Friday, May 27, 2016

Dr. Eric Conway: Morgan State University Choir: Day 3 in Cuba - Trinidad and Santa Clara

Dr. Eric Conway:
Day 3 in Cuba - Trinidad and Santa Clara
Last night’s first Cuban concert went extremely well, however the Cienfuegos Theatre was extremely hot. We wore our robes for simplicity, and for a rare look for the Cuban audience at American choir robes, however, with the heat and humidity in the room, choir members and I were very uncomfortable, sweating profusely during the concert. This was somewhat surprising given the late 9 p.m. start and cooler than normal Cuban temperatures. After rehydrating, everyone went to bed relatively early preparing for our early departure this morning. In the future we will consider a summer lighter-weight uniform to make it a more pleasant concert experience for the Morgan students.
After a large Cuban complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we departed at a little after 9 a.m. Today was a travel day. Although our final destination was Santa Clara, we had a scheduled stop to the villa of Trinidad, the third settled city in Cuba. Our drive to Trinidad was only approximately one and a half hours from Cienfuegos.
When we entered Trinidad, we felt as though we went through a time-warp to another century! All the streets were paved with cobble stones. Virtually there was no vehicle traffic in the streets. We visited several local museums and galleries. There is so very much artistic talent in Cuba. See some selected pics of paintings viewed in the galleries. One of the literal high points for the day was a trip to the very top of the San Francisco of Assisi Church which gave a brilliant view of the entire town. Throughout the town, one could hear wonderful Cuban musicians playing very fine latin music. We decided to stop at one square to enjoy the music. The musicians invited the Morgan students to join them in the music making with the musical ensemble. See snippets of some of Cuban music attached. Typically, I would send out video via youTube, however, in Cuba, youTube is not allowed as a sanctioned internet site. Before leaving Trinidad, we experienced a very typical Cuban dance presentation, where at the end of the show, everyone was on stage dancing with the Cubans. We have been fortunate not seeing much rain, given the extended forecast of rain daily during our stay, however, today, we did get caught in a rain storm while retuning to the bus.
After a two-hour drive to Santa Clara, we arrived in at our hotel: Hotel Los Caneyes. This was a very unique hotel as all the rooms were in huts. Originally, some persons on the tour were quite concerned about this hotel, as the website stated that there were animals walking around freely on the premises. Well, this was absolutely true. The property felt like a preserve. There were roosters, chickens, turkeys and other various animals walking around the premises. The more dangerous animals like the crocodiles, were in their cages. This hotel was quite exciting as within minutes after our arrival, the electricity went out all over the facility for a couple of seconds to return on again shortly. This was going to be the adventurous hotel on the itinerary!
This hotel again featured a very nice buffet meal for all guests. The jury is still out whether we will pick up any weight with all the buffet meals, or lose weight because of all the walking needed for the tours. This day with no performances was a needed day of contrast for the group and vocal rest day for the choir! More to follow. . .

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