After a bit we wanted to go so Pepe went to get Cassi and when Madison and I were leaving a whole bunch of Cuban guys asked us to dance. I think that they hadn't asked us before because it was too intimidating to try to separate one girl from our group of eight. (Augustin didn't seem to have that trepidation.) Anyway, if you're in Cuba and you want to dance salsa, apparently all you need to do is go to a club and stand by some Cuban guys! I think I'd like to go dancing more while we're here--it's really fun--but I'd like to take some classes first!
This morning I went to the university and finally switched to the advanced class, although the director was a [female dog] to me first. I arrived early and when I was waiting for Pepe, I saw her (Teresa, the director) and she saw me too but ignored me. But when Pepe got there then she came over to me and showed me to my classroom. But before she introduced me to my professor (Virginia) she told her that I wanted to be in the advanced level but that she didn't think I could do it and I'd want to switch back to intermediate. It was horrible--Pepe and I could hear her and then she started my professor off thinking that I don't know anything. Later Pepe thanked me for being patient with trying to change classes last week. I think now he understands better why I was so angry on Friday and skipped class.
However, my class was great! I didn't have to use super basic Spanish to be understood by my classmates, like I had in intermediate class. We actually learned things, like that verb tense changes when you use the indirect style (as in "he said that he did this or that").
After class, I think my profe agreed with me that I should be at the advanced level. I was so happy that it didn't matter to me that there weren't enough textbooks or workbooks for me to have one to do the homework.
For lunch Madison and I went to La Rampa, which we decided to call the "feel good cafe", where the waiter always compliments are Spanish. But today we weren't as pretty--we were tired, sunburned and I still have a cough--so he wasn't quite so friendly and didn't compliment our Spanish as much. We ate pizza though and mine was amazing! The crust was super thin and it was lightyears ahead of where the pizza from Buona Cera had been. I also sent an email to Ryan. I'm starting to really miss him. We used the bathroom at the hotel (although technically we weren't supposed to) and we started talking about how we should write "The Gringa Guide to Havana". :)
We returned to CEAP for an excursion to Fragua Martiana and we saw the other girls leaving. When we entered Sarai used the word "suspendio" and we were afraid that we couldn't be in the program anymore (although we arrived before 2pm) and we were also a little mad that the other girls didn't wait for us. But soon we figured out that the excursion was cancelled (because of rain), not our participation in the program.
So then we had to decide what to do with our free afternoon. Sarai helped us and we decided to go to Galerias de Paseo for the best chopin (Cuban slang for "shopping") in the area, but we went to tell Pepe first. We talked to him for a bit, which is always fun. Then we headed onto Galerias de Paseo, but with the plan of going to the Hotel Capri with Pepe tomorrow. I think it'll be fun. And of course we are going to "sneak in" again.
The Galerias de Paseo was nothing to write home about. It's technically a shopping mall. There are three athletic shoe stores (including Nike and Adidas), home decor stores, a supermarket, a jazz cafe, and a lot of clothing stores that only carried small sizes (I think that clothing sizes don't matter so much to women in Cuba--even larger girls wear the tight, small sizes). We didn't buy anything besides drinks at the jazz bar. Note to self: Cuban margaritas are not at all like the Mexican-American ones back home, and are completely disgusting (basically tequila + lime juice).
We went to John Lennon Park before returning to our houses. There's a bronze sculpture of him sitting on a bench there, with the words "some may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" in Spanish on the sidewalk in front of him. However the most interesting thing about the park was not John Lennon but a HUGE sculpture of a tooth--a molar, to be precise. It was in the middle of the park, on a platform with stairs leading up to it, and it definitely overshadowed John Lennon.
It's reasons like this that I love Havana and Cuba. There's always something that surprises me. For example, when I was walking to my house today, I saw lots of decorative lions (for my lion statue photo collection) and then a lit-up bulletin board in a wall that featured propaganda photos of--guess who?--Kim Jong Il. I wasn't sure if I could take pictures of it because in North Korea they wouldn't let me, and there was a man in the booth guarding the building nearby (like in many places in Cuba) but I couldn't leave without snapping a quick photo. I saw a plaque and realized that this was the North Korean embassy... and as I walked by the guard smiled at me so I guess I should have taken more photos!
I also met Madison and Brittany's homestay "mom" today, a woman named Vivian that I like a lot. We asked her about the ballet, the movies and a salon where we can get our nails done. We are going to go there with her on Thursday after our conferencia.
Now I need to sleep. Until tomorrow - buenas noches.