Chris Ferguson, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
This past summer, I was given the opportunity to study abroad and learn about an amazing country and culture. The Caribbean island of Cuba was hands-down one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been to and I was able to create friendships on that trip that I will maintain forever.
Not only is the country extremely beautiful, but so were the personalities of the people that I met there. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t communicate because of our different languages there was an amazing mutual respect with the people we encountered.
When we started off the trip, I was pretty nervous to go to a new country, and I was afraid that I might not have a good time. This changed the second we started flying over the island. I could see palm trees, clear waters, and lush forests from my window in what looked like a tropical wonderland. D e p a r t i n g from the airport, the class boarded a bus and started our drive to the city of Havana. It is true what people say about the island being stuck in a time capsule from the 1950’s. Beautiful old architecture, blocky metal cars, and statues of former leaders could be seen all around and it provided a snapshot of the country’s past.
When we got to our hotel, I saw that it was located on top of a mountain and overlooked the actual valley. I went straight to the balcony to admire the view. I saw lush fields of vegetation littered with tobacco fields. I later learned that the land was some of the most fertile on the island. Some of the best cigars in Cuba are rolled on those farms. When we were in this area, we were able to explore a cave system that stretched over hundreds of miles.
We had many more adventures throughout the trip, but my favorite part by far was the beach. Crystal blue waters, bleach white sand and astoundingly colorful coral reefs could be seen as I was sipping on an ice-cold glass of pineapple juice. I remember thinking to myself, “this place is a true paradise.” When the day was through, a couple of my classmates and I found a local DJ hosting an outdoor dance party on the beach. We danced the night away, listening to countless songs such as Despacito by Luis Fonsi. Many laughs and a great time were had and I will never forget that night for the rest of my life.
Overall, this trip taught me many things about Cuba and myself. Even though just about all of my classmates and I got sick on the trip, it couldn’t stop a single one of us having the time of our lives.
If given the opportunity to study abroad, I believe that anyone should take it without a second thought. This trip brought me memories and friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.