps and merengue was fairly easy, and we even learned a new type of dance: bachata! Then the live band was ready and they started to play for us. They played a couple of songs that we knew like “Oye Como Va” and “Guantanamera”, but overall we just moved to the rhythm of the beat with our new moves. It was really fun, and at times, the band was interactive and danced with us. After that we were all very sweaty, tired, and ready to get a good night’s sleep.
This morning we woke up really early (7am), had breakfast, and got on the van to Viñales. The ride was long, but most of us listened to music or slept. We made two stops: first to a rest stop, second to a vista that looked out over Viñales. It was beautiful and this trip has been amazing so far.
-Dannie and Sophia