It’s been a long month so far surrounded by all these people. Today we were able to do some community work. We went to the ICAP headquarters in Santiago de Cuba. They weren’t doing any big projects, they were just cleaning up. We helped them move palm leaves that had fallen along with dead leaves on the floor. It was nice working together with everyone completing the assigned task. Then we had lunch, pretty good I must say, then we went to an artistic project where a few folks in the town work on beautiful pieces of art. Everything from paintings to ceramics to sculptures. They invite little children in the community and offer up a program for them after school where they are able to learn and create beautiful artwork of their own. They have teachers and professors there from The University of Havana who take time out of their day to teach these young students to be great artists just like their instructors. Some of the artists there are hired to do professional jobs. When we were there, a man was working a sculpture for one of Cuba’s famous revolutionaries for his tomb. They gave the man a miniature image of what they want it to look like of the head and torso and in just 3 months the man had all the features and detail done. It was very interesting, and for a project like that, they charge over two thousand CUCs [Note: Cuba’s currency] which is basically worth the same as the US dollar. After that, we went to an organization that deals with children who are physically impaired and teaches them to dance. They had a couple of dance performances lined up for us to see and even some poems performed by this smart little girl. After they finished preforming, Joi and I were able to do what we always do at exchanges: dance Beyoncé’s “Before I Let Go” challenge. At the end when we were finished, she gave me a high five and I slipped and fell on the floor. Yeah it was embarrassing but funny. Overall, today was a nice day in the city of Santiago de Cuba.

– Danell