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dimanche 14 novembre 2010

La Habana, Cuba... Coincidences are not Casual

Casualidad es no tan Casual

It is just you are not intelligent enough to understand it, said my Meskwaki teacher..

We tend to believe that things happen in a random fashion and when it does happen, we exclaim

Oh My What a chance in a million! It is such a coincidence.

I don't believe in coincidences and these million to one things happens too often in my life to be a coincidence.

On my first morning of returning to Cuba, my colleague from the Department of Philosophy called me to say, she will be free after her classes at 10 30 am and we could have our reunion there in front of the faculty where trees offer a fine shade and a nice ambience of academia.

By the way, there is a student in my class who wish to meet you. When the course began I was explaining about Anthropology and Medicine, actually the course was one of Philosophy. After the class the student came over to say, Profesora, how did it happen, this knowledge about anthropological influences in Medicine in Cuba? The professor being a very good friend of mine, told her the story how she and I began the first ever course in Medical Anthropology more than ten years ago and has had various classes and students interested in the subject. In fact we can think of few of the alumni, doing anthropological work in Bolivia, Spain and Argentina.

After listening to her carefully, the student asked, is there a chance for me to meet this doctor anthropologist?

He would be here any day now, and I am sure he would love to talk to you.

Today was that day. Just as they were waiting, the student asked: Has this professor been to Cuba before. My friend let out a little laugh, Oh, he used to live in Baracoa for many years.

This surprised the student who gasped, My family is also from Baracoa.

So we already had a common ground when we met under the trees in front of the Museo Montane at the central part of University of Havana.

I said to her, tell me what is worrying you and how can we be of help. This after, giving a little bit of discussion on what I have learned more about the Symbolism of Healing with my professor friend.

I have a friend, who is very depressed with the thoughts of her illness. She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease less than two years ago. Now she feels that she is doomed and thinking about death.

A shiver ran through me.

What is the chance of a visiting Professor at the University in the Department of Philosophy, knowing some thing about the illness of a close friend of yours who lives in an altogether different province at the end of Cuba.

Is her name G? I asked her. Her father is W. I know them when the student now her eyes filled with tears nodded.

I thanked the Spirits for brining this young student on to my path. I would get to see my friend W and his daughter and once again offer counsel and help them not only from the point of view of medicine but more importantly to get the girl out of the dark thoughts she is having. I even thought I will bring my sister who has survived from three different cancers into the picture.

All the three of us sat there overcoming emotions, then I said, I no longer believe that this is a coincidence, but I do believe that I am in places I need to be in.

Reminded me of my Meskwaki teacher, she once said to me: Stop looking for friends, those who you need to meet would come along your way.

We may call this by whatever name, but I know that it is the harmony of ones living that brings the stars in alignment to such encounters which brighten up the lives. Try to live in harmony, the American Indians have told me, don't immerse yourself into work but work efficiently and be a contributing citizen, 25 % of your life and the other 75% of your time should be divided between, not in particular order but more or less in similar proportions: Family and the people you belong to; the Social Responsibility and Spiritual life.

This has nothing to do with religion but a harmony with nature. Social Responsibility which I learned as a concept from Native Indians, I have seen it in action only among themselves in their Reservations and with the Cubans who live in the island of Cuba.

I feel it is fulfillment of this social responsibility that brings encounters like this onto your way. Also Native Indians reminded me once, you are enjoying the fruits of the social consciouness of your father, who fought all his life for the betternment of the poor people.

As the poet Neruda had written

So much happens in the course of the day..