Letter to the Editor

It’s been a couple of weeks since members of your Greenville Chamber and Hunt County returned from the Key West & Havana Cuba Cruise. All I can tell you is that Cuba was more beautiful & more eye opening than first anticipated. What a journey!

My personal experience was unique since I spent the first half of the day in Havana exploring without anyone else in tow. Since our phones didn’t work, I didn’t want to get lost, so I ventured out methodically.

Once I was acclimated to the unexpected beauty of buildings that were 200-500 years old, I settled into to a beautiful café & listened to a live band. Many of the café’s there play live music even at lunch. All of the buildings were with high ceilings and stunningly beautiful no matter what stage of repair they were in.

I did take a Havana tour in a 1957 convertible Ford Fairlane. My drivers were very kind & informative as I sunburned my forehead.

Since I was a small child, in my mind, Cuba was always this far-off country that was at odds with the U.S.A., as well as unattainable. I could not help but feel emotional as these very kind citizens told me about their life in Cuba.

This country that seems so far away, of course, is only just beyond Key West, Florida. Later in the evening, I went on a walking tour with many of our Chamber attendees. We saw firsthand what evening life is like as we learned more about history, shopping, and the cruel charm these people have to endure as their way of life. But they were gracious, always kind and smiling.

The reason I wanted to go on this trip is because we don’t know if we will always have the opportunity. There is already a ban on cruise travel since we have returned. I do suggest you go, given the opportunity. Air flights are not banned at this time.

I do want to thank the great folks over at Travel Dreams here in Greenville. Without Shannon Routh and Gregg Welpe guiding the chamber through this one-of-a-kind adventure, those who attended would be less informed about a neighbor nation that is so close, yet so far away.

You may contact them for many different kinds of vacation experiences, and I have come to trust their many years of expertise. Tell them I sent you.

 

BYRON TAYLOR

President & CEO

Greenville Chamber of Commerce