ula on ferry after myanmar


There’s salsa music playing while I sit on the cobblestone steps watching people dance. If I stare straight ahead I can see over the red-tiled rooftops of Trinidad. I see the ocean, a great expanse of blue condensed into a thin line on the horizon. One of the dancers is a little girl, she’s wearing a bright pink shirt. She’s accompanied by her aunt or older sister. She looks to be about nine years old and already a great dancer. Her dark hair is pulled back into a neat bun and adorned with fake flowers. At the end of the song, they leave the dance floor. I see the cobblestone stairs beginning to fill with people. It’s fun to watch the band play because they all dance to the music with the rest of the dancers. The music they are playing is traditional that has been turned into rock. I convince my mom to dance with me, but neither of us can lead so we dance by ourselves, until a man in a red sweatshirt starts to dance with me. He’s a good dancer and conscious of the fact that I’m not the best. As we dance to the salsa, out of the corner of my eye I see someone join my mother. They are dancing faster than we are. When the song ends, I go back to my chair only to be asked again by a gentleman about 70 years old. We dance by the table my parents are sitting at. He also dances slowly, but as the song goes on we dance faster. When the song ends, he kisses me on the cheek and then we leave.

✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍

Another dispatch from our Foreign Correspondent, Ula Grace, traveling in Cuba with her parents Krista and Steve. A few days prior I had received an email from Krista, here is an excerpt…

And now we are in Santiago. Last night, with the help of a new local friend, we snuck Ula into a fabulous and seedy house of music, and danced! (the locals said I dance like a Puerto Rican – whatever that means!) Fantastic! Heading off on another memorable overnight bus to Trinidad tomorrow, and hopefully a little beach time. We really like Cuba in general; the people are very nice and helpful, the streets are incredibly clean even within all the colonial decay. And people are very surprised and pleased when we tell them where we are from! 

I am curious to know what ‘dancing like a Puerto Rican‘ means to a Cuban… it can’t be good. Anxiously awaiting Ula’s next post… and Krista’s… I’ll keep you posted.

ULA GRACE… Foreign Correspondent

11 responses

  1. It’s fun to read your post.

  2. Nicely written Ula. Sounds like you are having fun! Can’t wait to read your next post!

  3. I think that she could charm an entire country

  4. Room 6 Ensorcelled | Reply


    We just read this aloud and we loved it. It warmed us up in our chilly foggy morning. We love the description of the horizon, and can see the little girl in the pink shirt.

    In case you don’t know it, but you probably do, we wanted to tell you that you are in the Shakespeare play coming up.

    Ren is very giggly today.

    Zula from Rwanda is coming with us to Ashland, so we will have a Zula and an Ula.

    Right now we are all writing our Medieval prompts, which are kind of the opposite of what you are writing, since we are all dying in the mud.

    You missed three prefix-suffix tests — lucky you.

    We are reading the Trumpeter of Krakow, which takes place in Poland.

    We haven’t gotten letters from any of our pen pals, but the Spanish ones sent us a movie about Cordoba.

    We are making fake driver’s licenses for the duct tape wallets, but they are silly, like, so and so is licensed to drive a golf cart in Area 51.

    You are missing giant rewrite of the Cushman essay, the third draft that has to be perfectly MLA format.


    Emma, Solana, Isabella, Ronan, Stella, Ren, Leah Rose, Addi Rae, Matthew

    1. Editor’s Note: Kate is Ula’s writing teacher at Spring Street International School in Friday Harbor. Ula will be pleased to get this news, Kate.

  5. This from my dance teacher at ODC: PR style is more refined and showy…
    Cuban style is more down home and what u would see in the backyard at the BBQ.

    1. Thank you for clarifying this for us, MK. It certainly makes sense… Actress + Dancer = Showy/Dramatic/Stylish = Krista.

  6. What a fun post! Sounds like a blast. Now I’m curious of what “dancing like a Puerto Rican” means to a Cuban, too. 😀

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