The Reunion at Plaza Marte

We had a great second day at the conference and I was energized to enjoy the rest of the evening. Upon arrival at the hostel, I could not get myself to rest. I was too hype from my presentation and I was feeling myself. The hotel manager came and explained that he received a few calls from the one and only, Hugo. I was ecstatic and relieved because I was imagining the worst.

I was chilling on the slow WiFi service internet when the manager let us know we had a guest. My homie Hugo was here and I was ready to celebrate the night away. Hugo got lost (Cuba is like that) and had an adventure of his own. Directions in Cuba can be confusing as some streets do not have names. He explained that he had to catch several taxis and he was rushing because he wanted to attend the conference to see my performance. His last taxi was an motorcycle taxi and it was a rough ride. He showed me the burn marks on his leg as sweat slowly dripped down his neck. We both had something to celebrate and Cuba was the perfect spot. He agreed and we decided to explore to get our minds off of things. No matter where we went, it seemed as if Fidel was looking over us. His spirit still lives in all of Cuba.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

As we walked, I explained to him that Plaza Marte is a central area in Santiago de Cuba and was very easy to find. He realized that he drove pass this area several times and did not even notice.

Plaza Marte. Photo Courtesy of Madelin Vasquez Polanco.

Cuba can be difficult to navigate when WiFi is very limited. I actually had to get  lost in order to learn how to get around so I understood Hugo’s situation. Santiago de Cuba is a winding road with many hills so be prepared to explore. I planned my trip 6 months ahead so I was not as worried. However, I will turn into the hulk if someone is messing with my homie.

Photo Courtesy of Madelin Vasquez Polanco.

We hung out at Plaza de Marte. Everyone was there so I knew this was the local hang out spot. There were Cubans selling WiFi service. This spot was a huge WiFi spot so it made sense as to why it was so crowded. The sun was beaming down on us as we seemed to be the only non-Cubans in Santiago de Cuba. Hugo and Madelin was very concerned about me filming but I was feeling myself and I did research on filming in Cuba. I was not bothered at all although many people were looking at me trying to figure out what I was doing ( I promise that I am not a spy). Cataleya was dancing with a dance group so I quickly distracted her until she decided to ride another kid’s bike.

Photo Courtesy of Madelin Vasquez Polanco.

It was a very chill day in Santiago de Cuba but it was a real highlight for us. Hugo and I, we were both celebrating because we said we would be in Cuba and here we are. It felt good to see your goals manifest into actual accomplishments. We had such a great time it felt like time stood still. We drank, grubbed on delicious Cuban food, and hung out all night.


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