Cuba journal - last day

Remember that prayer I made about hoping not to have GI issues on this trip? My prayers were answered! ("No," said God.)

Some time around lunch yesterday I noticed that I was not feeling all that well. Thought it was just fatigue, and that a good afternoon nap would set me up for another night on the town - but no: I have diarrhea, if nothing else.

I did take that afternoon nap on Sunday, and our group had agreed to meet at the Nacional before heading out for dinner. I was really uncomfortable there - got there early, thinking that I would read my book for a while and found that I was cold and having a hard time breathing (in Havana, if you're not breathing clouds of engine exhaust, you're breathing people's tobacco smoke). I discovered that the bathroom was smoke-free and relatively warm, on account of the hand dryer, but the seat was not so comfortable.

Eventually I saw just a few of our group and realized that I was there just to say good bye and to head back home. Was hoping to see more of the group but I was really in a bad way, so home I went.

I put the blanket on the bed for the first time and got in bed with my sweater on. Took an hour or two but I finally woke up warm; that may have been the first time I was truly warm since standing in the cold rain at the race site.

I had a long night with a good many trips to the bathroom. How is it that I travel without Immodium? I scrounged through my medicine bag this morning and found one old, expired pill that I'm going to take before I attempt my airport run.

It's interesting how much I miss my electronic connections. I'd love to be texting Rory, Alia and Caroline; I do miss my friends on FB and my ability to work. Honestly I am feeling that this trip is a bit longer than I needed, right now. Would be different if Caroline or my kids were here.

I'm not sure if I included this thought in a previous post, but one thing that I have noticed is that despite the fact that I have walked alone at night through some seriously sketchy neighborhoods, I have never felt threatened here. Somehow they don't have much crime.

I was discussing this with one of my cabbies the other day and he said that he had heard that in the U.S. we have lots of people on drugs (this being related to our crime rate). I think that it was Mark Bayliss (a very interesting guy) who was saying that our prison system is a major employer in the U.S. Said that for each prisoner, we hire 4 or 5 people and the prisoner doesn't appear on the unemployed statistics.

I don't know how they make it work here - doctors are paid $30 a month, for example. I know that their housing is free as is their education (through college) and their healthcare, but I don't know how they make it work with things like food, and what people do for a living (someone in our group was saying that they see tons of people just out and about in the middle of workdays).

It's a beautiful country. Seems if they allowed private land ownership and foreign investment, many of these old buildings could be restored, and I do wish that people would not smoke so much and could afford to improve their cars' emissions.

Walking through Havana I realize that what I do for a living is not valuable here, and that's really interesting to me. At home I sometimes marvel about how much people seem to be willing to pay me for what I do (as in: more than it's really worth); here, that concept is taken to the ultimate extreme. They have no need for web developers here, day to day.

It's 8:00 am. I have 5 1/2 hours before my ride comes to take me to the airport. I'm going to charge my computer, pack my things and stay close to the bathroom. Looking forward to being home right now; I know that I'll be happy to be in San Pancho when I get there but right now I'd just like to be home.