Flying Jayhawks discover Cuba

Posted on Oct 17, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs, hosted a group of Flying Jayhawks during a recent trip to Cuba. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks alumni travel program, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.

At the end of September, I was lucky enough to host a group of 15 fellow Jayhawks on one of Go Next’s first alumni program trips to Cuba. The program was a “people to people educational exchange,” and this is the only type of trip that allows United States citizens legal entry into Cuba. The group I hosted included well-traveled passengers from Kansas City, Liberal, Union, Greenleaf, Dallas, Jackson Hole and Valdosta, Ga.

We spent most of our time in Havana, which lives up to its reputation as one of the best cities architecturally to visit. The old buildings, mixed with old-school American cars, truly made it feel as if we had gone back in time.

Sightseeing, however, was not the purpose of the trip. The main focus was to help our group gain a better understanding of our neighbors to the south through personal interactions. We enjoyed outings to elementary schools, high schools, arts and vocational schools, the University of Havana and hospitals and clinics. We met with business owners and artists to talk about everyday life in Cuba. During our seven days in the country, we also visited Las Terazas, Cojimar, Cein Fuegos, Trinidad, Manaca Iznaga, Sancti Spiritus and Santa Clara.

The trip afforded our group a great opportunity to see a country that a lot of Americans will never see, and to help make new connections between those on the trip. I can’t wait for my next adventure with the Flying Jayhawks!

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