samedi 1 avril 2017

THE MOVEABLE FEAST OF LA HABANA COMES TO MIAMI

Miami has always been a soothing balm to my soul, it was a love at first sight when I arrived in USA to do my post graduate studies. Friends have come and gone but some have stayed and it is their presence that makes this balm even soother. Dr M and his wife GW were in La Habana with me three weeks ago and it is to the memory of our wonderful time there that we had gathered to celebrate, to give thanks to La Habana, Cuba and its special people.
La Habana which is a moveable feast was made even more festive by the presence of my good friends from Miami and also two Omaha Indian friends.
One of the delights of this visit was our dailly ritual at CubaPasion, a sophisticated bar/restaurante run by a Belgian/Cuban couple, he is a journalist and writer and she is a professor of history. It was good to get to know the individuals working there and listen to their stories.
on a tender morning, I left the moveable feast of Havana and made my way to the country of the Omaha Indians. When I arrived there, there was snow on the ground and snow flakes greeted my arrival at the Blue House

The next few days were spent with the Omaha, enjoying their friendship and also participating in a ceremony which brought immense satisfaction and contenment to me.

Having time on your hands, as the village is just that a village where Indians live, ther are no cafe or restaurante or diversion spots, and Indians are usually busy with their private lives 
as a TED MED research scholar I had to devote an entire day to reviews and I was happy to learn about Attribution Theory and its errors. and also read a little bit of the  book, recommended by the sage of sioux city, Steve Avery. While researching for the TED MED, was able to watch very many videos and one of the themes I watched was on Meditation and was able to practise it on myself which brought me an immense inner calm. Meditation for inner self, attribution theory and errors to accept the  others, a lovely combination that brought an inner peace which has lasted to this day.
There had been a funeral in the village, and I participated in the four day long ceremony and had a good understanding of how the Indians dealt with grief and how psychologically sound their approach was. While the body remained in the house, in its casket, relatives gathered together and there would be laughter , sadness, cries and sighs and there would be prayers and singing as well as sharing of the food. Every body pitched in to help, each trying to do their best. On the fourth day the body was taken to the cemetery to be buried and a young child was guided to walk over the fresh earth.

it is said that apart from being a witness to what is happening, Indians learn by observing others, the young child overcomes fears and it is said that he or she would sleep without bad dreams, after this ritual.
The next few days were spent counselling those who came to our Specialty Clinic where we spent hours with people who needed comfort and counsel regarding their illness and its re incorporation into the society they live. It is indeed very satisfactory for a doctor to be part and parcel of a social change as it is unfolding.
Indians have a concept of GIVE AWAY in which people who participate in their ceremonies are given gifts to take home: during this ceremony, the gifts were practical items for the house and also gift baskets of food and personal items.

On my last night at the Blue House, good Indian friends, who had visited me in Habana brought over home cooked meals, this time an atypical meal of MOULES mussels, steamed in butter as well as asparagus which I love, along with rice with eggs as well as Tuna steak. There was also some wine available which complimented the night which ended up in us smoking a Cohiba Robusto.
It felt like family, Omaha indians take relationships seriously and when they bring you into their family, it is with respect and love and there are responsibilities on parts of both of us.
When you spend time with American Indians, you really do not feel that you are in America and the current turmoil in US politics felt as if it was happening in another country. They are OMAHA first and then every thing else, and they follow their ways as best as they can.
For those who has never eaten at a feast of the Indians, here is a sample of the hybrid food that is now seen in the Indian reservations.
Even though I knew that I would be back in the Blue House and with the Omaha within three weeks, I felt the sadness of departure from my Omaha friends.
American Airlines with their food reminded me that I am back in USA and I was happy to reach Miami.



 A warm welcome awaits me at the home of my sister and she makes sure that my genetic cravings for food (I love middle eastern food, as I am descended from them historically)

Cuba is always with me, Cuba goes with me wherever I go, as my friend the Little Poet of Baracoa would say: No need to say good bye, I take you with me in my heart.
A short rest in Miami, to bring into balance, the past and the future travels while enjoying the present fully, but it wouldnt be complete without a reunion with my good friends Dr M and GW..
Lisboa restaurant in Miami
Uber at 7 10 pm to the restaurant and we left the restaurant and 11 pm.. a lovely get together of over 3 1/2 hours, with a genuine comfortable feeling of mutual respect and love. My love for them, is beyond any doubt and I am always grateful for their invitation