Cuba. Fewer than 100 miles from my childhood home, a place that felt foreign, forbidden even, and yet I felt a strange familiarity and a promise of intimacy. My desire to understand the island shaded by half-a-century-long trade embargo and inaccessible to Americans. A place that was seemingly standing still in history, yet beating forward in human spirit.
I wanted to sort out the mixed interpretations of this place. I wanted to plug into the current of electricity that I believed ran underneath this colorful island.With devouring eyes and dry skin, I looked for visual answers within the familiar humidity, a sticky sweat that felt like home, but only in feeling and never in reality.
11 days in central Havana, I was absorbed into the city's singular family, one that never let me go hungry, never let me get lost. Where their doors literally never closed, making it impossible to feel like a stranger. I started to understand this promise of intimacy I knew I felt before.
The city pulsed with people, and I realized why this place made me feel like a human among strangers and family at once. A community burning in love and rich in pride and aspiration. Dalé.