This has definitely been one of the most challenging blog sections I have written.
I had to keep the blog manually while I was in Cuba, and even transcribing it to electronic form, I couldn’t help but apply what I had learned later to correct/modify earlier assumptions! So I will be actively interfering with initial impressions to give you a point of view that will continue to evolve, I am sure, even after I have finished posting.
One thing that concerns me: I am trying to tread a middle line between what I heard from new Cuban friends, notably Zoe Gomez (our guide) with old Cuban friends – my wonderful friends here in Puerto Rico. They represent two opposing points of view and at every turn I risk offending one or the other. My intention is to offend neither. I will try to present what I saw, heard and felt in the most considerate way – hoping to show one and all that we have as much room for agreement as we have for differences of opinion. Many times semantics will be the problem – so I will try to explain what the words and expressions mean to those who use them, as well as to those who hear them.
Rarely does a person have this opportunity to stretch mentally – to understand another point of view so foreign from what we have long held to be the truth. It is a wonderful opportunity to examine the world and our beliefs and grow in the process. And I am not speaking just of us, the Americans, but also of the Cubans, and of Zoe who will be the representative for all of her people.
Enjoy! And comment! You don’t have to agree with me, but you do have to share what you think (and not go away fuming!)