Final Night in Cuba
On the final night together in Cuba, our cook Shanna prepared a special goodbye dinner. She cooked Yucatán Pork with bitter oranges that had been slow cooked in banana leaves. Second Mate Brian triumphantly brought the banana leaves to the boat that morning after cutting them from a tree in a nearby yard.
This was a reflective meal where we acknowledged the time that we had spent together and the adventures shared since joining the ship in Maine. We had grown closer as a crew, gradually becoming more and more purposeful with our sailing and able to work together in a way that had seemed distant months before. We had learned about ourselves as citizens in the world and felt at home as shipmates aboard the Gamage.
That we felt at home on the ship in Cuba is a testament to the warm welcome from all of the Cubans we met during our stay. Our Cuban neighbors were eager to share the diversity of their culture, traditions and music, and our students were eager to share their own experiences. Although Cuba seems so far away in some senses, we are really just neighbors who do not know one another as well as we would like. Our friendships with Cubans grow each time our students go to Cuba. This is why we sail to Cuba, and this is why we maintain friendships with Cubans who are both so close, and in some ways, so far away.