About Us

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

March 27, 2012

I thought we were done….

(Sorry no pictures until we leave Cuba)

More delays, we are now here longer, again. It can be a soul crushing experience when you get the news that there are more delays in the departure date. I will not go into the reasons, suffice to say that we really understand the reality of living in Cuba more and more. Not being able to leave the island is tough and while I hadn’t planned on writing anything more about Cuba I have now discovered, if I ever want to leave, I must.

The benefit of the delays is that we have had more time to visit with some of the fantastic people we have met here. It’s this camaraderie that gives us hope, insight and the change in perception that we need. For that I want to quickly thank some people for their help and companionship, it’s more important than they will ever need to know; Kevin and Mel, Christopher, Julio, Patrick and Alejandra, Horst and Osly, and the two Engineers Roberto. There is a debt of gratitude here, please accept it.

An Einstein quote I think about often and have mentioned before is the one about insanity being the repetition of the same actions with the expectation of different results. After a low point regarding the news of more delays, and then a fine evening of food then drinks with friends, Deya and I pondered the insanity of being stuck here on this island. We thought hard about what repetitiveness has manifested itself in all this and we concluded that it was the delays themselves. It sounds nuts, and maybe that’s a side effect of this whole process, but clearly we can’t leave until we have changed the thing that is causing the delays. Our conclusion was the poor experience we have been ‘perceiving’ in Cuba. Change this perception and these things will improve and we’ll actually get out of here.

We set about to make an exploratory list of the good and the bad of Cuba and then a list of personal accomplishments that we’ve experienced here. While the bad out weighted the good 33:12 there was no doubt that good things abound here and a different set of circumstances could make this place really nice for us or others. The influence of the people we spent time with here helps us in this and adds to our cumulative knowledge and concepts. All this means that before we could leave I had to write another little bit of this dramatic mental roller coaster in the hopes of resolving the abstruse issue of leaving Cuba.

We realized that though it’s only been about four months, we have effectively been ‘living’ in Cuba, experiencing and sharing in its difficulties, learning about the culture and language and learning really why it’s not easy. I must note that while it’s not easy it also isn’t so hard. This is the dichotomy of Cuba to which people come and go, flee only to return or be bitterly opposed to not being able to return; some kind of vast social experiment. While it is always easy to pick the bad things of a place I must admit that it’s very harmless here and like any place, it’s up to the people to make it what they will and for over 50 years they have. I’ll finish with our list of the 12 good things we came up with and some highlights of the personal accomplishments we gained during our stint here, it certainly wasn’t a waste of time.

The good list:
1) Cubans are not an aggressive people
2) Cuba is a safe place
3) Basic foods are pretty cheap
4) The weather is very nice
5) People have a lot of ingenuity
6) Cuba is by no means a failed country
7) Religion and State are well separated
8) There is a kind of solidarity among Cubans
9) Traffic is not bad at all
10) Good music, good dancing, good rum
11) Great furniture and buildings
12) Theatre and the Arts

Personal things we accomplished (Brian & Deya):
1) Studied financial management for three months
2) Studied project management for three months
3) Learned to make banana bread, corn bread and killer baguettes
4) Studied lean tools and lean for hospitals
5) Made keen observations of productivity levels and challenges in Cuba
6) Learned about living in a socialist country
7) Concluded our final route to Canada and annual plan
8) Learned to cook Cuban food
9) Made good friends and contacts
10) Concluded our concept for the Yucatan Project
11) Reorganized our Finances
12) Emphasized the need for our next journey
13) Concluded the direction of further education
14) Understood the importance of attitude and living in a bubble
15) Had time to reflect on our entire journey
16) Further developed some ideas
17) Had many planning sessions and think tank time
18) Learned more about people and character