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 Places:  Cuba Panama

How many times have we said to each other: if only we’d known we wouldn’t return to a certain place we would have taken pictures of everything. Having gone back to Cuba, I’m surprised to see how few photos I took of the places that had been important to me.
Havana Cathedral

Havana Cathedral


“Our high-school field trips to the Old City, La Habana Vieja, were wasted on young girls who complained about the heat, about having to get off the bus and go into some boring old building.”

“Home is wasted on those who think it’s theirs forever.”

Scatter My Ashes over Havana


“…just ahead on Línea is Tía María’s white house; to the right and left are the grandes dames, El Vedado’s old mansions. But what’s happened to them? They are disfigured, pockmarked. Porches are propped up with wood planks; mounds of rubble rise beneath cracked balustrades.”

Scatter My Ashes over Havana

“Here she is. Mi casa. Mi amiga. They’ve painted you cornflower blue, just like Onésima’s bluing cubes. How pretty you look in blue.”

Eduardito and Fé

“I spot him, Eduardito, waving something from the third-floor balcony and pointing at a space for us to park even though there are no other cars at the curb. He comes into focus: gaunt, wearing a torn black jacket despite the oppressive heat, with a wool scarf wrapped around his neck.”

Scatter My Ashes over Havana

Havana University

La Fuerza Castle

The Capitol

Vintage Car


Moorish Influence

Statue of Columbus


Garden Gate


Street Book Vendor

Old Street in Havana


My D’Youville College students and I traveled to Panamá as part of a course they took with me at the college. They fund-raised for rural schools, bought supplies—including a stove, a VCR, a sewing machine—and did volunteer work for a few days both at schools and at a rural clinic. Eleven years, eleven trips, and over 100 students.  Here we are:


In the jungle

In a dugout canoe heading up the Chagres River. I’m the one in the orange vest…

Embera dancing at one of the their settlements above the banks of the Chagres River.

They fried fish and plantains for us and served them on a banana leaf.

On the bus (la chiva) ready to climb up the mountain to Churuquita Chiquita.

Unloading the stove D’Youville College students purchased for the school in the mountains.

One of our projects:
designing and painting a mural at another local school in the mountains of Penonomé (Instituto Carmen Conte Lombardo).

These are students at the Churuquita Chiquita school up in the mountains of Penonomé Province, where my college students did volunteer work.

After a hike


Every now and then the professor needs a rest/un descanso. This waterfall / salto de agua is also in Churuquita Chiquita.

Also in Panama - Bobby, Olga's Twin:
Man carried to be fried

Bobby, Olga's twin, somewhere along the Chagres River.

His Cuban childhood friend Frank was visiting Panama, and Bob wanted to meet the Embera Indians.

Problem: Bob had a pinched nerve. Could not make it up the hill. Solution: Put him in a fishnet!!! See his sneaker?