27 03 2011


On Tuesday, 29th March, I will be leaving Santiago de Cuba. I will spend four nights in Havana and then return to England. I will be sorry to be leaving. Living here has been a great experience and education.

This will be my final post for more than a week. When I return to England I will post on my observations on what changes I observe in Havana; I will do a full review of my Spanish course; and I will post various photographs and other odds and ends that I have.

This way, I hope to keep the blog ticking over until I return to Santiago for the month of July. I hope to return to Santiago in the autumn to continue my studies.

Thanks to everybody for the kind comments that I have received. If I have helped even a few people to understand a bit more about this wonderful, complex island and its great people, I will be satisfied.



11 responses

27 03 2011

as i stated on TA I loved reading your blog. it was my first time in Santiago de Cuba and as we were only there for a week we didn’t get into town. We will be going 2 weeks in Jan/Feb 2012 and your blog has given us some must see places. I hope you don’t mind but i’ve pasted a link to your blog on my facebook. I have numerous friends who are very interested in exploring this special city. 🙂

Thanks again!

27 03 2011

Muchas gracias amigo- very nice writing on Cuban life, no too lengthy either!

27 03 2011
Rosa Jordan

Hi, LeytonO,

It’s TTJPDO (of Thorn Tree) here. Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your insightful blog articles–ALL of them. Of course that’s partly because your perceptions and analysis match mine. But mainly I have enjoyed them because you have added much new and current info to our knowledge base about ever-changing Cuba. Sorry to see you leaving and hope you will be back in Cuba very soon!

28 03 2011

I too am sorry to miss some chapters of the on going “NOVELLA”of your life in Santiago .! —-It has been really well written and very interesting to me each chapter of the Cuban story ! Hope when you are back you will link back to me please ! —and let me enjoy hearing about your future adventures ! Yes it is such a complex and wonderful placeI I leave for 1 week thss March 31 I a pleased to tell you I have been very successful [took a few months !] — in aranging a very generous donation of meds to the COLONIAL Hospital .in the center of Town . [ of much needed , expensive , cancer meds .] You Know Candains are truly amazing ! THESE have been donated by a group of Canadain DOCTORS and NURSES . given to me to take to CUBA . We are a very good hearted bunch of people full of compassion and HEART ! I KNOW what a difference that some of these meds will make, Not enough —Yes , that’s very true; but always better to do Something ! —rather than Nothing !

8 04 2011
Amanda Naesman

This blog was great! Probably the best blog on Cuba. You go back in July, ey. How long will you stay for? Moving to Havana myself Sep 1. Can’t wait!! I’d love to spend some time in Santiago aswell. Haven’t been there since 2005.

8 04 2011

I’ll be back in July for five weeks. Then I’ll probably return in October for a couple of months. Look me up in Santiago and I’ll buy you a drink

8 04 2011
Amanda Naesman

Agree with TTJPDO. I dont agree with ALL in this blog. But it’s a very informative and honest blog, with in-depth analysis. Good to see a man with a mind of his own.

9 04 2011
Jennifer Thorsborne

Terrific info about Santiago, happy to have received a link to this blog from my mate johnabbotsford!
wonder if you could provide an email address (that might work) for me to pursue more info about studying Spanish at the university. I am having a bit of difficulty with the website, can’t find any info about language courses – can’t even get onto the Havana Uni website tonight, let alone Santiago. I will be in Santiago for two months July-August, intend coming back around Christmas to stay for a while and study seems like a worthwhile thing to do. Actually your blog has inspired that thought – so thanks heaps.

9 04 2011

Jennifer, your chances of getting much information from an e-mail are slim, I would suggest. There will be no classes in July or August, although the staff don’t finish until late July. I would suggest that your best bet is to go along to the university in July, to the Antonio Mella branch, in the Avenida de las Americas, and ask for the Department for External Relations. You can then do it all in person. I will be in Santiago that whole month, so if you want to meet up to discuss studying there, I will be happy to assist.

17 08 2011

If you don’t mind me asking, but how do you manage to get on a course learning Spanish in Cuba? I am just about to enrol on a course starting next month at our local college, but I would rather be in Cuba for 3 months learning it lol.

I love your blog by the way, it’s getting me excited and in the mood for my 2nd trip to Cuba in October!

18 08 2011

My experiences of applying for and undertaking my Spanish course are contained here and here

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