dimanche 28 juin 2009

Cuban Generosity of Educating poor foreigners


Day 4 Havana

Woke up in the middle of the night feeling unwell, and that was to continue for the rest of the day. This became a day of rest. I slept on and off most of the day. The body felt so tired and feverish as well.

The diagnosis entertained were: Acute on Chronic Gastritis. Caused by Coffee, Rum, the excessive heat as well as Chocolate.

The second diagnosis to consider was the so called 24 hour virus, now confirmed because the illness lasted no more than 24 hours. With fever and muscle weakness.

This also gave me a chance to understand the kindness of cubans.

The professor at whose home I am staying, brewed camomille with anis tea to calm the stomach to be followed by green tea. Then left one litre bottle of rehydration fluid, made from a packet. Made sure that the telephone was disconnected.

I did not wish to see any body. And since there was no hunger no food either. She left the telephone number of the neighbour to call in case I needed help and called to chek with her whether I had called. Since my friends knew I was sick, the telephone kept on ringing but I was falling in and out of sleep and in the afternoon everything was quiet. I had a fever of 38 degrees and the thought of not being able to catch the flight on Friday was bothersome indeed.

I had a restful sleep

Day 5 Havana

Woke up feeling refreshed and afebrile. And made plans to go to the house of friends to wait the visit of a Chinese Student here to study Spanish and Tourism and her guide, a recent graduate from Dept of Economics.

We had ordered Arroz con Pollo from the restaurant nearby and the day was calm, as if it knew a heavy downpour was on its way.

Just after the visitors arrived, the skies opened up with thunder and lightning and heavy downpour, it was a much needed rain and the earth bubbled with joy. The thunder was so strong that the animals were huddled inside the house.

GX is from HuHot in Inner Mongolia, she along with nearly 1000 other chinese students are here to spend one year of studying Spanish and then five years of Tourism and Hospitality. This increased exchange of students between China and Cuba, so far there are 2000, resulted after the visit of the respective presidents. They came in October and already they can begin to speak Spanish and I am sure that before they start their courses in Tourism and Hospitality, they would be proficient. A separate school has been created for them at Tarara, just a few miles east of Havana. They are well guarded in that they have cubans to guide them and introduce them to the life here and are not able to wander aorund or slack at their studies.

AP is the cuban guide who came with GX. She looked more like an university student than a professor at a school. She had just graduated herself from the Department of Economics, and was seconded for this job and hopes to return to her department at the University.

We had a pleasant time together, ALP was a graciuos host and we talked and entertained ourselves well. It had taken them only 40 minutes to get from Tarara to Vedado, at first by bus to Havana, the bus station and then to catch the collective taxi to vedado .

I have had two very quiet days. Tomorrow is my last day here in Havana and Cuba. I have been able to speak to Baracoa and to my friends there. Do not feel isolated as I have been able to send and receive emails. The lask of internet is a blessing in disguise so that much time is saved which is spent in solidifying allready solid friendships.