Our guide in Cuba gave us some strange advice at the start of our visit. “Wait for the Magic,” she said. Doubtful, I tucked Carol Steele’s words away, and waited to see if they would be true. Believing that the Cuban buildings would be gray and crumbling, the people poor and sad, and the cars all old, I was unsure where any of Carol’s magic would appear. Sure enough, every time I focused on the people, the magic would start to appear.
We just returned from an eye-opening trip to Cuba, a trip that until recently was not permitted for citizens like us. Cuba, while just 90 miles off Florida, has been off-limits to U.S. travelers for more than half a century. Now, as I settle back into my daily routine, I am having trouble reconciling my pre-existing prejudices with the realities of life on that small but powerful island.