“We had such an interesting experience bringing supplies to Cuba last week. I was sure we would be stopped at the customs in the airport, but we sailed through. Our luggage weighed a ton, but fortunately in our first stop in Varadero our bags were delivered to our hotel room which was on a second floor walk up. The people who brought the luggage wanted to know if we brought rocks to Cuba.We explained that in fact we have medical supplies that were donated by an-organization in Canada. It was clearly of great interest because everyone I spoke to at the hotel after that knew that I was the lady with the medical supplies.
Since Varadero where we are staying is a tourist town, we chose to haul the supplies to Havana. Fortunately our Cassa which was a three floor walk up with no one to help with luggage had an elevator. We delivered the supplies by taxi to a clinic known as la patrona. Friends of mine had visited this clinic and felt that they were very reputable and were well respected in the community.
We called ahead of time to make sure they were open and we’re received with open arms by Monica.
It was an experience that we will never forget. By bringing supplies we had a chance to engage with many Cubans in interesting discussions. I felt that people were very happy that we are taking the trouble to bring all the supplies and that perhaps they opened up to us with their personal stories because of this. For example at the casa
we stayed at, we met a family who shared that their son was blind from childhood diabetes. They said that they were often needle shortages and were so pleased to hear that we had brought some for less fortunate people in the community.
I am so glad we made the effort. I look forward to the next time we can do this again. I have spread the word among friends in Toronto and they too want to carry supplies to Cuba.
On another note we were in Cuba just a few days before the Obama visit.There was tremendous anticipation and excitement and trepidation in the air. All of Havana where the motorcade was to pass seemed to be renewed overnight. this was a vacation I will never forget. Thank you NJTT for helping to make it so memorable.
Thank you for all the work you do