I’m writing this letter from a frog-free room in Havana, overlooking the Malecón. Although I’m enjoying some downtime, I can’t help but miss our time together and our whirlwind trip around Cuba. Our mornings beating the breakfast crowd at Hotel Vedado, journeys on the homebus, amazing views in Vinales and beachtime at Cayo Levisa: what a memorable trip!
Thinking about our time together, there are many moments that stand out to me. I’ll never forget seeing Sam and Andrea salsa dancing on the last night. Watching Claire, Liam and Rafael play volleyball like beasts on the beach was a highlight. I recall Celie’s dark jokes and Soraya narrowly avoiding getting crushed by a dead palm branch at Cayo Levisa. Anna weeding ALL of Muraleando and Oliver’s stellar maraca playing continue to inspire me.
Every GLA group is so different, and each year I find myself saying things I’d never thought I’d have to say. I’ll always remember asking Daniel to please stop spanking Harry, and insisting that Gavin get his head out of the gutter. I remember reminding Milo to wear shoes when in restaurants and to remove the toothpicks from his beard.
Your group was unique. I rarely see a group that large bond the way you all did, evident in the weird humor you all shared (“same goes!”) and the even weirder pictures you’d airdrop each other. I was impressed by the deep friendships you all formed so quickly, and the respect and compassion you had for one another.
As you all continue your personal journeys, I wish for you flexibility to take things as they come (scary thunderstorms included), humor to overcome obstacles (acid bath), and curiosity that motivates you to keep exploring and learning.
“Chiki chiki, move,”
Amanda and Jenny