Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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The Choir Arrives Safely in Cuba! – Day 1

For our first-ever trip to Cuba, the University sent a group of 32 MSU choir members, not the full choir contingent but typically the number we use for travel. Once on the island, we are scheduled to perform at a number of engagements.

Knowing that our charter flight out of JFK in New York would be leaving at noon, we decided to travel New York a day sooner, which turned out to be a great decision because of traffic concerns. The next morning, our group arrived at the airport and checked-in early for our international flight aboard JetBlue Air. Having never flown this airline before, we were pleasantly surprised with the flight as well as the amenities the plane offered, including unlimited snacks and free Wi-Fi.

A short two and one-half hours later, the Morgan State University Choir landed safely in Havana, Cuba! Upon our arrival, warm temperatures and high humidity immediately greeted us. From the airport, we had a three and one-half hour bus ride to our first stop, the City of Cienfuegos.

Despite traveling along the coast, we did not see much, as most of the scenery was just crop fields with few cars driving along this multi-lane highway. Along the way, we stopped at a restaurant for a group meal, which was quite tasty, and the trio of musicians singing Cuban music added to our enjoyment.

Around 9 pm that night, we reached our hotel destination in Cienfuegos. We were impressed by the extraordinary architecture and cosmopolitan nature of our accommodations given the age of this hotel.  Once we all checked-in, we decided to call it a night because we had a full agenda the next day – with sightseeing, an exchange with Cuban choirs, and our first concert.

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