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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cuba Day 2

Day 2
I sleep in till almost 7a.m., dress in my running shorts and t-shirt, and head out to jog along the beach. I’m happy to see the tide is out and the sand closest to the water is hard packed making it easy to run. It is warm already, humid, but not unbearable.  I run the entire length of the beach – four times – which is not that far really but beautiful the entire way and with very little trash, I’m pleased to note.

As I move away from the hotel’s beach front, the garbage increases but nothing like I’ve seen in other countries. I pick up plastic cups that I’m sure come from the hotel, straws, and a few beer cans. A young adolescent boy says hello to me and then I think he asks me if he can be my companion. Internally shaking my head, I greet him warmly and run on. When I return, he is there with 3 younger girls who tell me they are 9, 10, and 11. I totally ignore him although he is trying to intrude in our conversation. I’m speaking Spanish! And being understood!

I retrace my route again to the other side of the beach & decide I’ve run for 25 minutes so I leave the beach and explore the stone path I see heading up the little cliff. It ends abruptly as it descends into a little inland of a dark bracken smelly body of salt water so I turn around and head back to the beach and back for breakfast.

Again the buffet is plentiful, simple and healthy – not at all what I expected from hotel food. I fill a plate with fruit and then another plate with scrambled eggs, egg plant and yams. The fruit is heavenly and the veggies and eggs are yummy.

I decide to ask to change my room to somewhere more quiet and less smoky. The womon at the desk nods knowingly and tells me to come back at 11. She moves me to the second floor and almost the farthest room from the bar. I like the mattresses better even though they are smaller (there’s 2 beds in this room also with matching bedspreads and curtains), the desk is solid wood but the dresser/closet is pressed wood and warped but holds my clothes easily.

I’m hoping to hop a bike – it’s included in this all-inclusive tourista package I got – and ride into the city of Holguin. The bike folks, who have their identical 1 speed dark blue bikes with wide tires lined up under a couple trees outside the hotel entrance, are horrified to think I would ride to Holguin. The Spanish they speak is way too fast for me to get but I understand peligrosa (dangerous) and imposible (impossible…) as their voices get higher pitched and loud. 

I see another biker head past, acknowledged with a nod and wave, and I chase after him to ask questions re:biking. He is from Montreal and speaks mostly French so we switch to English as my Spanish is not fluent, and neither is his, but his English is better.

He tells me Holguin truly is too far – 48 kilometers which is over 60 miles – and lots of hills. He tells me where he came from – to the east – but claims there are too many hills for the one speed bikes they have.
Somehow we begin talking politics (and religion….) – maybe he’s asked me who I will vote for – and he tells me he’s written an article about the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma. He is probably my age and speaks of playing soccer in Montreal in the 1970’s with a couple of Jewish fellows and guys from Morocco and North Africa. It is at this point in time that he becomes interested in what is happening there. 

I ask him if these Jewish players were children of survivors of the Holocaust. At first he declares no way, they were too young. I tell him I bet they were, as I am and we’re the same age. He is startled to realize this – of course the players themselves would not have said a peep, as I never said a peep. I tell him how growing up, I was told Israel was the only country where Jews could go and not face discrimination.
He attempted to claim that there was no discrimination against Jews outside of Germany and I had to laugh – and educate him. He told me that his city of Montreal agreed to take 1000 Jewish refugees during the war, as long as they were peaceful. Hmmmm 

I was to meet yet another ‘foreigner’ later this evening, a white strate communist and socialist couple from English, who told another story about refugees into England, also during the 70’s (or was it 60’s?) when England told Pinoche he cannot keep murdering revolutionaries. Pinoche responded by saying he would not allow those people to remain in his country and so England ended up taking 1000 Chilean communists. He said the socialist party took them in, found them homes, signed them up for the party and on their backbone, the party became truly revolutionary.

But my most precious story today is called Josefina!

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