Legal travel to Cuba with Study abroad “What I love about Cuba”
I just returned from Havana. It has been 8 months since my last trip to Cuba. I realize that is too much
time in any one place for me to be without traveling. Some people are just wired to travel and move
that is me. I am not happy or in my element unless I am dancing in the world and meeting people with
their different interpretations of life, I am never too far from a pool or the ocean to take a swim that
liberates by mind and body. I am also learning to sneak in a yoga class or two.
On this trip I was leading a group of 6 college presidents from the State of Illinois and the state director
of all the community colleges of the state of Illinois. The last 8 months have included an emotionally
draining custody battle for my lovely daughter and a recent stint at Dignity Health as an efficiency
consultant. Both seemed to suck the very life from my dancing soul.
This last trip to Cuba gave me a little more insight to me. At age 53 my place in the corporate world is
behind the desk of my home office. I just don’t get the games that corporate America creates nor am I
willing to play them anymore. It is so nice to be living from my creation, that I created and that for the
most part I run. If I don’t like it I don’t do it. I don’t have to. I am sorry if you are in a position where you
have to. For now I realize that I just don’t fit in anywhere and that is finally okay, I can just be me in my
world comfortably that allows others to come in and out in sharing business ventures and journeys.
The trip I just returned from Havana left me with strong impressions. There is poverty everywhere
but someone the Cubans do “poor” better than the rest of the world. With little food or resources
the Cubans share and somehow dance through life in a world of double meanings and hidden
synchronicities that somehow define their concealed but gentle defiance.
There is sexiness in the men and woman. The sparkle in the eye, a little bit of I dare you to, because I
have no limits. The streets are lined with decaying buildings and ancient American cars, but somehow
the Cubans make the cars run, with Russian diesel engines to Mazda brake pads, and the buildings
seem to held together with papier-mâché and Elmer’s glue. Somehow it all works, and probably has not
changed much since the days of Earnest Hemmingway.
I love the feel of the people, they are not chained to a desk or to a false concept of materialism, though
there is a shift as the government can no longer afford to support its people; slowly they will meld
into an entrepreneurial poor version of the rich socialist countries of Europe with free medical and
educational systems. There will be a little salsa in the Cuban version however and the innovativeness of
Cubans will continue to mark their strange and beautiful way of surviving just 90 miles south of Miami….
I feel blessed to have been with a group of such highly educated powerful yet compassionate people.
Thank you Karen for introducing me to your world of Illinois presidents, I find the sky is the limit in our
partnership and I look forward to our newfound adventures.