One of my favorite parts of these journalism trips is getting to latch on to the students’ story ideas. I’m sort of the “video guy” on the trip, along with my friend and graduate student Zach. That means I get to tag along with students to film their interviews and make a video accompanying their articles. Some of my most treasured memories come from these types of experiences, like meeting a sword maker with Alex in Toledo, Spain or visiting a self-sufficient mental hospital with Bridget in Thessaloniki.
Last week, Chris and Milton let me tag along with them to interview former Cuban baseball captain Carlos Tabares. Tabares is a huge deal here in Cuba, and turned down multiple offers to play in the MLB during his career. It was absolutely surreal sitting in his living room and watching a documentary about him…with him. We’ve also spoken with the sportscaster who used to announce his games, and today made plans to talk to some kids that are learning to play baseball. It’s been a great time getting involved in the baseball world here, and I’m really excited to produce the video.
The other “video person” on the trip is Annina, who is actually a business major with a minor in video. I got to help her out with a video she’s making on Fusterland, a series of houses in Havana that have been completely covered in mosaics by the artist Jose Fuster. He started with his house, and over the years the entire block has been taken over by painted tiles. We got extremely lucky and waltzed in to his house, met his childhood friend, who told us we had five minutes to interview Fuster on camera. Luckily he was extremely nice and gave us the time for a solid interview. We spent the rest of the day talking to other artists in the neighborhood, who have sprouted up thanks to the inspiration Fuster has given them. It was a great look into the lives of the people who make up the town, in a place that’s normally seen as just a tourist trap. It’s easy to see why tourists flock there, though. I mean look at these photos.