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dimanche 28 juin 2009

Nothing is predictable in La Habana

The last day in Havana. 26th June 2009

Where was I on 26th May? Where would I be on 26th July?

When you are in Havana, you are disconnected to the world a little bit, it is welcome for someone constantly bombarded with news items of all sorts to wade through. I have been here for five days, I am not sure what has happened in Iran where there were street demonstrations when I left, where is Obama’s health initiative headed for, let alone any news about Sarkozy or France. In the last few days, there was no mention of France in TV, newspaper or what passes for a newspaper, or in any form of discourse. Thus France has to remain in my heart alone.

Living this itinerant lifestyle, you have to miss out on some of the pleasures of a fixed life. Thus my good friends from Melbourne Australia came to Paris on 14th May and left on 26th conciding with my absence there. I arrived in Paris on 30th May from Houston. I left Paris again on 10th, since then I have been in Miami twice, passed through Nassau, visited the Omaha, Winnebago and Santee Reservations and also a good friend in Yankton, South Dakota. Now after a few days of resting my body and my mind, I am ready to go back to my life n France, in Paris, to be specific.

What lie ahead? I look forward to my three weeks in Paris, then it is New York for a weekend and the Pow Wow of the Winnebago Indians and lots of unexpected visitors,for whom a bottle of Dom Perignon is waiting; also to celebrate the birthday of MiHu..

But the immediate thoughts are on la Habana. I am so happy to have come. It has reinforced my love for this city and this country, have made some new friends. It feels like I came to Havana with a purpose and that had been accomplished, but please don’t ask me what that was.

It was good to see the people I came to see, it was nice to spend hours in discussion and learn new things. The most memorable line I will take with me, would be the one which a senior member of the Public Health Team told me: the shortest distance between two points or objectives in Cuba is not a straightline but a sinusoidal one..

1 pm Friday. May all my jewish friends be blessed with the peace of the coming Shabbat. Shalom.

As if the feast was not enough in these past four days, the last of the five women I had come to see appeared with her friend and colleague B. B’s daughter would be celebrating her Quinze which brought back multiple memories of my years in Cuba when I was the official photographer for so many Qunize! Ah Well..

LL whose friend OL I had encountered at the Cuban Embassy in Malaysia, is an intelligent psychologist with whom I share many interests, the least of which is our love for Anthropology.

So once again, Cuba has given me what I need without any strings: abundant affections, genuine friendships, a mother with few words but that which are wise, and caring at level which most of us have forgotten in our hurry to become rich and progressive.

In a few hours I will leave for the airport but before, as a precaution let me call Air France in La Habana, whose telephone number for those in need is 8332642..