Raices @ Duke

I became involved in Raises de Esperanza, Roots of Hope, through my buddy Frank. Every year they have a conference in a different city focusing on Cuban issues and culture. In February of 2008 it was held at Duke University. i flew in and met up with a friend who I knew only as Guicho [gwe-choh]. He had a cousin or friend who we were going to stay with.

When we got to their place it was like a hippie meets gamer meets typical college bachelor pad. I felt drugged maybe it was just the show they were watching, Aqua Teen Hunger Force; in any case there were certainly a number of drugs present in the house, some of which had been consumed by his roommates.

The next day we headed out early in the Prius and sat through several workshops and discussion sessions. in the evening it was time for culture. we all walked from the university to a club something to do with the number 8 is popping out. I think it had something to do with the name of the club. Anyhow we listened to some salsa some hip-hop and passed the night. i was supposed to ride back with Guicho but he was nowhere to be found. Frank had a hotel but I didn’t want to crash it and cause them to go home early, so I just walked back to the university campus.

I wandered around considering sleeping on a bench. but was afraid of being hassled by cops so i figured if a lecture hall was open I could sleep in peace. After trying several halls  one opened and i wandered in but got spooked by a blinking red light on a control panel by the door; I know about those silent alarms form my skateboarding days. I bolted out  and around the building in the opposite direction of the siren I heard approaching.

From the bushes I could see the cop go in and search around with a flashlight, lock the door and head out.  My next option was just to stay up all night wandering around so i began cruising the campus. I could see through an open door up into a room with paintings on the ceiling and heard people talking so I climbed up metal emergency stairs and found a cafe with a stage and light setup for concerts.

Inside there were a few university students hanging out. One of the girls worked at the cafe  and said since she hates her dorm she just hangs out in the cafe all night and sometimes sleeps on one of the 3 couches they had. they kept offering me Popsicles and brownies but all I really wanted was to sleep. The girl said I could crash one of the couches and she took the other after shutting us in and powering everything down.


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