Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 3 - Friday

One of the things photographic that was offered to folks in this workshop was something called Dawn Patrol, led by Kip Brundage,the Director of International Programs for the Santa Fe Photography Workshops.  Kip was a great guy and was good at pointing out tips to the more inexperienced as well reminding us all about framing the shot. 

His plan was to have people meet at 6 am in the lobby and go out while it was still dark in the streets and discover dawn in Havana.  Nice idea in theory for those that are early risers - JK did it once - but for night owls like me, not so much.  I think JK is going to post photos to Facebook, but I think there's a way for you to look at them without becoming a member.  He did get off some wonderful shots.

Round and round the streets of Habana Vieja we went again.  After yesterday's trek, which was too much at once, I was grateful to go into a church and sit down.  It was a Catholic church dedicated to St Barbara, whose image was allegedly the first made in Cuba in the 1600s.  People who practice the Santaria, a Creole-type combination of the African Yoruba religion and the Spanish Roman Catholicism, will pray to a combo of St Barbara and the Yoruba god Shango.  One government guide told me that there are more people coming into this Santaria religion than there were coming into any other religion in Cuba.
From there down more streets to a place near the Harbor where what was once an old factory type building has been transformed into a little capitalistic slice of heaven for the small shopkeepers and artists who have little stalls there.

Jude and I decided to stay there while the rest of the group went to a boxing gym.  Personally, I find boxing barbaric - what fun is it to watch two people fight and hurt each other?  I don't care if it's men, women, small people or cats doing it.  It's stupid so stop it.  Also I'm way too much of am empath to watch that kinda crap, it hurts me as well.  Judy did find some very cool handmade percussion instruments sold by the woman on the left.

I'll have some photos of the different kinds of art that I saw there in a subsection of the Flickr pages for Cuba.   The others were at the gym for about an hour and JK did get a wonderful shot of different colored boxing gloves all lined up.  Next we went to a market area near the old colonial wall of the city.  There are only chunks of it still standing near the train station.  The market had meat venders as well as produce venders.

In a way, Cuba has been lucky that it hasn't been able to import expensive chemical fertilizers from the rest of the world.  They were forced to go organic and they do it quite well.  I felt more comfortable eating the meat and produce there than I do in certain parts of our country.
By this time, after walking for about 3 1/2 hours we were all famished.

So Nestor took us to this restaurant near the hotel and Pradeo called El Trofeo.  I had a chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese and JK had a literal leg of lamb. Because the lighting was very dim, the photo isn't the sharpest in the world, but it gives you the idea.

I've decided it would be best to finish the blog first before loading all the photos on the Flickr site.  So you'll have to wait a few more days for that. 

After lunch we had only a half hour at the hotel before the afternoon meeting to figure out where we were going next.  I decided that my feet were hurting too much and I'd forgo the afternoon and meet up with folks later.   This gave me a chance to do a little bit on the internet which was very spotty and expensive - $8/hr.  I also began the work of trying to figure out Lightroom so I could begin the process of processing the photos.  I needed to hand in some "fun" photos and some other good shots for our final look at everyone's work.  JK went ahead to the big arts college they have in Havana and after looking at his photos, I'm a little sorry I didn't have it in me to go along too.  But I was trying to save my feet and legs for the next day when we got to go see graduation at the official school for folkloric dances - like Rumba and Son.

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