Monday, December 5, 2011


My good Sister and friend Judy Castro and little daughter Artemisa are traveling to Havana today! I am so excited for her. She will be visiting her family in Havana. I love Judy. She let me know so that I can send something. We are a little community of people -- we who travel to Cuba -- separated by the blockade, homesick for our friends and family which one makes so easily there, and so no one travels to Cuba without gifts. And in taking the gifts, they connect with others and meet others they would not have met, were they not carrying the love of another to Cuba. So this time, Judy will meet Sr. Miyasaka, of course, our Nikkei bridge to Cuba, and to two special people in La Isla, the intrepid third generation Nikkei woman who grows organic vegetables in Havana. Judy will meet beautiful Muraleando, a neighborhood brightened by art from around the world, pilgrims who come to be part of a vision brought to life by school children of the neighborhood and artists, poets and hip hop performers. When there last we also met the elder who cleans every day the art and art installations which transforms every corner of the neighborhood. So my heart is full of Nikkei Cubans and the artists of Muraleando and Judy and Artemisa who has one boot which is easy to put on, and one boot which is hard to take off, something that she shared with me this morning, her eyes full of laughter and voice full of the silly wonder of it all -- just when she needs to go to Cuba!! She also whispered conspiratorially about her other grandparents. When we went to Italy . .. do you know what. . . . they eat ice-cream EVERY DAY!!! In Cuba, she will also find some wonderful treat every day. She will also meet many Italians! C'mon, USA. Bring down the blockade. The time has past for this grey thinking. We yearn for the bright colors of a Cuban Day!!

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.