Monday, July 24, 2017

Roly and Cristy!

It was a short but quality visit but we did get to see our Cuban friends for a few hours! They have been on the Island for three weeks and have a couple more days in Victoria before catching the plane from Victoria to Calgary, to Toronto and then finally, Havana.

They are shell shocked by their first visit to a decadent first world country. Roly has been to Equator and Cristy, when she worked in the Cuban government went on a diplomatic visit to several Socialist / Communist European countries but this was their first time in the "West".

They had just spent a few days in Port Alberni and those people dropped them off here at about noon. Norma and Brooks prepared a series of snacks featuring our local shrimp and smoked Sockeye salmon which was well received!

We had to get them to the Brentwood Bay Ferry by 5:30 and LindaLee was working in the local pub so Brooks and I took them there to say goodbye. Roly and Cristy loved the friendly atmosphere and confessed it was their first visit to a Canadian pub! Their other friends did not take them to one.

Cristy was sporting a broken arm, the result of a fall at the beginning of their visit! A souvenir from Canada!

We dropped them off at the ferry, said our goodbye's and promised to see each other again. Here are some photos.

Important Discussions:

Cristy and Norma:

Cristy and Croft:

"We love this bar!"

Two Amigos:

Two Amigas:

14 comments:

  1. I want one of those t shirts. :^)

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    1. Easy to get Bill, just a short flight! :)

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    2. Read Dee's comment on yesterday's blog. Dee and Beach are Americans who just returned from a (legal) trip to Cuba.

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    3. Bill, I know that I am responding to one of Croft's older posts, but I am so behind in my reading and responses since Beach and I returned from Cuba and subsequently being a nurse after Beach's knee surgery.

      On June 13 Beach and I visited Cuba under one of twelve provisions provided by the US Treasury and Commerce Dept. and allowed by the Obama administration. The provision was entitled "People-to-People" education program which allowed an individual to travel to Cuba for the express purpose of pursuing a non-academic education (no school credits given) regarding Cuba's history, art, dance, music, culture, or food. You are not allowed to visit as a tourist, in other words, no sunning on the beach drinking mojitos. You are required to have a lot of interaction with the Cuban people. One of the ways to accomplish that is to stay with a Cuban family, which was arranged by Croft's friend Roly in Cuba and who owns a private Cuban business "Havana Memories." If you have read Croft's blogs, there is no doubt that Roly's credentials qualify him for the on-site lectures he provided us to satisfy the US Treasury Dept.'s requirements for Cuban education. Under this program, Roly had to provide at least seven hours daily of immersion in the Cuban culture and lectures. For our comfort, we decided to engage his services for just the two of us and a private driver; we covered more territory that way than going with a group and could ask all the questions we wished without having to compete with others in a group. Other requirements by the Treasury Dept. were that we had to keep a detailed journal of our daily activities to also include any receipts from our trip and photos taken. We are required to maintain these in our file for at least five years in the event the Treasury Dept. wishes to see them.

      Just before we returned from Cuba, Trump signed an executive order amending the regulations promulgated by the Obama administration, one of which was directed at INDIVIDUALS (like me) who wish to independently make their own arrangements directly with privately owned Cuban businesses for the purpose of visiting Cuba under the People-to-People education program and, of course, satisfying all the Treasury Dept.'s requirements. No longer can I do this under the amended rules. The People-to-People Education program still exists; however, I now would need to contact a US organization or business for the purpose of having them engage the services of a private Cuban business which, in turn, would provide that Beach and I go to Cuba with a large group. In addition, there is a requirement that an employee or member of the US business or organization must accompany the group. All other requirements such as journals, receipts, photos, etc. still apply. Because of these Trump amendments, the Cuba trip goes up in price significantly. The US intermediary (business or organization), of course, wants to get a piece of the pie, leaving less of my money to spread around to emerging small private businesses in Cuba. Who knows what the future will hold for us given the current state of affairs in Washington, DC.

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    4. One more thing. Currently, the Trump executive order has not taken effect. It will not take effect until the Code of Regulations has been written and published. That will take about 60 days. If a US citizen wanted to make a Cuban visit independently, individually, and cheaply, now would be a good time to do it before the regulations go to publication.

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  2. Replies
    1. It was so nice to see you and Christy Roly! Now we are inspired for another trip to Cuba!

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    2. Roly, Beach and I hope the rest of your and Cristy's Canadian trip will be great and that Cristy's arm will heal quickly. From our traveling experience, these things just happen every so often. You took such good care of us in Havana that I never worried about Beach's knee making it through the week. Since the knee surgery is now over, after his physical therapy, we will start to plan another trip to Cuba. First, I must read the latest US government changes to determine how we can legally make another trip a reality. Safe travel, amigo.

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  3. I hope the remainder of their visit goes well. What is so shocking about visiting Canada? New cars? Flying 3 or 4 hours and still being in the same country? It's cool that you could introduce them to a pub anyway.

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    1. I think it is the easy availability of everything, no empty shelves in stores. The speed of everything and the excitement of our world, not slow and laid back like Cuba. And of course the prices.

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    2. And the new cars as well. "Where are all your '55 Chevy's?

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  4. What did they think of the prices...?

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    1. A bit of a shock to say the least! We were in the pub where our DIL was the server. I bought the round and Roly asked if he could leave her a tip. He slipped $10 under his glass and I said, "Wow Roly. that is two weeks pay for the average Cuban!" He answered, "But we are not in Cuba, we are in Canada!"

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