I just returned from Cuba after being invited to speak at a scientific conference there, and I’m so excited to share this adventure with you!
Pretty much like any girl, I love dancing and music, and lots of colors and authentic culture. Because of this, the Tropicana was definitely on the top of my list of places to see, even understanding it is a major tourist attraction. But I can see why it is so popular!
But not only was I at the Tropicana, but I was up on stage at the Tropicana. Really! There is the fact that it was first opened in 1939 and was in all its glory at that time in history. Yet even after socialism it has maintained its tradition.
You know how at the end of a performance, sometimes they’ll pull up people in the audience to dance? Well, typically, you remain at the end of your table (not up on stage), so I thought, sure, when the dancer came and grabbed my hand.
But wait…I was barefoot! Being the good Georgia girl that I am I had taken my shoes off under the table (I mean, I wasn’t going anywhere, right?)…
But just simply dancing at the table was not the case at the Tropicana... I was pulled right up onto the stage, barefoot and all!
And I had a blast! Yes, the music was fantastic and my entire experience in Cuba was one of true fascination, discovery, and appreciation.
I was so thankful to be visiting Cuba, but truthfully…also very appreciative for my life here in America. I saw many things within Cuba, including the degeneration of structures that have been neglected over the years due to lack of money and other priorities for sure. Beautiful structures and buildings that have been left to decay, and many areas really falling apart.
But, yet… you could see the glimmer of the old glory and you can see the pride in the people, as well as the local resources. Additionally, I see a glimmer of rebirth and renewal that is sprouting throughout the city of Old Havana, and that is encouraging.
As a medical professional, one thing I definitely wanted to do was to visit the clinics and to speak to other medical providers and pharmacists. I wanted to see what hormone therapy looked like in Cuba. Well, this is an area that has not improved in many decades. The standard of care here is Premarin and Provera. There is no bioidentical estrogens or progesterone available, at least none that was shown to me. DHEA was also not available.
Additionally, menopause and certainly vaginal and vulvar dryness, as uncomfortable as it may be to talk about in the United States, it’s quite a bit more comfortable than talking about it in Cuba! There’s not the openness that we have here, for sure, but yet there’s certainly not a complete avoidance of the issue either.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the owner of the casa where we stayed, and this woman in her late 60s is running this business on her own and quite independent. There’s no age limit to hard work in Cuba, and I saw many ages, including a very old man on a work cart, pulled by a horse or donkey, transporting goods.
My truly favorite part was seeing the many old cars. I do love old cars. I have a 1966 Delta 88 Oldsmobile convertible that I have babied and loved for years…and here, to see the cars from the 1950s, many in such good shape, was just beautiful.
So hence my quote that, “old things well maintained will turn heads at any age”.
And I believe each of us is a classic in our own right!
If you ever get the chance to visit Cuba I highly recommend it.
If you’ve had the opportunity to visit, let me know your thoughts below…what was your favorite part of your trip?