¡Bienvenidos a … Minnetonka? Miami?

By Lauren Sadowsky, Public Health in Cuba, Summer 2012

The summer has just begun.  After struggling through the last of my finals and the end of the year, I finally arrived home in Minnetonka, Minnesota for a glorious ten day stay.  I visited with friends and saw family I hadn’t seen for several months.  Going home is becoming somewhat surreal, as it has started to feel less like home due to the infrequent and fleeting nature of my visits. However, after my sister’s graduation and attending several graduation parties, Minnetonka started to feel like home again.  It was fun being able to see my sister and her friends experience the same graduation festivities that I enjoyed two years ago.

Yet the fun was shortlived.  After several days, I already had to think about repacking my belongings and figuring out what all was going to be traveling with me to Havana, Cuba.  I also had to catch up on all the sleep I severely lacked during the previous finals week, not to mention during the entire school year. After 8 days straight of sleeping twelve-hour nights, I finally began to feel rested and reenergized.

Packing for Cuba proved to be a challenge, as I have never been in a foreign country for more than a month before, so I really had no idea what was necessary for a 2-month stay.  I still don’t know, but I know I overpacked and hopefully have everything I will need.

Now I’m sitting in Miami, Florida, after a very early flight this morning.  The group is staying at a hotel near the airport and part of the group had some fun bonding time as we waited for the rooms to be cleaned and ready for us. It still hasn’t hit me that I am going to be in Cuba for two months.  I think once we unload from the flight tomorrow in Havana, it will probably come to life.  Especially when everyone starts speaking in Spanish, which should be interesting and a bit of a culture shock.  I cannot wait for the adventure to begin!