Traveling Cuba in small groups – by Lars

larsWhat is a „small group“? How many people are part of a „small group“? What is the meaning of these two words in this combination?
At home I would say that a small group aren’t more than five persons. If there are more than five people in a group, it isn’t a small group anymore. During our journey we are always a very big group with 50 members. In Cuba we explored the country in „small groups“. We were split into five groups. Every group visited another city in the eastern part of Cuba. Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba were the five cities we could visit. Before we explored the island we had to decide which group visits which city. Each of these groups had seven to nine members. In Germany that would be more than a small group, but for us it wasn’t. You could calm down for some days without worrying about that someone would come and give you a new quest to do.

You also have to make bigger decisions if you are traveling in a small group. In a very big group you only can make a vote for doing something. In a small group you don’t have to make such a big vote. You make a preposition and any of the group members can tell their own opinion, without loosing too much time. For example, in my small group we often had to decide what we do next. Everybody told their opinion and afterwards we could easily decide and everybody was happy. If you are a very big group often not all members accept the new decisions or are happy with it. But after your decisions, you can do what you have decided. With seven or nine people you can go much easier from one place to another.

Make an experiment: Try to reach a museum in a city that is 50 kilometers south of you. Afterwards you try to reach the same museum in the city with seven people.
One condition: One of these 50 or seven people has always got to see all other persons, that means they always have to take the same train, bus, car…

That is the most difficult part of a big group. In our small group we easily could take a bus, because a bus has always space for seven persons more. Or if you don’t want to walk by feet back home you can take a horse drawn cart that has only space for eight or nine people. You see, the way of transport is much more easy in a small group. I don’t know exactly why we were split into small groups, but this may be a reason. Also a reason may be that in our normal constellation at land, out of 34 students and two teachers, you could never visit all parts of Cuba and explore the culture and the people as much as you can do it in a small group. We could visit our part very easily because sometimes some of us were ill or didn’t want to do something and just relax, so the others who wanted to do something could explore the city and its streets. It was perfect for everybody and at the time when we all made something together, it was also perfect because traveling with six others, you know very well after these five days, can be a lot of fun.