It's hard to know how to talk about Cuba. Even 5 weeks later, I struggle to gather my thoughts. In many ways I was overcome with a deep sense of life during my time there. Maybe it was the adventure. It could have been the colors. But there is an undeniable energy in Havana that is contagious. It catches you off guard and sweeps you off your feet.
Yet, Cuba is full of contradictions. Wandering the streets of Havana, the city is presumably thriving. The colors are bright, the people are kind, and the tourists are everywhere. Yet, the residents struggle to make ends meet.
Cuba's beauty is tragic. The intricate Spanish architecture is dusted with harsh memories of repression. The cars are bitter-sweet reminders of the opportunity that once was. But, stirring from the ashes is a hopeful cry of rebirth.
The upswing I sensed stems from interactions with people. It was a beautiful reminder of the importance of interpersonal interactions. Who we are and how we interact with others is vital. Face-to-face communication creates space for joy, for knowledge, for energy. Most importantly it creates space for compassion. And I believe that compassion is everything.
I can't wait to visit this place again. Despite its hardship, Cuba has quickly become a place I love.