Cuba: A Walk into the Past
Growing up in Vietnam, I learned about iconic friendship of the era between two countries Vietnam – Cuba. The relationship between two countries has been built upon the commonality of communist principles and political beliefs of their leaders, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro, in communism. Going to a high school in Israel and now a college in the US, I got to know about the opposite narrative towards the country. Hence, Cuba has always been an interesting place for me.
Over the spring break, I had the chance to go to Cuba to explore life in one of the last strictly communist countries in the world as a walk into the past to learn about my own country, Vietnam during the 90s. My trip to Cuba unveiled many myths that I have heard from both sides of the political spectrum, allowed me to observe things with my own eyes and see the country beyond the convoluted nature of politics.
On one hand, Cuba really reminds me of home, Vietnam in some senses – the old buildings, the messy streets, the vendors. On the other hand, it is so exotic, so different and nothing like any other countries I have been to before. Throughout my trip, I got the opportunity to experience a little bit of everything in the Cuban lifestyle and understand the country better. It was so fascinating that I barely noticed that I had only 2 hours of WiFi for my entire week spent in Cuba! You can see more photos and information from my trip to Cuba at: https://www.linhha.net/cuba
(Note: WiFi is only available in some public centers in the country and people need to buy cards to access to the Internet at the price of $1/ hour). - Khanh-Linh Ha (Grant in 2019)