Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve

Brian has posted his annual tribute to The Best Christmas Song from The Best Comic Strip ever.

Sherwood has posted his annual photos of the beautiful Christmas preparations at Fort Harrington.

And I will post my annual reminder that NORAD is tracking Santa in real time as he delivers presents to good boys and girls around the globe (in 8 languages!). This was such a thrill for me when I was a little girl, it still moves me when I follow it every year.

It must be time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Hug your loved ones a bit tighter this year. It hasn`t been a pretty one.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Does anybody really know what time it is?

 This is a picture of two clocks on the wall in the internet centre at Sol Cayo Santa Maria. As you see, what was important in Cuba was the time in Havana, and the time in Moscow. After the "special period" when the Soviet Union collapsed and its massive support for Cuba was cut off, suddenly the time in Moscow didn't seem so important anymore. Both clocks are broken, which only seems appropriate. But there are plenty of echoes of Russia's significant presence there for decades, though - mostly in the multiple Cubans we've met in their 30s and 40s named Boris or Yuri or Dmitri.

We were on Cayo Santa Maria again, in fact our third time at this resort - the only one we've ever returned to, and the staff greet us like old friends.

I've posted just a few photos from the trip on Flickr. They're of a few oddities and some pics of the colony of semi-feral cats who live just outside the main buffet restaurant, between it and the pool. For the moment, they have the run of the place. Familiarity (encouraged by well-meaning, stupid guests who bring food out of the restaurant for them) and numbers may mean their future is not secure, but for the moment they live very comfortable lives.

The big adventure this time saw me leaving my CI processor battery recharger kit on the bus from the airport (don't even ask) and a frantic race to track down which bus it was on and how to get it back, aided by a patient worker with the transport company who was supposed to be getting off work but who yes, managed to track down the bus and have it return to the resort where the driver appeared on the bus steps with the kit in hand like some sort of blue-collar angel. When people rave about the people of Cuba, this is the sort of thing they are talking about. She could have said "call tomorrow". She could have said "call the lost and found". Instead she tracked down the bus - based on nothing more than our description of the guide on board - with over half a dozen calls back and forth, and got the driver back to deliver the case (the driver was likely done for the day, too).

It had been a stressful few months and we both just pretty much crashed during this stay. Nothing more ambitious than that. We needed it. Flew back in time for the first snowstorm of the season. Ah well. It's Christmas!


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggedy-jig.

Cayo Santa Maria, November-December 2012

Came home to the first snowstorm of the season.

Oh, oh, oh - we flew directly over Cape Canaveral on the flight down. Incredible view. Probably the most exciting moment of the whole trip, really, for a couple of space nuts. And neither of us with a camera accessible.

More later. Hasta pronto, amigos y amigas.


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