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CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

vendredi 24 mars 2017

NEW FRIENDS IN LA HABANA, CUBA

If you cannot make friends in Havana, you better get yourself checked out, something is wrong! It is such a friendly country with such approachable people, such an educated country with people who are not as complicated as the ones who live in richer or other south american countries.












mardi 21 mars 2017

TOURISTS AND THEIR TOUR GUIDE IN HAVANA MARCH 2017

Tourists and The Tour Guide in HAVANA
For fifteen days in the month of March, I had friends visiting me, from three different cultural milieus in USA..A Native American couple from Nebraska, a leisure bound couple who lived by the bay in Miami and a Doctor from Little Rock, Arkansas, who maintained a second home in Puerto Vallarta.
Most tourists bring their eyes and their second eye the camera, but do not see. Some bring their sights and enjoy the people, the first becomes a memory, the second becomes an experience. Memories by nature can be forgotten, whereas experiences add to your character and the sense of having lived.
Also, if you bring your past experience of travel with you, on the outside, you would end up comparing one place to another thus degrading the presence of yourself in the new place. Each place is unique, not because it is better than another. The happiest people I have met in my life were not from richer countries or leading professional lives, but the humble people who are grateful for what they have in their meagre lives. 
Thus comes the philosophy, be humble, be grateful and whenever possible be of help to people. If you are interested more in buildings and the bay than in people, you will neither make a deep attempt to get to know people nor would their welfare be on your list. The young American indian couple, who had been out of the country only once, came laden with gifts for people they might meet, even though they did not know much about Cuba, and the gifts they bought were symbolic of their culture and received with gratitude by the Cuban friends of mine. Americans in general are very generous people, but mostly with material things and to be a traveler, one has to be generous with time
Because in a friendship, the greatest gift is the gift of time.
My short career as a Tour Guide ended on the 18th March 2017 as I wish to host no further tourists to my island.

lundi 20 mars 2017

A SUBDUED ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES FROM CUBA

Normally I am very happy when my flight lands in Miami, and I recollect incidents associated with various spots I can recognize from the air. The main purpose of my visits to the USA is to be with the American Indians and the tribes I visit live somewhat isolated and I want to cushion the change whether I am coming from Cuba or Asia or Europe.
Cuba is an excellent place for human interaction. The last couple of months I have been able to host some good friends. On this visit, two couples, one American Indian and the other from Miami, enlivened my experience in Miami and it was so good to discover new places to eat and drink, and more importantly make so many new friends together.
Here I am, at the Charlotte Airport, at the American Airlines Club and trying to realize that I am in the USA. I am afraid to read the newspaper because of the antics of their new president, who would have thought this august presidency would be comparable to North Korean High Command?
Then I think of the hundreds of Cubans lining up at the US embassy in Vedado, with a slight hope of emigrating to this country, with their dreams and hopes. It is unfair to them that I feel unhappy to leave their country and arrive at the country of their dreams. 
During the past stay in Havana, I realized how grateful people were.. especially my two couple friends and also some close cuban friends as well as some new friends I had made, young university graduates.
I am glad that as of tomorrow I will be sheltered by the kindness of American Indians and I look forward to a dinner with my close friends G/M in Miami before leaving these shores once again in 10 days.

dimanche 26 février 2017

ETERNAL LOVE FOR CHE GUEVARA

There is not a single child in Cuba who cannot recognize the face of Ernesto CHE Guevara de la Sarna Lynch, the only person, an Argentine, who had been granted the privilege of Cuban Citizen ship since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in January 1959.
I always wondered when did Che enter my life. I think the Latin America entered my life around the same time, Pablo Neruda of Chile, Che, Fidel, Salvador Allende at a later date. Ever since I can remember I remember CHE. so I consider it a great honour to be representing the country that gave him citizenship. 
When I was a Medical Doctor at the University of Miami, I always had a book on Che in my white coat, a bit incongruous in that the Cubans that I took care of were all so contra revolutionaries. 
I have stood at the very same class room at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School where he graduated from. Also the farm where he had spent some time in Missiones, in Argentina.
I am yet to visit Rosario where he was born.
I have been to the Peruvian Amazon near Iquitos where he swam across to see the miserable conditions under which the Lepers of San Pablo de Loreto lived, the lepers built him a raft in which he and Granados floated down to Leticia.
Many years later Leticia would become a favourite spot in my travels, Leticia  in Colombia, Tabatinga in Brasil and Santa Rosa de Lima in Peru share that corner of the Amazon River.
When my brother suggested in 2001 that we travel to Bolivia, i was excited. In the coughing jalopy of our friend Luis of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, we went up to the mountain, called the Tibet of South America to La Higuera and also Valle Grande where we spent the night.
The famous picture of Che with bare chested with a bullet wound was taken at Valle Grande and I found the spot where the photo was taken 
Che was an atheist and I am a non religious Jew so is my brother, we both are Mizrachi Jews, so we said the Jewish prayer for the dead, the Kaddish. I was overcome with such emotion. The closest I had come to the spirit of Che.
In Cuba there are many places associated with Che, starting with the chocolate factory in Baracoa and the house of my friend where Che had slept one night when he came to open the chocolate factory, Santa Clara where his remains rest.

Che was a great revolutionary, a true one, and many years after his death, he has become an icon and now he is saving Cuba from economic ruin because his visage has become a commodity.

He was like Sitting Bull, who fought against the intrusion of outsiders to his land, my Omaha Indian sister had remarked.

I am in the Blue House in the Omaha Indian Reservation and there are so many reminders of Che in this house, so far away from something which was/is  beloved to both of us: CUBA

THE BLUE HOUSE AMONG THE OMAHA INDIANS IN NORTH EASTERN NEBRASKA 

The spirit that guided CHE, the eternal forces that guide me, all omnipresent in CUBA, perhaps that is why I feel so good when I am there. 
For a Jewish boy who was destined to live out his life in South Caulfield, Che reminded me (or rescued me?) that superficial attachements would always stand in the way of the greater humanitarian needs and action
CHE LIVES.. in my heart


SADHGURU'S TEN TIPS FOR HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS

Like many other things, Philosophy also arrived by the back door in my life. Never took a course in Philosophy but sitting on the banks of the River Seine in 1995, while preparing to give a course in Medical Anthropology, I was handed tools of thinking philosophically. Before then it had been just feeling in the heart, but not an analysis. Gilles de Leuze and Michel Foucault and Jaques Derrida all entered my life. I had become involved with North American Indians and each day with them was a philosophical education. Yoga and Meditation did not arrive until 2008, when a Chinese Accountant and an Indian Odissi dancer introduced me to Yoga and Patanjali. Myanmar, Buddha and Pankaj Mishra's book, The end of suffering all had an impact and one thing became clear
whether looking at it anthropologically or spiritually, el mundo espiritual, the spiritual world is the same for every one, no one can claim superiority, but the particularization to suit ourselves depend upon our culture and our geography. Similarities between what Patanjali said 2500 years ago and what the American Indians believe are stunning.
The same chinese accountant from Malaysia who introduced me to Yoga also talked about Sadhguru and tonight, while the snow covers the landscape outside I was watching some of his talks and impressed how practical he makes the philosophy to be.
The following video I found to be extremely useful for everyday happiness for every one and I could think of so many people, so unhappy with their lives, mostly of their own creation, I wish they could see this video and benefit from it.
Yoga is not a religion in the same way, American Indian belief system is not a religion, but a template for good life on this earth.
I tried to upload the video but it is too large for this blog
Here is the link 
It is about 25 minutes and I urge you to watch it and note down the ten things he is talking about 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ASgYupz0XY



samedi 25 février 2017

HOW TO FIND HAPPINESS IN HAVANA

HOW TO FIND HAPPINESS IN HAVANA
AVOID FOREIGNERS AND TOURISTS
Unless you are a tourist or an expatriate, one does not ordinarily encounter them, if you are resident in Miami or Paris or London, You see them but they are not part of your life.
So why should they be in Havana?
In Cuba, there is not a large resident foreign population and all non-Cubans come under the one umbrella of foreigners and they are meted out the same treatment, it does not matter someone had lived here for a while.
With the influx of new tourists, mainly from non-Spanish speaking countries, various types of entrepreneurs have floated up to the top of this society, which puts to use, for personal gain, much of the fundamentally good aspects of the society Fidel Castro had imagined.
I had witnessed it in Baracoa, a lovely city on the other end of Cuba to Havana, where the local cultural representatives, and euphemism for milking the best of what is available, would alter history or events to suit the audience of tourists and visitors. Of course, Havana is the capital of Cuba in more than one sense, and this cultural prostitution has flourished here as well.
I encourage my family to visit me here in Cuba but I have no desire to play host to people I hardly know. First of all, they have slew of questions, often slanted against the Cuban system and I as a foreigner who has lived in USA Australia France UK and Belgium have little interest in the engaging qualities of life in their countries when compared to Cuba (such as for the same money we could get a better place in my country)
I enjoy being with Cubans, these Cubans have nothing to do with tourists on a daily basis and are not part of the mesh of milking the tourists in every way possible. As the writer of the Rough Guide to Cuba said to me once, at the end of the day we are but Dollar Signs in their eyes.
Many interesting visitors arrive here but be aware of the company they keep, if they are with people who exploit the innocence and ignorance of the visitors, give them a big berth and you carry on with your everyday endeavours.

It is a nice day here in Havana, I shall go for a walk along the Malecon, and it is good for the body and the Spirit.

vendredi 24 février 2017

WIND THE COLOUR OF THE FURY OF THE MOUNTAINS

I am in the hamlet of Walthill in North Eastern part of Nebraska, part of the UmonHon Indian reservation. Last night a snow storm passed through this region, dumped about 8 inches of snow. all roads were blocked and none of the cars could move and all offices and clinics were closed and every one was home bound.
I had the inspiration to write a poem, looking at a photograph
and here it is ..


AUTUMN IN THE MOUNTAINS
it was autumn
i was waiting for someone or other
suddenly a leaf
about to touch the earth
whispered
i bring you this look of nostalgia
i collected in my travels
to a far away land
of pining and silence
there a beautiful girl
eyes lost in the oblivion of her dreams
waits for your kisses
for the magic of opening her dreams
flowing like her silky auburn hair
there you will encounter
in the shadow of the mountain
a heart beating softly sweetly
to the wavy rhythms of her hair
enticing you to her bosom
i sit here for the wind that
touched her hair
the colour of the fury of the mountains
to bring me a tender message

23 february 2017
while the omaha indian reservation was gulped by the snow
dedicated to SN.
video