They had a potluck for us following the service and we had a chance to interview three church members who immigrated from Cuba. They told us their personal stories and one of them commented that among Seventh-day Adventists in Portland, you can find Cubans who immigrated through every possible means. He and his family won a visa lottery about 15 years ago, which allowed them to fly to the US for legal immigration. Another church member came three years ago under the humanitarian program, because her mother, who lived here with her brother, was dying. Yet another came as a "balsero," or rafter, escaping by sea during the 1994 mass exodus from the country, and their previous pastor came to the US via Canada.
In the afternoon, we divvied up roles in our remaining skits and learned more about Cuba through short presentations made by the students on topics such as SDAs in Cuba, food, religion, politics, the economy and art. A Cuban woman who is one of Mariela's prayer partners came and spoke to the group in Spanish for an hour and answered questions that we still have.
By the end of the day, some students admitted their heads were spinning with the massive dose of Spanish. It was a great way to break them in for Cuba!