Internet connection in Cuba was a challenge. Actually, that might be a serious understatement, but since those are rare for me, I’ll let this one stand.
Jon and I specifically chose Cuba after our wedding because it was going to be impossible for either of us to work online. Internet was only available at hotels owned by foreign countries and the handful of internet parks that are springing up around Havana.
When we needed a quick check in, we’d duck into a hotel, pay the $2 for 30 minutes and check email, social media and whatever else needed tending to.
By the middle of October, which was when we traveled through Cuba, I had already been consistently broadcasting on #Periscope for almost 4 months nightly. This habit was challenging to put down, as you can imagine.
Periscope + The Gratitude Sessions
Periscope is a new (or not so new anymore) platform created by Twitter, where you can broadcast live feeds to the world via video while those watching can interact with you via text. I fell in love with it instantly though I didn’t start using it right away.
I was, and still am, in a phase where I’m weeding out the noise that seems to blast 24/7 on all social media. I want substance, relevance and elevation. This continues to be my refining criteria, though as soon as I started to feel the need for it, I had to take a hard look at the noise I was creating and perpetuating as well.
I realize that one person’s noise is another’s inspiration, but I only have my own internal compass to source from.
So, here’s Periscope with it’s amazing instant reach and within the first 24 hours I had been on it, I had witnessed both huge inspiration and huge depravity along with everything in between.
This post isn’t really about what I do on Periscope, so I’ll cut this short by saying I ended up creating a communal version of a gratitude practice I have had for the last 20+ years. It’s called #TheGratitudeSessions. Come by sometime.
A gorgeous community came together around these scopes and it was so inspiring to witness what can happen when you share amazing things with others.
To this end, there are things I encounter while traveling that are so amazing, breath taking and elevating, Periscope can sometimes be a great way to share those moments with the world and the community created there.
Having no data on my phone while in Cuba was good for Jon and I, but not good when it came to sharing things we saw and experienced in real time. Somethings are just in the moment, for personal experience, and I honor those.
But other times, things just happen, a confluence of factors that make for a larger than usual moment.
Walking out of the Inglaterra Hotel that day, while my phone was still connected to the hotels WIFI and while this man was singing was such a serendipitous moment for me.
I had been in Cuba for over a week by that point and I was in a constant overwhelm of conflicting emotions and sensations. I’ve alluded to this before and still haven’t coalesced it all to properly articulate it for you.
So he was singing, I was connected, and the urge was sudden. I wanted to share some of it with the world. There had been a constant singing, music that always plays loudly from somewhere, no matter where we happened to be in Cuba up until that point. It’s moving, emotional and something that should be experienced.
I quickly hit record, he saw me and started singing towards the camera. It was emotional, like a dance that keeps building in tension and mounting thrill.
The comments and excitement that scrolled in from the rest of the world, excited to see anything coming from Cuba was equally moving as some were Cuban, having not seen a bit of their home in too many years.
It’s terrible quality and half way through his singing, my Wifi ran out. I took the saved video and did some editing with it to package it a bit better than it was straight out of my phone. But here it is… a moment from Cuba.