lundi 19 février 2018

EATING WELL IN ISRAEL HEALTHY FOR THE BODY HEALTHY FOR THE MIND




















I have not eaten this healthily in the three days in Israel as in any other country in the world!
As it happens to be my Genetic Food, the pleasure was doubled.

lundi 5 février 2018

LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE SNOW STORM: AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST AMONG THE OMAHA

As far as most of the Omaha Indians are concerned, I am not an Endocrinologist, but their Uncle.
Few hours after I arrived at this Indian reservation from the Amazonia, snow began to fall and accumulate on top of the foot of snow already on ground. I found uncomfortable walking on the slippery snow so I made gingery careful steps towards the Clinic of the Omaha Indians.
Towards the evening, a coworker had gone during the bad weather to get me water and Lactose Free Milk! 
While I was in the Clinic, her husband texted me to ask whether I needed something from the next town, as the road would soon become impassable. I gave him a list: organic frozen vegetables, green leafy vegetables, organic frozen food. He arrived later with a gift for me, freshly made sushi from the place where he had gone shopping for me.
View from the Blue House.
I was engrossed in reading and writing when I heard some movements outside the house and soon a knock on the door. My Indian Sisters daughter had arrived with her boyfriend with shovels to make a path for me to walk to my car!
The idea that we are all related is so strong among the traditional Indians such as the Omaha, who maintain their culture despite the encroachment of all sorts by the outsiders. Two young people who come with their shovels after work so that I have a safe path to walk to my car! 
Another relative sent this picture of the sunset, lighting up the sky despite the cold and the snow, to remind us that our current difficulties are transient and if you look in the right direction there is always the bright light!
I invited my relatives in for a chat
I had some special gifts for them from Cuba. They had visited me in Cuba and I was happy to reciprocate their hospitality and kindness to me. They also made lasting impressions on my friends in Cuba.

I am grateful for this gift in my life, The Indigenous people of this continent, and I am grateful for being allowed to be part of their fabric of life.

THE LIFE OF AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST TO THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE : ONE WEEK

One week ago today, I was sauntering along the Amazon River, getting to know the TIKUNA or Maguta people. 
Today I am with the Omaha people of Nebraska, USA.
 The time along the Amazon was delightful: Leticia, Tabatinga, Benjamin Constant, Puerto Narino, Caballacocha
 After eating western food, one has to get used to eating the raw fruits, plentifulness of the vegetables and the ever present fish.
 Was waiting for the full moon in Leticia. left for Miami via Bogota and then to Omaha, Nebraska. I arrived with snow on the ground but sun was shining and no snow in sight, all that changed within a matter of hours . The next day going to the Clinic of the Indians became an arduous task as walking even a few metres was dangerous.
 The temperatue plunged to MINUS 20 degrees Centigrade and I had experienced such a cold in a long while. I prepared myself as well as I could and drove the short distance to the clinic with greatest of care.
 It began to snow! and the roads became even more dangerous and I retreated to the house. Fortunately I had a Radius 2016 Merlot from Washington State and enough smoked Salmon!



dimanche 4 février 2018

HAVANA THE ETERNAL AFFECTIONATE AND CONTINUING FEAST

2017  was an excellent year for travel. My world has geographical variations: American Indians in the USA, good friends in Miami, Family in France/Belgium, Cochin in India and KL in Malaysia and Siem Reap in Cambodia. The newcomer has been Leticia in Colombia and the Tikuna Indians there. Last year was able to visit Iquitos in Peru as well as Rapa Nui in the Pacific.
But nothing beats HAVANA  that interminable bakery of affections, true friendships and lately good food and wine. 
This last visit in January, each and every night I had people over to dinner and as usual about 15 of us get together for a long reunion over dinner, drinks and conversations and heated debates. No TV blaring, soft music downloaded from Spotify in the background and wine flowing freely. My friends truly enjoyed Radius 2016 Merlot from Washington State, the Malbec was to their taste and Carmanere from Chile was well appreciated. And of course there is the ever present Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
For dinner, I was able to procure Langostinos and the usual cuban accoutrements and I was able to add some Salmon, sardines and Oysters (for some reason oysters were not popular among my friends). The neighbour/good friend who prepared the dishes used the condiments I had brought from Cochin, so the vegetables: Berenjina Eggplants, Acelga Chard and the salad had a Masala taste to them.
It was a memorable evening, even though the other evenings when the diners were less in number were equally sumptuous with lobster, chicken in curry, mackerel among other delights.
 Cubans are the most affectionate people that I know, as you can see in the photo, every one is touching some one else!
 Langostinos 
 Olives, stuffed with anchovies, mixed nuts and savoury biscuits to dip into salmon paste.
 Cubans like pasta with chicken with mayonnaise and other flavours 

 Cuba is one of the more educated countries in the world. Of the 15 people gathered tonight, every single person had an university degree, 5 of them at doctoral level: social sciences, Marine Biology and Medicine. One lawyer, one Hospital Laboratory technician, one editorial assistant, two  engineers, two biometricians! and overseeing was a friend who has a degree in Gastronomy!
We consumed about 6 bottles of wine. No one touched the large bottle of Santero Rum. Still and Sparkling water was available. 
For dessert, my sister in Miami suggested that I provide Ice cream (Cuba has excellent ice cream) and she gave me a packet of Oreo cookies to accompany that..
It was a wonderful evening and all of us felt so grateful to have such strong friendship along with our love for our island.
Of the 15, 10 had travelled to various countries mainly to attend conferences and occasionally for family reunions. Of the 10 only one has been to USA for family reasons, and another had gone there for scientific research collaboration.

If you are in Havana, please join us for an evening of affections and alimentation and a little wine!

samedi 13 janvier 2018

YOU GET OLD ONLY WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A PROJECT TO DO said Sir VS NAIPAUL

YOU GET OLD ONLY WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A PROJECT TO DO

As our reading abilities evolve, so does our choice of literature. After the usual classics of school years, one ventures and discovers, the other literature, which to me was Alberto Moravia (Italian, Jewish) and Agnar Mykle (Norwegian). Australia provided the local literature, Nevile Shute who was a celebrated Brit-Oz writer and of course I was already interested in understanding what made Australians, Aussies. I recognized the unique nature of Australian Humour, and The Outcasts of Foolgarah by Frank Hardy was a favourite. If you ask me what defines an Aussie, I can flatly claim: An Aussie is a person who has an Aussie sense of humour.

All that was gobbled up when I was introduced to the West Indies and its literature, I fondly remember my good friend Lincoln Myers from Trinidad who told me about VS Naipaul who was to be a constant companion and eagerly read each and every book he published, especially his travel books, starting with India: An area of Darkness. Visits to various Caribbean islands made me want to read other writers from the region, before plunging headlong into the magical realism of Latin America.
I am reading this morning Inner Engineering by Sadhguru.
Here is something he writes:
Learn to place your intellect in the sheath of your awareness rather than in the sack of memory and identification.
That reminded me of what Naipaul said: you feel old only when you don’t have a project, something to look forward to.
Whatever your age, rather than dipping into the memory captured by your experiences or thoughts, look forward to creating experiences and thoughts. In this way you invigorate yourself: mind and body


What projects do I have?
Apart from planning travels which are always a pleasant task…
A Diabetes and Wound Clinic in Easter Island helped by my Omaha Indian friends

Disease Prevention Public Health Education in a village along the Amazon

And Cuba that unending feast is always an unending project!

mercredi 3 janvier 2018

YOU WILL COME BACK AGAIN: LES AU REVOIR new artists to discover through SPOTIFY

There is something so wonderful about being in a city that you love and feeling very peaceful in your heart, and you are surrounded by silence and solitude. You friends and other lovers in Cuba are enticing you with their tender emails and messages and telephone calls. 
I have in front of me the last book by Sadhguru
Inner Engineering which I refer to from time to time.
I am using Spotify streaming service and I select the music to suit this dreamy mood. Even among the selections, now and then a song wafts through and touches your heart. You dont know the artists but with Google and YouTube and Wikipedia you soon know who they are.
I was listening to LES AU REVOIR
Here is the song in the original Greek.
http://lyricstranslate.com/en/les-au-revoir-tha-ksanartheis-lyrics.html#ixzz539p1TMHw
Greek

Tha Ksanartheis

Δεν με μέλει αν οι όρκοι μας σβήστηκαν
Δεν με μέλει εάν όλα ξεχαστήκαν
Πίστεψε με διόλου δεν πονώ
Κι αν εσύ ξεχνάς, ξεχνώ κι εγώ
 
Δεν με μέλει αν η καρδιά σου άλλον θέλει
Δυνατά σου το φωνάζω, "δεν με μέλει"
Δεν ζηλεύω αυτόν που αγαπάς
Δεν με μέλει, όπου θέλεις ας πας
 
Θα ξανάρθεις,
Όσα χρόνια κι αν περάσουν θα ξανάρθεις
Και συμπόνια θα ζητάς μετανιωμένη
Θε να 'ρθεις με ραγισμένη την καρδιά
Θα ξανάρθεις
Δεν μπορεί παρά μια μέρα να ξανάρθεις
Όταν μάθεις πως βγήκες γελασμένη
Θα ξανάρθεις ντροπιασμένη μια βραδιά
 
Δεν με μέλει αν πουλάς την αγκαλιά σου
Κι αν μοιράζεις σ' όποιον να 'ναι τα φιλιά σου
Θα 'ρθει η μέρα που θα με ποθείς
Σου το λέω, να το θυμηθείς
 
Δεν με μέλει που όποιος θέλει σ' αγοράζει
Κι αν ξέχασες τους όρκους δεν πειράζει
Ότι τώρα δυνατά ποθείς
Θα 'ρθει η μέρα να το βαρεθείς
 
Θα ξανάρθεις,
Όσα χρόνια κι αν περάσουν θα ξανάρθεις
Και συμπόνια θα ζητάς μετανιωμένη
Θε να 'ρθεις με ραγισμένη την καρδιά
Θα ξανάρθεις
Δεν μπορεί παρά μια μέρα να ξανάρθεις
Όταν μάθεις πως βγήκες γελασμένη
Θα ξανάρθεις ντροπιασμένη μια βραδιά (x2)


http://lyricstranslate.com/en/tha-ksanartheis-you-will-come-back-again.html#ixzz539orZcEJ

English translation

You will come back again

I don't care if our vows are erased
I don't care if everything is forgotten
Believe me I'm not in pain at all
And if you forget, I forget too
 
I don't care if your heart desires someone else
I'm shouting you that loudly, " I don't care"
I'm not jealous of whom you love
I don't care, wherever you want, you can go
 
You will come back again,
No matter how many years will pass, you will come back again
And you will ask compassion regretful
You will come with broken heart
You will come back again,
It can't be, you will come back again one day
When you find out you were fooled
You will come back ashamed one night
 
I don't care if you sell your hug
And if you give your kisses to anyone
The day that you will desire me will come
I'm telling you that, you should remember it
 
I don't care that anyone who wants can buy you
And if you forget the vows it's alright
The thing you strongly desire now
The day you will get bored of it will come
 
You will come back again,
No matter how many years will pass, you will come back again
And you will ask compassion regretful
You will come with broken heard
You will come back again,
It can't be, you will come back again one day
When you find out you were tricked
You will come back ashamed one night (x2)


I love the sentiments expressed. I have always felt that those who treaded upon me on their way to somewhere or other, will always come back 
So I close my eyes 
think of a few friends who went away and say:

You will come back again..

and here is the song:


lundi 1 janvier 2018

WELCOME TO 2018 CONTINUATION OF THE HAPPINESS OF 2017

Historically speaking, the New Year's Eve has not been kind to me. I can think of only the disasters that had happened on that day in various countries: Melbourne, Guyaquil, Miami, La Habana, I can go on and on.
I wanted it to be, as it was when I was a junior doctor, like any other day, one day passing on to the next, without the pressure that one had to be joyous and make decisions or resolutions. All seemed artificial. In Baracoa, we used to sit up all night by the Malecon singing and watching the sun come up before going home and those days were pleasant.
As usual cards and messages and videos, some of them not very nice, began arriving. I appreciated the fact that people are thinking of you, at least fleetingly, for that moment while they are dispatching these missives to the coterie of their friends!









But this year it was different and I enjoyed it very much.
First of all I had arrived in the USA feeling very content and happy after my trip to Asia and Qatar. I had the luxury of spending the last two days of the year in complete privacy and tranquility at the empty home of my sister. I was invited to dinner to my best friend's house and there were just six of us.
we had enough food and wine and champagne to drink but the centre of attraction was the depth of our friendship and how much we were concerned about each other and genuine expressions of affection. 
This was not a liminal moment but a moment well lived and I felt very good.
It is good to have FRIENDS..
We humans are capable of maintaining intimate relationships with 10-15 people at any one time, but up to 150 social relationships at a time. this number is referred to as Dunbar Number.
Since I have CUBA where friendships have a deeper meaning (a social context, solidarity in that context ) and have a roving geographical realm, the number is slightly higher for me, still intimate relationships are within the 10-15 range..
Last night included some of those from 10-15 intimate range.
From Wikipedia:
Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individualknows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.[3] By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships.[4] Dunbar explained it informally as "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar".[5]
Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150.[6][7] Dunbar's number states the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with, and it does not include the number of people known personally with a ceased social relationship, nor people just generally known with a lack of persistent social relationship, a number which might be much higher and likely depends on long-term memory size.
Dunbar theorized that "this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size [...] the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained". On the periphery, the number also includes past colleagues, such as high school friends, with whom a person would want to reacquaint himself or herself if they met again.[8]