I met Pepe and Robier for lunch at Burrito Habanero and like usual it was fun. We shopped a little bit afterwards--Pepe bought a bottle of 11 year Ron Santiago too--and then I went back to my house to drop off my bottles of rum.
I rested a bit and packed up some of my things--being very careful with the rum bottles--and then went to Callejon de Hammel for the dance party that happens there on Sundays. I took a maquina to La Rampa and Calle O and walked the rest of the way. I got a lot of piropos on that walk, including one man who started shouting "Virgen blanca, virgen blanca!" when I passed by him. (Nice try guy, I'm married and so tan after being here that I'm barely white anymore). It was weird, all that attention, even for Havana. I almost wanted to leave but I kept going. I was definitely off the beaten tourist path walking around there.
When I arrived (at about 4pm) the party was already done--apparently it happens between noon and 3pm--but I could still see all the art there. A man named Carlos showed me the Callejon (which is like an alley or side street) and told me about the community project and the artist. I saw a ring-necked pheasant there and told him that there are a lot of those where I live, and people hunt them; he told me that it was going to be used for a Santeria sacrifice. He explained a lot of the themes of the art to me--like religion, literature, and racism--and I was happy that he was showing me around. I took pictures too, and he took a picture of me in a lucky seat there and told me to make a wish. I wished to come back to Cuba again. He showed me the artist's workshop and said that right now the artist (Salvador) is in Virginia in the US to create something similar there. I knew that he would ask me for money at some point--he asked me to buy a CD to support the project--but I didn't have enough money left since I'm leaving tomorrow. I donated 1.50CUC--basically the last of my money--and he didn't seem annoyed or anything that it was a small amount.
I returned to my house and realized that I had lost my key. I couldn't find it anywhere and I told Lute I was really sorry and gave her the 20 pesos moneda nacional to replace it. I felt so bad and couldn't believe that I had made it a whole month and lost it on the last day. Lute also helped me sew up my suitcase where the zipper was broken on the way here. We talked and it was a bittersweet time. I'm going to miss her the most from our family I think. She was the one who called us to breakfast everyday, made our meals, washed our laundry, and talked to us the most.
We had a party at CIEE with music and a lot of food--a whole roasted pig's leg, tamales, congris and other side dishes, plus rum and cola. Sarai's boyfriend came and I talked to him quite a bit. He seems like a really good guy. Madison and I were discussing missing our spouses and he said that he misses Sarai after just one day, and couldn't go a whole month like we did! :) Sarai gave me a DVD with photos of Havana to remember my trip and told Madison and I that we're her best friends. :) We all signed a card for her and when she read it she cried a little. It was really hard to say goodbye to her because we get along so well and she's the best friend that I made here. We became facebook friends though, so we can stay in touch, although it's not the same as seeing each other every day.
I also said goodbye to Hope, Olvis, and Robier. The people are so good here and I'm going to miss all of them. We said our final goodbyes and returned to our house. It's difficult to leave our host family too, especially Lute. They left us notes with their address so we could send letters, and when I read my note I almost cried. I wrote a note to them too and included my address. I want to see my husband and my dog again but leaving tomorrow is going to be very difficult.
We need to be ready to go at 6am tomorrow morning so I should sleep. I hope that my wish at the Callejon de Hammel today comes true and that I can come back to this amazing country and see all these great people again.