A Day In The Life in Cuba – The Reality

In life, one of the most incredible experiences is travel. I believe that when you travel to see the world, different lifestyles, realities, different people, places is something that is such a great thing. You become more aware, educated, informed and get in touch with your personal self to get a better understanding than what you hear in the media and pictures, also to change your perspective on things of the way your life is and in your own backyard to appreciate, count our blessings, and to be grateful for everything you have in life where others are less fortunate and do not have much. For example, in Cuba.

I have traveled to Cuba 13 times in my lifetime. I have traveled almost all over the island and have seen cities, and towns along the way. I have spent time with the locals, and met families, and have seen the way people live their day to day lives with the bare minimum. Some people make about $12.00 – $30.00 a month. Maximum 35 if they are lucky. Most people work in the resorts and touristic parts, some who are teachers, doctors, room makers, cleaners, bartenders and more.

A lot of people nowadays are so picky about what they want to eat, some people have a fridge full of food, pantries full, stomachs full, and they still are trying to figure out what to make. I admit, I am one of them, but It is really an eye-opener when you see the world. Not only in pictures, but when you see it with your own eyes. That is a whole new ball game. Well, some people in this world unfortunately do not have that option. Cuban people get a certain amount of food per month or every 2 weeks and that they need to space out how much food to eat during the day, some have to struggle to make their own food.

As I was going through towns from Cayo Santa Maria, back to Santa Clara where the airport is to come back home, I saw some of the most saddest things I had ever seen, there are run down buildings that look like they will collapse any minute, people walking around the streets with heavy bags, people cutting grass with machetes or some sort of cutter, some people going somewhere with horses, busted up cars, and it just made me tear up and think to myself, how can people live like this day in and day out? I teared up and so did the person who was sitting next to me and I overheard 2 ladies behind me saying that, we shouldn’t complain anymore and be choosy about everything we have. This really opened up my eyes one of the ladies said, and the friend of hers or whoever it was said, yes that’s true, you are right.

I have been through towns and cities in Cuba, and some of the conditions of the homes the Cuban people live are terribly sad. It breaks my heart. They don’t have proper windows, the roofs of some of the houses are coming apart, a lot of the houses are the size of a 14 to 17 foot place and some of the houses are even smaller than that. Can you imagine a family of 5 living there? Well, I met this family of 5 and they live in such a small house and they have to go outside of the home to use the toilet and to shower they have buckets inside the house and there is running water outside, so they have to go out to get running water then come back to wash up inside where there is just a drain.

In Cienfuegos, Cuba when I went. I had met an entertainer and then he invited my family and I over to his house, so the next day we took the taxi over to his place. We met his family and I remember how hospitable they were with us and so friendly. So, we took them a few items we do not need anymore and they were so happy. So the mother of the entertainer made us a whole table full of food, and started preparing the day before when the entertainer told them we are coming over. The dinner we had was so delicious and it was probably their months worth of food for us for that night. It was done without our knowledge or else we would have refused and if we did, they would get offended, so we ended up eating all of it as we were hungry. They then served us coffee and then we went back to the hotel.

They were so incredibly friendly and we got to see how they lived the whole day. They struggle so much with the deplorable conditions they live in. Some places though are really nice. It depends on the monthly salary as well. Again, I came to my resort and I just thank my lucky stars. I showed a few Cubans my pictures from my Camera, and they have never even seen an airplane in their lives, they have never even seen a camera, let alone the type of clothing I was wearing. It absolutely broke my heart to pieces.

I will continue to visit Cuba. I really like the people there and they are so friendly, witty and energetic, but for some people you can see the sadness and depression in their faces and you can tell some of them don’t have much, and some show they are happy, but they are not. The desperation can be seen. They love it when you give them shoes, clothing and anything else. For these people I will donate and give them the shirt off my back. Put yourself in their shoes and see what its like, but some people don’t realize.

I see them working so hard at the resorts, non-stop and they have to travel long ways to make a Buck which is a Peso there. There are people who come to these resorts who travel there, and I see how rude the guests can be to them and waste so much food on their plates, demand things from them. I mean at the end of the day, they are human beings just like us and deserve to be treated with respect and to have patience. Those Cubans see it and they said, I wish I had this much food at my home and I can see the frustration and sadness in their eyes. I am very observant when I travel. Some of these tourists don’t realize that, however I do and I am compassionate and patient with them. I put myself in their shoes and I go from there.

Moral of the story is that you should always be thankful for what you have. You never know what someone else is going through and people in this world do not have anything, so we must stop begging for more, being desperate for buying the next newest and latest smartphones, or super expensive things that really suit no purpose in life. Some people are so spoiled to the fullest extent. It is unbelievable. We should always count our lucky stars because people in this world aren’t so lucky.

Have you been to Cuba or anywhere else and have seen the way people live?

Do you travel to other destinations to see other peoples reality and what it is like?

Would love to hear from you.

Is 2015 Really Almost Over? Can’t Believe it.

Yesterday, when I woke up, It was a brand new month in 2015. I can’t believe October is here already. To me, when October comes it means that the year is almost over. 3 Months to go until 2016. Where did this year go? It was an absolute busy year for me and so much more until December 31st. I already see Christmas merchandise in the stores, Halloween, Thanksgiving things. The only thing about these months until April is that it is the Fall, its cold, freezing and Winter that I absolutely despise.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas?
I am excited to go on my 13th trip to Cuba soon. I absolutely love Cuba a lot. I go all over the place. I don’t just go to one destination.
Was 2015 good to you? Mine was, and I ended up doing quite a bit of traveling to Los Angeles, California, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and among many other places, but there were some unfortunate things that did happen in my year, but everything turned out well in the end. Well, lets see what the next 3 months of 2015 has in store for me.
I wish you all the best for the rest of 2015 and beyond.

Memories Flamenco Resort – All Inclusive is Beyond Excellent

In November of 2014 after the anticipation and impatiently waiting for my southern destination vacation to Cayo Coco, Cuba from November 27 to December 4, 2014 to Memories Flamenco Beach Resort, I automatically fell in love with it when I saw the pictures and did extensive research about Memories Resorts. From the moment I landed and arrived at Jardines Del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco with Sunwing Airlines, I knew it was going to be an excellent week. I just felt it from Toronto Pearson’s YYZ Airport.

As we had checked into Cuba after the customs/Aduana, We ventured off to the Transgaviota Bus to take us to Memories Flamenco Resort, but before we boarded the bus, our rooms and wristbands for the week was all ready for us and very well organized and prepared. From then on, I fell in love with the resort and the excellent service so far. As we arrived to Memories, we were greeted with a welcome cocktail drink in the front lobby area before getting our baggage and the memories Managers and team leaders greeted us happily with friendly smiles which warmed my heart. They are beautiful people whom I had the pleasure of meeting and spending this beautiful week with, which went by so quickly.

All vacations go by so quickly. The resort was so beautiful, everything, the layout, the convenience and everything was greatly thought of. Everything is close by with the bars, restaurants, lobby, the pool, the beach, and easy access to everywhere which was incredible. The food was delicious, clean and the bartenders, waiters and the cooks worked so hard, quickly and efficiently. The place is so spotless and everything is awesome. I also love how the managers, the resort administration staff, the customer service managers were walking all around the resort to ensure that everybody is having a fabulous time and everything is well taken care of.

I couldn’t believe how fast the bartenders, and waiters were. They were faster than the speed of lightning. I do not know how they have so much energy to do that for so many hours. They work so hard and come to work everyday from Ciego De Avila or Moron cities which they travel an hour and a half each way just to make ends meet. They only make so much in a month, and they are always happy and smiling and with a great attitude. They are so friendly and give great customer service. I appreciate them so much and I thank them. God bless them all and continue to give them energy. It is not easy to take care of so many guests, their requests and everything. It is not easy to tend to so many people at once. I have a tremendous respect for each and everyone of them. I was so observant the whole vacation and I tell you, It was awesome.

Our rooms were spotless, everyday I would get freshly washed towels, mopped floors, the bathroom and beds were super clean with new sheets, as well as my fridge stocked daily with water, cola’s, beer/Cristal cervesa’s, and everyday I’d walk into beautiful decorated towels with flowers on them. I was amazed. Best resort I have been to in all the times I have been to Cuba. This was my 12th trip to Cuba. this was by far the best. The resort was super clean with cleaners and housekeepers working around the clock to upkeep the resort. The public washrooms were spotless, the staff presence 24 hours a day was comforting as well.

There are some points though that need to be improved, but its just the beach area needs a little work, which I am told that it is still under construction because its a new resort of over 4 years old and they will be completing it within the year and then just the lighting around the walk ways and the pool area so people will not slip and fall, but no other issues… They will be working on all of that which I heard.

I made new friends from parts of Ontario and Quebec also from the UK, and partied at the disco, got to enjoy the snack bar and all the restaurants, the a la carte restaurants which I booked from the first day and got to enjoy the whole resort. A week sometimes is not enough. 2 weeks is the best way to really enjoy it all thoroughly without rushing to do everything all in one week. Time permitting and it depends on a person’s personal budget and finances and convenience of course. it all depends on your preference.

The entertainment, disco, the nightly shows and audience participation was excellent, there is a Cuban night where people learn about Cuba and then the entertainers give us traditional Cuban dances and give us a crash course on Cuban culture and history.

Everything else is excellent and excellent does not even describe this beautiful resort. Unfortunately when it came time to the last day to leave the warm tropical weather, 3 bus loads of people who were on our flight back to Toronto, The resort manager and other managers greeted us farewell by putting on their memories resorts theme song and gave us a speech before we took off to the airport which left an unforgettable and long lasting impression on my family and I. I cannot wait until I return back to Cuba and to Memories. I am impatiently waiting until my next voyage. I give this resort a 6 star. Not a 4 and a half to 5 stars. Thank you Memories Flamenco resort staff. You all put the most beautiful touch to an awesome and lovely week in warm weather and so much more.

Thank you for giving us memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.

Do you go on all inclusive resorts? Do you travel to sunny destinations for a getaway to relax and enjoy the hot weather? What resort have you been to? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Would love to hear your stories.

The World of Music – What Kind Do You Enjoy?

In my life growing up, I have had the pleasure of listening to so many types of music, especially from my culture, and while traveling to tropical Caribbean destinations. I am into the Armenian, Arabic, Greek, Persian, Lebanese, Bachata, Steel Drums, Merengue, Mariachi, Salsa, Cuban, Reggaeton, Spanish, Latin, Italian, Pop, Alternative, Zumba, Reggae, Fete, Soca, Caribbean Music, Tropical Music, Nature Music, and sometimes I enjoy listening to the 80’s and 90’s to bring back the days of great quality music. I even listen to the 70’s too although I was not around back then, but I did grow up with a lot of different types of music which has been amazing.

Nowadays, I have been listening to a lot of tropical music which makes me feel like I am on the beach with the salt water, the ocean breeze and so much more. Music is a universal language that everybody understands and there are so many types, its countless.

What kind of music do you and your family and friends enjoy? Do you enjoy it on your own, or with people? What gets you in the mood? Do you have days where you listen to one type and another day another type? I am sure for every mood there is music. Would love to hear from you.

Keep Calm and Music on! ūüôā

My Trip to Varadero, Cuba from February 5-12, 2012

Last week I embarked on a wonderful travel journey to Varadero, Cuba. I got to travel with Sunwing Airlines which I really enjoyed the service and they gave us champagne, complimentary headsets, great food, then to end the flight with a sunwing airlines chocolate mint. It was my 10th time in Cuba and I must say it was an incredible time. The weather was beautiful and hot, the turquoise seas were there right before my eyes, every opportunity I had, I was in the ocean swimming and getting that salt water on me which did wonders for my mild psoriasis that I have and it took away the dry skin condition I have. I spent time just under the sun and I got a tan. I met some really nice people and made friends with them instantly. I made friends from Chile, Russia, Vancouver, Ontario, and made some more Cuban friends.

I really enjoyed Varadero. I took the Varadero Bus tour hop on hop off¬†double decker¬†bus like England, and toured around the whole strip and it was so beautiful, an array of hotels, resorts all over, the palm trees with coconuts, the hot sun, saw so many vintage and old cars from the 50’s, 60’s, So many souvenir shops around with so many unique things. Cuba is all around a beautiful country with beautiful people. I met the famous baseball team of Cuba of Matanza’s province and later I watched them play on the TV they had at the lobby and they won. So I hung out with them after the win at the hotel and it was a blast. There was also a pageant of the Resort I stood at called Miss Oasis and I won first place. So I am Miss Oasis, so they gave me a bottle of Blumans Ginebra.

the last couple of days the ocean was very rocky and the currents were very strong, so the lifeguard and the administration of the resort, prohibited the guests from swimming as it was very dangerous, so everyone hung out by the pool side and a lot of people went into town. The winds were so strong and then after that, It was our last day and after checking out, we hung out with our newly made friends until we left to the Varadero Airport to come home. We were delayed for an hour coming home, but coming home safe and sound is the important part. I don’t really care if there is a delay. I would rather have the delay, then to have something terrible happen or something. Always have to play it safe….¬† Here are some pictures.