A Fond Farewell

Trip Start Sep 27, 2011
Trip End Oct 05, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We ended the trip with an hour or so to do some last minute shopping and to say farewell to our new found friends.
We all traveled to the airport together where we said goodbye to our fantastic group leader Yves, our knowledgeable and very patient guide Raul, and our careful and timely driver, Jesus.
We arrived at the Havana airport in plenty of time for our 50 minute flight to Miami. We easily cleared immigration, paid our $25 CUC tax, and arrived to find a delayed flight. Three hours later, we all headed to Miami and our final destinations—4 to California, one to Florida, one to Amsterdam for another trip (Geri—you’re my hero!) and one (me) to Boston.
This was the inaugural trip for this Shalom Cuba Road Scholar program, so we were all very interested in how it would go, what the participants would think about it, and how the interactions with the locals would go. Overall, I would say it was an overwhelming success! I can’t wait to see the pictures and hear the stories of the other hundreds of people who will visit Cuba with us this year…
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Kayla Szumer on

I am joining the same tour leaving April 8 so I found your Blog very interesting. You mention medical supplies to leave for the locals. What did you bring with you?What else can one bring that would be appreciated?
Kayla, Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia

Mitchell Tendler on

Kayla, Queensland to Cuba. Hope you have a sturdy dinghy.
We took toothpaste, toothbrushes, aspirin, shampoo. I'm sure band aids and other first aid items would be appreciated. Since Soviet financial assistance dried up in 1990, it's been tough going. The trip was an education for us.

Kayla Szumer on

Thanks Mitchell for your reply. I do have a sturdy dingy however I am a little nervous about rounding Cape Horn so I think it might be better to go through Panama Canal. Thanks for the tips on what to bring. I am getting quite excited about this tour.Cheers

Mitchell Tendler on

Abandoning the Cape route removes a worry. Good decision. Even so, Sunshine Coast Queensland to Cuba is a lot of paddling, Kayla, and you must be more cost effective than that. Where else are you going on this trip?

David Avigdor on

I will be visiting Cuba late in March this year. I am trying to contact a member of the Jewish community there, to arrange access to a synagogue and a cemetery. In the early 1900s, my grandfather founded a synagogue in Havana, and my mother was born there. My grandmother is buried in the cemetery you visited.

Does anyone have any good contact information for the Jewish community there?


Mitchell Tendler on

Stacie Fasola is Director of Public and Media Relations at Road Scholar. It is her blog to which you responded. i was on that first Road Scholar trip to Cuba with her. Stacie should be able to answer your question. You can contact her at stacie.fasola@roadscholar.org.
If you have a problem, get back to me and I can give you another contact.
What an interesting, rich history your family has there. Good luck.

Kayla on

Mitchell, Thanks for the link to Stacie. I will be in Washington DC for a week before flying to Miami. I visited briefly once many years ago so looking forward to visiting the museums and galleries. I have booked to see a Eugene O'Niell play with a friend and spending Passover with cousins. After Cuba will be in NY for a week, family Bar Mitzvah, then a weekend with cousins in Chicago before paddling home. A very packed 4 weeks. Cheers

Mitchell Tendler on

Kayla, By now you know exactly where everything will fit in your steamer trunk for the four weeks abroad. When we were in Kyoto in April, 1994, we had the good fortune to be greeted by the glorious cherry blossoms. I hope you have similar luck in Washington. You have such a lovely,varied trip planned I would be much interested in hearing how it went. Alas, Facebook links have a nasty habit of disappearing now and again. If you have a notion, gtendler@cox.net has been a dependable address.
Bon Voyage!

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