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The Beautiful Chaos of Havana, Part 2…

Rainbow over El Malecon - click on any photo to see the full Album on Facebook!

Part 1 can be found here.

After a few days in Havana, I discovered myself getting vaguely comfortable with how daily life worked. The routine was both basic and comfortable. Have my breakfast, usually consisting of some pressed black-market ham and cheese, and some rather dry toasted bread. Get the espresso pot going with some of Karen’s good black-market Venezuelan coffee. I’d then walk over to the living room and click on the rather large flat-screen and watch some state-TV news, which was usually all that was on during the morning.

Unfortunately it was quite boring and a bit on the sugar-coated side. If you were to believe all the feature stories, Cuba’s government was: actively patching up all its potholed roads; fixing schools; installing traffic lights in dangerous intersections; and ensuring that all citizens have adequate transit service to and from work. (more…)

The Beautiful Chaos of Havana, Part I

In front of Havana's El Capitolio...

Boarding the plane from Panama City to Havana, I felt an almost kiddie-ish excitement about the trip I was about to take. It was a long time coming. Something that had to finally happen. Finally, all the pieces of the puzzle were together, Something that had always been so elusive was finally becoming real.

For most Americans like me, going to Cuba always seemed a pipe dream. For as long as I can remember, it always seemed to be a strange, forbidden place so far away while yet being so ridiculously close. Particularly since I grew up in Florida. I remember how odd it seemed then that a place that so much closer to Florida than New York or Chicago could seem so distant, so out of this world. (more…)

Take Me to the River…

Trying to save the stuff from the roof of the sinking SUV. Leave no clean laundry or comrade's baggage behind! 😛 - Thanks Alison for the photo!

Just when I find myself cursing that I haven’t had new blog fodder lately due to life being thrust into a relatively comfy zone of tranquilo-ness, I get thrown a nice little zinger to break the quiet streak, and not a moment too soon. 😮

Last week, I had a nice little convergence of diverse friends in Panama. My Guatemalan friend Mitzy (better known as GCMitzy, a fixture on the Andiamo blog over the years), was in town for a business exploration trip, some research work, and of course to kick ass in some local poker tournaments. Greg, an old friend from Florida, was back in town for his second visit to Andiamo in about six months. This time, he had his girlfriend Lori and Alan, a work colleague, come along for the jaunt. (more…)

I can’t possibly make this up…

Me fighting off the bees, fire extinguisher in hand...

Me fighting off the bees, fire extinguisher in hand...

Last trip in San Blas, things had been going just fine. It was the second day of a three day trip. We had a cool group of people aboard. The weather was getting better after a hazy first day, and a rather stormy night. We were on our way to Kuanidup, one of our favorite anchoring spots. It was going to be a nice afternoon. At least that was the plan. (more…)