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My mission trip to Cuba

Take A Mulligan

November 18, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Last week my half-dozen faithful readers probably noticed that there was no "Mulligan" column. I happened to be in Havana, Cuba on a one week missionary trip. I was hoping to send something from Havana but could not get connected to the Internet over there. I'm sure there was a way, I just didn't find it. I was told it was quite expensive if connected to Wi-fi. But I am back now and here to share some of my experienced in the country of Cuba.

We had a couple of thunderstorms while visiting but it seemed to be a warm humid rain. Things didn't cool off at all which leads me to say....IT WAS HOT, HOT, HOT!! Every day was probably in the low 90's although I was afraid to ask for fear it might even be higher. It is a humid heat and seemed hotter than our 90's in Iowa. The Sun appeared to beat straight down on us and we often looked for shade. In the shade it was ok but boy, that Sun!!!

Our first day, we took a three-hour walking tour of Havana. Havana is heavily under reconstruction and fixing up because next year is the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Cuba by Christopher Columbus. The entire month in November, 2019 will be of a celebratory nature. The Capitol Building in Havana is modeled after our Capitol and absolutely beautiful. We visited several museums, an opera house and a Ballet Theater. They all were sights to behold.

Article Photos

John Sheda

One of the first things I noticed in downtown Havana is all the automobiles from the 1940's and 50's era. It seems that when Castro's Revolution took over in 1959 that all American goods and products ceased to come into Cuba. Thus no more cars!! So the cars and trucks from that era had to be preserved over the last seventy years. Not necessarily the engines and the insides of the cars but everyone took great care of those bodies. Today, beautiful bright pink, lime green, purple, metallic red & blue, orange and every loud color one could imagine graced the outside of those 55, 56, 57...Chevys, old Mercurys, Fords and Buicks. Many today are used as taxis to give American tourists a ride back in time. We walked!!

We also stayed in a small village outside Havana with a Pastor and his family. We had about ten people sleeping in several homes and enjoyed getting to know the folks of Cuba. They are a generous and happy people and had great fun trying to teach me Spanish. Laughter & smiles is the same the world over. We visited and worked helping to take meals to Senior Citizens one day and visited about 75 people along the way. It is much like our "Meals on Wheel's" here. Quite an interesting day.

I'm not going to make much of a political statement here, but for the most part, the government of Cuba takes complete care of the people. Health Care & Education is free. Everyone, (income & age makes no difference), receives seven pounds of rice a month as well as other food commodities. If you happen to have a car, you receive a certain amount of gas ration tickets and once you're out, you're out. The violent crime rate is practically nil as guns of all kind are against the law to own. Only the Police and Military have guns. Savings Accounts are highly discouraged, so much so that if the Government feels you have too much savings, they will come in and confiscate it. Without your approval or knowledge.

With the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, the country is slowly opening up more and more. Many look forward to the changes that may take place but many are very happy also with the government taking care of them. There are trade offs for sure. Socialism or Capitalism? Which would you prefer? Or just Take A Mulligan!! Let me know at jsheda@indytel.com or call me at 319.327.4640

 
 

 

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