Shout-outs to our Not Just Tourists Manitoba Chapter with wonderful reviews from a group trip that took 6 suitcases to Cuba!!!
A note from our NJT Manitoba Coordinator, Tim Blazanovic, “Please enjoy the pictures and information, none of this is possible without our volunteers, donations and travelers”
“Hello! Yes, we are home and had a great time! It was very rewarding to deliver the suitcase!! It was surprising how empty the clinics were, not of people, but of equipment! Yet, the medical system and schools were inspiring in living out their philosophy of putting people first. For example, every baby is screened by the local doctor and then any problems are noted early and moved up through the system. None of this waiting for 2 years or whatever, or never getting seen. Meanwhile the buildings were a bit run-down, but the priority was for the service and care to the people! Bravo to them!
Everyone we met was inspiring for their passionate enjoyment of life in spite of what seemed like limitations or poverty. Some of the people that stand out for me was our translators, one who had translated for Fidel Castro before, and my translator for a day at the Cuban National Ballet who also worked in a national museum in Havana that documented the history of dance in Cuba. Amazing people! We also had a meal at a doctor’s house eating the pork and chickens that they raised in the other half of their lot, and each of us took home an orchid from her garden of flowers!
We mentioned your organisation to many people, ie., on the airplane, and in Canada since, and hopefully others will take advantage of the opportunity to bring things to the people who so appreciate it! People very much like the idea! We were amazed at how stuffed the suitcases were! Thank you for your generosity in what you share with them and I hope that responses like this email bring you a lot of energy to continue in the great vision of your organisation! We have pictures and the forms etc, but will send those after the others also arrive home from the group who stayed longer than we did. We will continue to talk up ” Not just Tourists”!
Sorry that it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I finally have my photos and scans ready. My partner Loraine and I took 3 suitcases of medical supplies to Cuba. We dropped the first one off at a hospital in Candelaria. As with all of the drop offs that we made the receiving doctor and staff were very pleased and grateful to have the supplies. I am sending two photos (the second shows our Cuban contact explaining about the suitcase) as well as the completed form for the Candelaria drop off in this email. Our third drop off was at a rehab centre in Varadero. They had some interesting therapies there that we have not seen at home here, including the use of magnets. We misplaced our prepared form so had to hand make another based on the completed ones.”