mardi 25 juin 2019


WHO can begin the day without a cup of cuban coffee?

 Lunch prepared by colleagues: Organic Chicken, Organic Potato
In contrast the dinner was Lamb, Brussels sprouts, Beans, asparagus

It was a delightful day..

lundi 24 juin 2019


When a statesman of the calibre of Mr Seaga passes away, each of the thousands of people who had come in contact with him throughout his illustrious, long political career, would have their own story to tell.
When called to serve the country, which he did so well during a career lasting 43 years in the Parliament, he dedicated himself to his people, to uplift the lives of the people who elected him to represent them, from a poor, marginalized part of Kingston.
I have had a tenuous relationship with Jamaica. I was fascinated with the island, when I first heard Rex Nettleford of the Jamaica National Ballet speak in Melbourne, Australia. Then it became a fascination with British West Indies as a whole: Trinidad, Barbados and the visiting cricket teams from West Indies to Australia.
I was involved in a novel experiment in rural health care providing free medical care to the poor in Jamaica, using a theory of International transfer that I learned in a class on International Relations. Luidas Vale, Bog Walk, Gordon Town, Mandeville, Montego Bay all entered my vocabulary and the constant visits to Jamaica added a tilt to my accent.
My medical knowledge was sought after and I found myself in the living rooms of some prominent families as well as my clinics for the poor. 
One of my friends had organized a lift for me on the helicopter going to Ocho Rios. She dropped me off at the Prime Minister's office and soon I found myself sitting face to face with Mr Seaga.
He didnt waste much time chit chatting and said : I have heard that you are doing clinics in Jamaica to help the poor people, you have no connections with Jamaica, I appreciate it. Then he said: my sisters said, you help them with their medical problems, why don't you help with mine, with a slight smile.
I said, Mr Seaga, you are the Prime Minister of this country, and if the medical fraternity knew that a foreign doctor was counselling you, they would be livid with envy and protocol. But I promise you, when you are no longer the PM, I would be happy to be your doctor.
We flew in the helicopter to Ocho Rios.
Bustamante, Manley, Sangster, Shearer, then Mr. Seaga the fifth PM of Independent Jamaica, a world class statesman, educated at Harvard, humble, incorruptible and unselfish and lover of his people in the little island of his.
He died recently having come to Miami to obtain treatment for an advanced case of illness. During three weeks, I was able to visit him twice at the home he was staying and spend a long time talking about various things, he had many stories to tell. I felt very humbled in his presence. 

He was buried on 23rd June 2019 at Heroes Cemetery after a wonderful ceremony at the Cathedral attended by Jamaicans of all walks and all the religious minorities were represented including the long resident Jews of the island.
For a short period, Jamaica had played a very important part in my life and it was nice to be reminded of the good aspects of life there and also remind myself of the myriad of good people I had met there.

I watched the funeral ceremony which was later published in youtube, beautifully photographed and felt very grateful to have known this great man.

The youtube video is 5 hours long and those of you interested in watching the video it is here 

dimanche 23 juin 2019


Many of the indigenous peoples around the world had lived their lives in relative comfort and conditions when OUTSIDERS began to arrive.. it does not matter that it happened 4000-2500 years ago as in INDIA or 500 years ago to the American Continent.
All countries in the Asian region had indigenous people before those who call NATIVE now arrived from somewhere else.
Vietnam had indigenous people before the Vietnamese arrived
Southern China   the long march continues
Myanmar  the indigenous people have been in armed conflict with the majority population for decades if not centuries
Malaysia    all have NEGRITO populations who were there long before those who call themselves Sons of the Lands.

Sea Gypsies are a group which is resisting integration and forced conversions by the latecomers to these islands.

A news item today caught my attention. 15 indigenous people in Malaysia had died of MEASLES and were given a Muslim burial ?

When I visited an indigenous group in Selangor, Malaysia the people I talked to said that they were forced to adopt Islam but they still maintained their tribal identities and customs. 
Here it was not different since the bodies had to be exhumed after the tribe had buried them according to their tradition.
15 indigenous people are dead and over 100 infected with Measles..

the FATAL CONTACT continues..

First it was biological warfare 
and now it is 
Industrial food warfare.. against the Natives..

I am reminded of a good indigenous lesson I learned in Baracoa, Cuba
the Taino rebel chief Hatuey was caught by the Spanish and was about to be quartered, when a priest appeared and wanted to baptize him. and even gave him a christian name.
Hatuey defiantly asked 
Where do you people go when you die ?
The priest said: If you are a christian , you will get to go to heaven 
Hatuey pronounced:
If Heaven is where you people go,I rather go to HELL..

this bust of Hatuey can be seen in the public square in front of the church in Baracoa, Cuba..

mercredi 19 juin 2019


When my good friend Dr Jim Kerr from South Dakota came to visit me in Miami, he quipped: You are homeless but certainly Upper Class.. he was not thinking of my socioeconomic status or social class but the fact that I manage to get the best of my travelling life..
Marriott Marquis Hotel is one such example.
I have stayed at various hotels in Doha: Oryx, Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Movenpick, Shangri-La but it is to Marriott Marquis that I am drawn to.
If home is where your heart is, my home in Doha is certainly Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Occasionally I make purposeful stops, like the last two visits, so that I can enjoy Marriott Marquis, knowing fully well that Marcel the Front Desk Manager will make sure that I am allotted a good room and that Harlene Tiu from Guest Relations will be an addition to the good services and food provided at the Executive Lounge. 
I feel sad when I hear that some staff had left (Angel from PH on arrival)  or transferred but I am grateful to their attention. I have to make special mention of Shiela at the Front Desk with such genuine warmth, Mamim the petite Nepali who used to be visible and now hidden in the Finance Department and Manisha at the Lounge.
Since January 2019, I have been to SE Asia three times (mainly Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia) and twice down to South America (Buenos Aires and Easter Island) and twice to Colombia (my project in the Amazon).
So you can imagine the anticipation I have when my journey from Kuala Lumpur to Barcelona gave me an opportunity to stop at Doha and as George Clooney says of Nespresso..
Marriott Marquis, what else?
I arrived close to midnight and was surprised to see a fresh face, Alain from Rwanda, and efficiently he assigned me to 4201 the view from which was incredible with luxurious accoutrements to delight anyone. Mohammed from Morocco at the Front Desk was an old friend, so was Christian at the Lounge at 42nd Floor. 

The room was sheer luxury and I enjoyed every minute of it, including taking a prolonged bath. 
I like to greet Marcel on my visits and over the years we have built up a pleasant relationship.
A traveller looks forward to the next stop and each place becomes associated with people he meets there. I made some new friends: Plum from the North part of Vietnam, Farida from Baku, Azerbaijan along with her two new friends, from Durban and Cape Province in RSA.
 Views from the Executive Lounge 42nd Floor.

 I was excited to see Shakshouka on the offer since it is the national breakfast dish of Israel. I realized that this is the original version (Moroccan or Tunisian with just eggs) but in Israel the shakshouka is embellished with many other ingredients. I know a good place to have Shakshouka in Israel: at the home of my younger brother Shimon in Haifa!

I am of Jewish middle eastern origin and nothing pleases my stomach like the foods from the region. My own research shows that we must be faithfully eating the food of our ancestors!

 At the Lounge, Christian greets me warmly and Aries made sure that I was not hungry, even though I knew that at Al Mourjan Lounge at Hamad International my friends would insist on their food offerings.
So why do I insist on staying at Marriott Marquis and feel that you should stay there too?
Doha is full of luxury hotels but at Marriott Marquis, the welcome feels genuine and the efforts of the staff seems authentic.

As if all these were not enough, to heap upon a homeless wandering doctor, I even got a nice note from Rhoda Macasil, Executive Secretary. 
Thank You, Marcel.



I look forward to my flights with Qatar Airways..
On this RTW trip in June 2019, I flew QR Qatar Airways from Kuala Lumpur KUL to Doha DOH and then DOH to Barcelona BCN
On each of the flights I make at least one friend, this time I made two friends on two flights 
Rayomond  a Parsee from the suburbs of Bombay India and Oana who is from a Romanian town near Moldova.
Thank you both for excellent service.

The night was falling as I made my way to the waiting aircraft and warmly welcomed aboard.
I like this soft touch of the relaxing yellow lamp enclosed in arabic motif container. I usually ask them to leave it on until the end of the flight. I find it soothing.

Because of the incredible misunderstanding leading to  mistreatment of the Qatar Government by their brother countries, UAE and KSA, the flight takes a little longer than normal. This gives me an opportunity to view the southern coastline of Iran, a country that has held fascination for me since childhood. I recognize the islands off shore. I think of the great chinese navigator Admiral Zheng He who stopped at the port city (then) of Hormuz more than five hundred years ago.
I try to break the journey for a day so that I can enjoy the warm hospitality of my friends at Marriott Marquis Hotel
The next afternoon it was back to the Hamad International Airport and the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge considered to be one of the best business class lounges in the world.

In keeping up with the QR tradition of excellence the service at Al Mourjan is superior and it is always good to greet some faces familiar from other trips.

Time to board the Airbus 350-900 with very private space at One Alpha!

It is always nice to follow the flight path, ifyou are geography buff
to arrive at the International Airport at Barcelona.

Thank you Qatar Airways and a nod of respect for its CEO, HE Al Bakr.