When we were in Playa Larga, Cuba, we met a Doctor who runs the local clinic. He had just stopped by the house where were staying.
When we asked him what we could contribute, he said (with tears) that they really needed a defibrillator and a microscope. Fast forward, since I've been back in Vermont, I made about a million phone calls to see if working, but used defibrillators ever get replaced and are worthy of donating...my travels led me to an organisation in Portland, Maine, called Partners in World Health, PIWH accepts donations of medical equipment which we can purchase at an amazing discount. So, wild idea number 447, were fundraising to send a few of these to clinics in Cuba. It will save lives, pretty cool eh? Want to help?
Wow! We can go?! If it's onAirbnb, we must be able
I have always wanted to visit Cuba. For years I tried to scheme a way to get there under the educational visa. I asked anyone who I thought had the credentials to lead a trip of us "students" to Cuba under the guise of learning something, drumming? Organic farming? Salsa dancing? Master mojito making?
Then I started seeing photos pop up in my Facebook feed of old cars with Che painted on the headlights. I had heard that travel restrictions were loosening up and Americans were heading to Cuba now! A quick search on Airbnb confirmed that as I perused "experiences" such as, a tour of bohemian nightclubs, that fulfill the "person to person" cultural exchange on one of the visas available to Americans. (Warning, sign up for one of these months in advance, they actually fill up and internet access in Cuba is a challenge, i.e. It sucks-but that's not why we're there folks)
LONG story short, but this idyllic photo of a turquoise room at La Rosa de Ortega caught my eye. With its antique iron bed and white canopy catching the light streaming in through the balcony, I was hooked. I needed to stay at this inn.
So did everyone else on Airbnb, however, having worked in hospitality, I thought that perhaps there was more than one room at the inn, and that they were only listing this particular room and still had other rooms available. So, fingers crossed, I emailed the innkeepers, Julia and Sylvio, (who turned out to be the key to us having an incredible visit) and the adventure was birthed. (Or at least the first few days were reserved)
Add a 1950's classic car, some live music & salsa dancing, a tour with the fabulous Marcia, a few mojitos--and the vision was complete.
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Please come on our adventure. Then have yours!
Stay tuned for more