CUBA, OCTOBER 2014

Date: 
17/10/2014 - 29/10/2014
Country: 
CUBA

17/10/14. Long time again no writing. I should have been in Cuba tonight. I came to the airport at 8 am to get the plane to Amsterdam at 9:20. When I came up to get my ticket I was told I must have a visa to enter the plane. I tried to phone the travel Bureau who sent ticket information but they did not know a visa was needed for Cuba. However I could not get on the plane and rang Joan to collect me. She had just arrived back when she had to go back to the airport to collect me.

19/10/14. This morning got the visa sent only to find it had listed me from my passport as Danish while I am now British at least as my passport is concerned. Rang FCM and told them about it. May be they will not accept that in the airport on Monday 20/10/14.They had some discussion with them and will send an another visa where the correct wording is used. Not sure which time but in the morning what a lot of problems. I may even have to pay more for the ticket. Had emails from Redimio about it. I told him the reason why I did not arrive and when I expect to arrive.

20/10/14. Now on plane to Amsterdam. Plane a bit late but hopefully ok. Joan took me to the airport in good time not too much traffic so I had some good time in the waiting room as usual. Phoned Joan about it, not like Friday. Hope it will be a good meeting in Cuba. Just felt bad about the Travel Bureau.

22/10/14. Afternoon arrived in Havana in time. Had to wait for a while for my luggage after the formalities for arrival but it came. Then went out and met up with Redimie who was waiting for me. Then on a good 2 hours drive to another city where the meeting was to be held. Found the hotel where I was booked in and eventually got to bed at 2:30 am which included also the 5 hour added to the time so effectively 7:30. Anyway all was well. Got a call at 6:30 from Redimie and we went down for breakfast at 7 am. Started now to meet up with old friends and went to meeting from 10 am. Had dinner from 12-2 then another meeting in the afternoon. We had a good meal at a branch of the hotel serving Asian food who gave us chopstick then back to a celebration and of the meeting and also a professional dancing exhibition. I was invited to participate! And then of to bed at about 12 pm. Long days. We did meet the women who was going to interpret my lecture and had a brief look at it.

23/10/14. This morning I had to give the lecture. The third one in the morning seem to be ok or so I was told! Met up again with many friends. They also like me to participate next year in June or there about. Also in November. May be Joan can come with me. The evening was bit like yesterday with good food and entertainment by people who were hired by the hotel to entertain by music and physical exercise and dancing. It is quite a remarkable systems for a hotel. You can select everything you like to eat which is there but you can also at any time go and ask for drinks of wine , beer and even whiskey at any time at no cost as all is part of the cost of staying in the hotel.

24/10/14. Today has been less interesting. Food good as usual. Still some problems with Spanish. The women who has translated for me is keen to translate my book of Trials and Trials to Spanish. I had to give her permission formally to do that so she is also allowed to get it printed for sale. Redemie will assist her as well. Since this is the last day of the meeting we had to leave our rooms at 12 noon and leave the luggage in a room set up for it. Then dinner time and a speech and at 2:30 of to Havana where I am now in a small hotel owned by the animal Science Institute. The institute itself in a few miles from here. I will be packed up at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning to attend a meeting at the Animal Science Institute. Nobody here speak English so a bit boring.

25/10/14. The car came to collect me in good time together with the person who is partly in charge of the Animal Science Institute. We had some good discussion on the drive. Her name was Marie F Sanchez. In the morning a big celebration. Student etc were given rewards. The Boss was speaking he even mentioned my name several times and the good animal Science I had produced. It was an unexpected mention. I did not know they knew so much about me coming. Met up with a girl called Ingrid like my sister. She was interpreting for me. She spoke excellent English like the women who is helping to translate my book Trials and Trials to Spanish and getting printed and eventually making it suitable from a Company.
In the afternoon went to the Animal Science Institute(ILCA) in Spanish. Here there was music and dancing all afternoon. I was dancing too as expected. Tried to get into Internet via Marie’s office but all the time the reply was it is not working at the moment. Nice to have heard from Joan.
Tomorrow the girl INGRID will come to take me around Havana again which I also did in 2006 and 2007 when I was in Cuba. Now ready for the evening meal. Tonight there is even an English speaking women here?

26/10/14. Ingrid came in time before that we changed some US dollars into Cuban dollars. Then of to see a lot of the historical Havana. Havana was first set up by the Spanish in 1700 to 1800. It was colony of Spain until early 1900 when American took over which was not liked and eventually in 1970 or so Americans had to leave. Fidel Castro was the ruler! He was also the ruler also when I first visited Cuba. Preston from Rowett came to Cuba in 1965 a year before I came to Rowett where he was until 1965.
We had wonderful trip to Havana this morning. Seeing some many things I had not really seen and understood before. There was a small group playing violins and they tempted me to playing on drums for a few minutes. As I left they asked for a small tips! The first church was built in about 1700 by the Spanish as they entered. First the Church meeting were held under a tree and later Church was built by Granite stones. There is also very high castle or something where we had to pay to opt in but only 2 dollars from where we could see almost all of the Havana city in one side the sea. We came together with a chap from Cuba and a girl from Brazil. When we all came back to eat Ingrid showed that it was possible to call home so on the second try at a cost of 5 dollars. I had a 10 minute call to Joan! I have had now news since I left as Internet is functioning very bad in Cuba something Joan told me. Seem she wrote to me an email but could not get it. Seem all the materials due to the auction in Montrose has been collected. I am not sure when the auction will be held. Hope it is not when I am in Indonesia for the AAP in November. Have been reading a book I bought in the Havana exhibition Centre.

27/10/14. The women who travelled back with me from the Animal Science Institute to my hotel and she after that went to her home. We were discussing what to do for me Sunday and she said she could come and show the Animal museum in Havana. I did a lot of reading this morning in Economist journal I brought with me. A lot of new from Hong kong and the new election in Indonesia. There seem to be some conflict between China and Hong kong although the same nation as Hong Kong was passed on the China by British. She came at lunch time and then we went out the animal museum. It was quite a fantastic place with so many types of animals and birds to see from different places in the world. So many I have never seen before. After that we had an ice cream and came back. Here was another surprise, there were 4 people from Argentina coming and had dinner with us and when they heard who I was they seem to know of me and my research and when I told them I had visited Niglizzo in Argentina several times it became a lovely discussion and I told them a few more aspects of what I was now doing.
Tomorrow at 3 oclock the driver will collect me to take me to the airport in Havana where I arrived a week ago. The plane leave at 10:30 directly to Amsterdam not via Panama this time as I came via Panama to Havana. I should arrive in Aberdeen at 9 AM. But on this trip I lose 5 hours while coming here I gained 5 hours!

29/10/14. The car came in good time. In the morning doing a bit shopping together with a girl from Brazil. I got a few things to take home. The car brought me to the airport where I had to wait for 3 hours but could use the lounge and be comfortable. The KLM flight took no problem and we landed ok in Amsterdam. Had to wait about 30 minutes before we could get of the plane. I was afraid I could not get the plane to Aberdeen as only 70 minutes it should take off. Fortunate that plane was very late even my luggage got in and could be picked up at the airport. Joan was there to collect me. She also had information that the plane was late.