Last night, our first concert in Cuba went extremely well. The theater’s temperature conditions, however, were less than ideal during our performance. We wore our robes for simplicity as well as to give the Cuban audience an opportunity to see authentic American choir robes, but the heat and humidity in the room made wearing them a tad uncomfortable for the choir. For future performances in this type of climate, we may have to consider wearing a lighter weight uniform to make it a more pleasant concert experience for the Morgan students. After rehydrating, everyone went to bed relatively early preparing for the next morning’s departure.
Following breakfast, our group departed to begin our travel day. Although our final destination was Santa Clara, along the way we scheduled a stop in Villa de la Santísima Trinidad, the third settled city in Cuba. The drive from Cienfuegos to Trinidad was approximately one-and-a-half hours.
Arriving in Trinidad was like entering a time warp and traveling to another century as the town appeared as if preserved in time. The streets were paved with cobblestones and vehicular traffic was virtually non-existent. We took advantage of the serene setting, visiting several of the local museums and galleries and experiencing Cuba’s many artistic offerings.
One of the high points of our sightseeing excursion was a trip to the very top of the San Francisco of Assisi Church, which provided a brilliant view of the entire town. All throughout Trinidad, the wonderful music being played by Cuban musicians could be heard. We decided to stop at one town square to enjoy the music and the musicians invited the Morgan students to join them. Before leaving Trinidad, we also had an opportunity to experience an authentic Cuban dance presentation and at the end of the performance, everyone was invited on the stage to join the dancers’ performance.
So far on this trip, we have been fortunate to have very little rain given the extended forecast of daily showers. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. After a two-hour drive leaving Trinidad, we arrived at the Hotel Los in Santa Clara, a unique hotel to say the least. All of the rooms were located in huts and we were informed that animals walked around freely on the premises. It didn’t take long for that claim to be proven true. There were roosters, chickens, turkeys and various other animals walking the grounds giving it the feeling of a game preserve. Luckily, the more dangerous animals like crocodiles were in cages.
Once we settled in and adjusted to the wonder of our non-traditional accommodations, it was time to once again partake of the delicious Cuban cuisine. The jury is still out on whether or not we will pick up any weight with all the dining we have done or lose weight because of all the walking needed for the tours? All the same, there were no performances on the agenda for the evening, so it was an opportune time to rest our bodies and the choir’s voices, and look forward to tomorrow.
Morgen State News, Morgen State University
May 27, 2016