Returning to the US after an amazing and inspiring trip to and through Cuba, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned and re-learned during the week-long vacation.
In Cuba I learned...
The importance of being able to unplug.
I can understand more Spanish than I thought and can communicate quite well with my struggle Spanish.
I should have paid more attention to predicate tense though.
I actually do like bananas when they're all natural.
I would try a Cuban cigar once the Nicotine was removed.
Even though I packed "just enough," I had plenty to give away.
It doesn't hurt all that much when a car runs over your foot.
America is a hot mess but still, if my ancestors had to be captured, sold and enslaved in the Trans Atlantic slave trade, I'm happy it was here instead of somewhere else.
Even trying to speak the language goes a long way.
Cuban coffee is better than American coffee--even though I probably wouldn't drink it regularly.
Every other Cuban man is fione.
The Malecón is for lovers.
If you're Black you can pretend to be Cuban to avoid dancing with annoying, American boys at the club.
One of the best things about America is that there is no smoking allowed indoors.
Your period will be much more cooperative if you climb a mountain the day before it comes.
Homelessness doesn't always look like you think it should.
Y'all this picture doesn't even do the man justice...you just had to be there.
Don't let your friends or your attitude make you miss out on once in a lifetime experiences.
Bring more cash than you think you'll need.
Some Cubans agree with Trump's sanctions.
Some Cubans don't want to die in Cuba.
Always ask, "What is the end game?"
Don't be so quick to turn people away on the street but know when enough is enough.
Take advantage of your freedom to travel. There are some people who cannot.
Help when you can--even if it's just clearing the breakfast dishes off the table.
Viñales is a day trip.
Buy the dress in Trinidad... or Varadero.
Horseback riding is sensual...especially when you have a fine ass instructor who says Black girls are his preference.
Bring your boo to Cuba.
Don't let the other tourists distract you from your photoshoot.
Friends who stand idly by while men assault you are no friends at all.
Even being cordial can make or break someone's experience.
Don't let the tip of your salsa instructor's dick flapping against your knee take you out of the experience.
Stay at an Air B n B
Eat the food the hosts prepare
I still don't like flan.
I'm thankful for all of my Spanish teachers, even the exceptionally strange Cameroonian one who clowned all of the White boys' pronunciation.
Don't let a big belly stop you from jumping down slippery rocks on your way to a waterfall.
The Spongebob theme song is much more fun in Spanish.
Friends who will travel with you to celebrate you are the realest.
Be sure to ask who the last person is in line at the bank. Don't want to get trampled.
Everybody knows how dangerous America is for Black men.
If you know Beyoncé's had her babies already, lead with that information.
Exchange your money at a kiosk if you can.
Don't eat Italian food in Cuba.
Pay for good food then it won't be nasty.
Toothbrush in Spanish is cepillo de dientes.
Every one should play "Hard No's."
Throwing feces stained toilet paper in the trash can and then letting it sit there doesn't smell like you think it will, but it's still unnerving.
Map.me is essential.
The word on whether Tupac is in Cuba or not is yet to be confirmed.
If you're Black, the Cuban Black people will look at you crazy when you tell them you're not going to Santiago.
Talk to the other Black girls there, you're bound to find them.
The Cuban people will remind you of the beauty of human decency and kindness.