History class visits Cuba

Earlier this month, Professor Pajakowski and Professor Masur led a group of 12 students on a short-term study abroad program to Cuba. The trip was organized in conjunction with a course they are team-teaching this semester on the history of the Cold War. One Thing after Another asked them if they would post a recap of their experience. This is what they gave us.

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Yellow pants            IMG_0103

Day 1: Boston to Miami

In spite of recent improvements in U.S.-Cuban relations, flying to Havana is still a little complicated. We did not, contrary to expectations, have to fly via a third country (such as Mexico or Canada). Instead, we flew on a charter flight out of Miami. Because of some of the vagaries of charter flights (which I still don’t fully understand), that meant traveling to Miami one day before our flight to Havana and spending the night in a hotel near the airport. Although this extended our travel time, it did give us a chance to have dinner in Coconut Grove. And Professor Masur took the opportunity to show off a fetching pair of yellow trousers.

Day 2: Miami to Havana

The next day we had to arrive at Miami International Airport at 1:00 pm even though our flight didn’t leave until 5:00 pm. As a result, we got to spend a LOT of time in the Miami airport checking out the Toblerone bars in the duty free shop. We also received our visas and filled out some paperwork related to the trip. The flight itself was a very short forty-four minutes in the air. We had been warned that customs and immigration at Jose Marti International Airport might take awhile, but it actually went rather quickly. When we arrived at our hotel we were greeted with complimentary Cuba libres–our first indication of the popularity of rum in Cuba.

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Stay tuned for posts covering the rest of our visit . . . .

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