10. A visual and sensory feast.

Art percolates throughout Cuba. It shows up on the streets. In alleys. On the veranda at the Nacional. Where live music is on nightly display. Until the wee hours of the morning. It is present in the poorest parts of town. In restaurants. Where the sound of guitars and maracas fills the air. And in … Continued

9. The Art Factory (Fabrica De Arte Cubano)

Reflections from the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022)  Of all the places I visited in Cuba. Of all the events. The panels. The museums. The sights and sounds. The Fabrica De Arte Cubano (aka Fabrica) stands out. An old repurposed oil factory. Transformed into a multi level. … Continued

Fusterlandia

8. Fusterlandia

Reflections from the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022) By Andy Shallal (@andyshallal CEO/Founder, Busboys and Poets) Jose Fuster aka the Picasso/Gaudi of Havana is a bundle of energy. At 70 something he is charming. Engaging. Full of life. And a brilliant artist and entrepreneur. He is the founder … Continued

7. Cuba – the unveiling of the plaque

Follow along for the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022) By Andy Shallal (@andyshallal CEO/Founder, Busboys and Poets) Nicolas Guillen’s office overlooks the lush gardens of the Union of Writers and Artists. It is frozen in time. The rotary telephone. The Royal typewriter. Even the original chair and desk. … Continued

6. Langston Hughes in Cuba

Follow along for the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022) By Andy Shallal (@andyshallal CEO/Founder, Busboys and Poets) The Union of Writers and Artists is one of the oldest institutions formed after the Cuban revolution. The year was 1961. Its first president was Nicolas Guillen. Cuba’s national poet. Named … Continued

ministry of culture

5. Cuba – Ministry of Culture

We approach the towering yellow stucco building that houses the Ministry of Culture. There is a delegation waiting patiently to greet us at the sidewalk. They are standing in front of a metal gated entrance. Their inviting faces have welcome written all over. We exchange “Holas”. And handshakes. The handful of Spanish words I know … Continued

HanvanaLunch byJamesAlbright

4. Cuba – The Hotel Nacional

Follow along for the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022) Wednesday, July 6, 2022 By Andy Shallal (@andyshallal CEO/Founder, Busboys and Poets) On the way to the hotel we make a pit stop for lunch. A sprawling thatch covered restaurant. Completely open to the elements on all sides. Linen … Continued

iViva Cuba

3. Cuba – The arrival

Our visit to Cuba is to see this first hand. This is a cultural trip. Not a political one. It is meant to open opportunities for dialogue and understanding between people in the United States and the Cuban people. I hope you will join me as we explore this island nation together.

HavanaAirport byJamesAlbright

Cuba! 2. Cuba – Getting there.

Follow along for the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022) By Andy Shallal (@andyshallal CEO/Founder, Busboys and Poets) We hit the tarmac at exactly 9:59. I am hopeful. Nonetheless, my hopefulness is tested. The plane circles and circles the runway. Taunting me. Finally finding a resting spot at gate … Continued

CubaPic

Cuba! Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange (July 2022)

Follow along for the Busboys and Poets Travel Tribe’s Cultural Exchange trip to Cuba (July 6-13, 2022) Wednesday, July 6, 2022 1. Heading to Cuba – The Charter Flight By Andy Shallal (@andyshallal CEO/Founder, Busboys and Poets) It is 5:30am. I am at the recently renovated National Airport. AKA Reagan. But for the name, this … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #20

FINAL POSTING FOR EVEREST BASE CAMP TRAVEL LOG. Thank you for staying with me and for your beautiful comments. Hope to see at least some of you soon. Why I am here. It is 7:15 am. Our flight out of Lukla is at 8. I savor a yak cheese omelette and my last Himalayan coffee. … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #19

The journey continues I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for coming along on this journey. Your comments were priceless. I really looked forward to reading them. I will be sharing photos when I get better Wifi, and have been sketching here and there. There will be more to … Continued