Local teams have enriching experience visiting Cuba

Screen shot 2016-03-16 at 6.18.15 AMThe New Glasgow Cubs and the Stellarton Albions baseball teams returned recently from a winter trip to Cuba, a place where the only thing familiar was the baseball diamonds they played on.

“We played four games of baseball and we visited a Cuban school,” said Alexka Mason, about the goodwill tour in February.

Mason went on the trip with her son who plays on the Stellarton Albions team.

The Cuban kids came and swam and played with the kids at the resort, she said.

“We had a day where the Cuban baseball players played a game at the resort.”

She said the groups also had a day where they visited a Cuban school, where they gave them baseball equipment and school supplies – she thought that was the most rewarding part of the experience for the kids.

“To see the gratitude they had.”

She said the whole act of giving to them was the best part of the experience.

Payton Clements, a player for the New Glasgow Cubs baseball team, agrees.

“It was giving the school supplies and seeing the smiling faces,” he described as his favourite part of the trip.

Erik Fraser, one of the coaches for the Stellarton team, said what he thinks was the most rewarding experience for the kids was the chance for them to see how people in other countries live.

Most kids in today’s society in Canada are often looking at their phones or playing video games and are constantly connected to technology, but a lot of the kids in Cuba didn’t have those things, he said.

“It was a good chance for kids today to see what it’s like to not have technology.”

Fraser emphasized that it wasn’t a typical vacation. It was an eye opener and it was a good chance for the kids to make new friends and to learn to have more gratitude for what they have and make a difference in those Cuban kids lives, he added.

There were translators who attended the trip with the team and some of the Cuban kids were seeing a swimming pool for the first time when they came with team to the resort.

“I was so surprised when I heard that from a translator,” Fraser said.

When most families visit Cuba they just mainly spend their time in the resorts, he said, but the teams actually saw Cuba, including the run-down buildings and little to no financial aid.

“We are very lucky where we live.”

Nikola Cameron, The News

March 13, 2016


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