Today we booked another trip to Cuba for Christmas. This will be our 5th trip to Cuba in the past 3 years, we try to go every 6 months. Our vacation is a little different then most people's, and most are suprized to discover how exactly we spend our time there. The truth of the matter is that we take down suitcases full of charitable aid and donations for Cuban families in need.
In the past 3 years we have taken suitcases full of medicine, clothes, toys, eye glasses, school supplies, car parts, electronics, shoes and socks, tools, motorcycle helmets, solar equipment, and bicycles. We have delivered to schools, orphanages, old age homes, churches, families, and even the El Alba University where we sponsored an art contest.
We are not Cuban, we are pastey white canadians. We don't do this because we are part of any church or charitable organization. We don't gain any financial benefit from doing this. We spend the 6 months between trips buying and gathering things wherever we can. My dentist donates toothbrushes, we buy summer footwear on clearance each fall, we shop at liquidation centers and dollar stores, etc. On the previous two trips we were accompained by relatives who came with us because they wanted to participate in the adventure too. It is so much fun and the people that we help are so appreciative. We do stay in 4 star all inclusive hotels, but spend our days travelling to specific locations to deliver our donations directly to the people. The last trip we went on we didnt even set foot on the beach or in the ocean in the 7 days we were there, lol. Most of our clients, coworkers, friends, and relatives have no idea that we do this, and that is fine with us as we don't do it for that reason.
This trip will be a little bit different then the past few as we are taking our kids with us. While we know that it will limit the distance we can travel, we hope that they will gain a unique perspective on their lifestyle here at home if they get to see how people in poorer countries live. Even our christmas shopping this year will include purchasing and wrapping gifts for needy Cuban children, which has our kids completely excited. I am sure we will end up spending more time at the hotel pool and the beach then ever before, but I think this will be one of our best trips yet and hopefully a life changing experience for our kids.
So I am trying to cram my way through spanish for dummies for the 5th time, still not going to fast and procrastingating like crazy. I will no doubt have it with me on the plane and be reading right up to the time we check in, lol.
Robert May is the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage associate and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as mortgage financing, refinancing/renewals, preapprovals, and home equity financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at www.LethbridgeLoans.com
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