You stroked my hair with your warm tropical breeze and filled my lungs with peaceful bird songs from the trees dripping in mangoes. Your voice was strong but gentle, telling me everyday that "I am enough." I always felt safe and secure in your arms.
Your people smiled wide with twinkling eyes and embraced me hard without any prejudice, discrimination, or asking for anything in return other than my love and solidarity... you gave me a new family instantly and for eternity.
Your streets were clean and full of beautiful people, living equally and vibrantly, working with each other to create a better world. Your houses were tidy, colourful, and full of thriving families that were being looked after well by their community doctors and nurses - because healthcare is free. Your schools were bursting with smiling students, eager to learn and accomplish great things in the world, like so many Cubans have done before them - because education is free. Your food was simple but delicious, fresh, nutritious, and able to fully nourish my body everyday - because organic farming is widely practiced and agriculture is highly prioritised.
You gave me answers to my deep rooted questions which have caused turmoil in my heart for as long as I can remember. I now understand the meaning of life purely through your example of how to live humbly and with love, acceptance, grace, peace, and respect towards our neighbours and this magnificent Mother Earth.
Cuba, like all relationships, ours is not perfect either. There are some things I want to improve and am willing to work damn hard to make it better. I want to see people more easily able to connect with each other and the outside world through technology. I want to end the U.S. blockade against you so you can economically thrive and improve infrastructure, increase wages and the standard of living, bring in more medications/medical equipment, and have some sustainable luxuries that the rest of the world have easy access to. I want to end the stigma and propaganda against you. I want to dissolve the vicious lies and rumours about you that I also once believed. I want to clear the misjudgment of you, so that more people can open their hearts to meet you too, and understand your pensive mind and genuine soul like I have had the privilege to do.
This was not an affair. You have my heart for as long as I will live. I will always remember your patience, optimism, strength, and determination to spread your love and philosophy around the rest of the world. I will exemplify these qualities you have imparted on me like a tattoo on my consciousness to the very best of my abilities. May this be only the start of our flourishing relationship for eternity, and may the love for you that is now overflowing my heart spill onto everyone I encounter for the rest of my life.
¡ Viva Cuba !
[I participated in the XII International May Day Brigade, from April 24 to May 8, 2017. The experience included walking in the May 1st march in Havana, Cuba amongst 750,000 other workers in support of the revolution and socialism.
To join a Cuban Brigade like I did, type in google: 'Join a Cuban Brigade' with the name of your country. I signed up with the Australian Cuban Friendship Society from my hometown of Perth, Australia. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org]