I recently had the rare and extraordinary privilege of traveling to Cuba on a medical mission trip organized by Jewish Family Services of New Orleans to bring medical supplies to synagogues, clinics and schools. Cuba has long held a high position on my “bucket list” of desired destinations, and I was overwhelmed with the spirit and culture of the people. We are all familiar with the overly represented vintage American cars on the streets of Cuba, but they came to symbolize for me the exuberance of the people themselves. Cubans seem to have this can-do attitude in the midst of trying circumstances, and much like those fifties-era muscle cars, they flaunt their colors. Where ever I looked, I saw art, music, creativity, industry, intelligence and simply a joie de vivre that was unequaled. I came to notice that the people fill their time with the pursuit of culture and mentally challenging competition. Cab drivers, while taking a break, set up chess games on the sidewalks. When was the last time you saw that in the States? Or, for that matter, when was the last time that you personally challenged yourself with a game of chess? I came to realize just how crippling the U.S. Embargo has been for this country, and it is especially manifest in the lack of opportunity for the people. I heard of medical doctors driving taxis to support their families, highly educated young people without the remote possibility of a job, The people are very family oriented and seem to be so proud of their children, who are allowed the freedom to run and play unhampered by the thought of predators, for they don’t seem to exist here. In every neighborhood, I felt welcomed, and came away with the feeling of having briefly sojourned in a tropical paradise. I invite you to visit my gallery to discover . . . CUBA, NOW!