The sky was overcast and it looked like rain when we landed in Holguin. We were overjoyed when we realized that all of our luggage—including carry-on bags that had been gate checked in Portland—had made it safely to Cuba, despite a sliver of connection time in Los Angeles that had made us doubt luggage could possibly get transferred in time.
Cuba is known for its classic cars, and the airport parking lot did not disappoint. There were a variety of 1950’s vehicles serving as taxis, as well as other newer models, and a couple small buses, which were our transportation to the “Amigos” (Friends or Quaker) church, where we are staying.
Our first Cuban meal was delicious: plantains prepared two different ways, salad, squash, rice and beans. In the evening we went to the rented hall where Dr. Ortiz spoke to a crowd of several hundred. A first for me: I translated the sermon to English over a radio transmitter in real time (no pauses) for the Andrews students and a few on our team. I missed a few phrases, but it wasn´t as hard as I thought it would be.
My team presented our first skit before his sermon: Jesus calms the storm, but with some twists. I was very happy with how clear and expressive my students were. It was Ryan´s third time playing the role of Jesus in this skit, since we did it in the Dominican Republic last year. It was fun to see how his confidence and expressiveness have grown since last year. One skit down, eight to go!