Supporters group excursions and explorations
Hornist Katie Dunkle”s mom Liz Dunkle here again on Day 5 of the supporters group. Since our arrival, our group has acquainted with one another, going on excursions and explorations, learning about the rich history and culture, indulging in some shopping, even wayward souls in search of beaches and salsa dancing. We are becoming friends, learning about each other, who’s naughty and who’s nice.
By the way, the first concert in Cienfuegos was enjoyable, performed in a jewel of a theater, built in 1889. As gracious old buildings go, it also lacked air conditioning. Sweltering as it was in the audience, I was afraid to imagine what performing under the hot lights we – or Omid conducting in his full suit. Blowing fans were our only savior to the sweltering heat.
We parents had an opportunity for a brief visit with our kids before and after the concert. They were in good spirits despite the heat and humidity. It was also good to know that our accompanying chaperones were also able to enjoy their trip while taking care of our performers.
The next town of provincial Trinidad was at last longer than our otherwise nightly caravanning. It is a historic town in the southern part of Central Cuba. It is also colorful and picturesque. Like Venice, Italy, there is no bad photo to be taken. Buildings were awash in cool palettes of pastels, and cobblestone streets are alive and well. Being a tourist, Trinidad was full of tourists from Europe (many Germans), Canada and beyond. We sampled Canchanachara, a special alcoholic beverage concocted from rum, lemon, and honey among other ingredients. Trinidad slaves created this beverage as an energy drink. Not bad at all!
Housed in the same bar was a cigar maker, expertly rolling whole leaves of tobacco into logs, then pressing them into cigars. At least one of our supporters enjoyed Cuban cigar smoking on the spot.
On our second day in Trinidad, our supporters group visited a potter’s studio and watched these capable artists effortlessly produce handmade pottery pieces, artwork, and jewelry. The surrounding areas of Trinidad were poorer and aggressive beggars were abundant. I experienced mixed feelings over the notion of my seeming inexpensive spending on pottery equates to the average monthly income of a Cuban.
Between destinations, our fearless leader, Luiz, has been graciously furnishing fascinating facts and information from the standpoint of a native. We may or may not agree with some of his viewpoints, but Luiz has been a fabulous liaison and ambassador.