Apples, Oceans & Cigars (October, 2011)
I’m not sure why, but the outpouring of grief and nostalgia surrounding the passing of Steve Jobs has moved me quite deeply. To the point where I visited the New York Times interactive site, and posted a picture taken during my first trip to Cuba (this past June). The photo — see if you can find it here (it was in the far left column last time I looked) — shows the lovely Cristina Benitez (a member of our small and wonderful group) showing her iPhone to a little girl somewhere near the town of Vinales. The caption reads as follows:
“On a recent trip to Cuba, a member of our delegation handed a local girl her iPhone. There was no mystification, no hesitation; the girl started playing with it as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Which it somehow, inexplicably, is. Thank you, Steve Jobs, for the wonderful tools — and the irresistible toys.”
Friends have lately been giving me flak for not letting them know when I’ve published new stories. So I’d also like to mention that, since February, I’ve been a doing a lot of writing for Smithsonian. This has turned into one of the more enjoyable relationships in my long freelance career. So far there are five features, with a sixth to appear around October 12th. You can see the list by clicking here. Note: The Beach Plastic tale is one of my favorites…
Let’s close up this tedious vanity post by mentioning another recent story for OnEarth, this one about ocean researcher and sea turtle advocate Wallace “J” Nichols. Nichols recently started the “Blue Mind” conferences at the California Academy of Science, where he poses the quasi-obvious but seldom-asked question: “Why (neuroscientifically speaking) do we love the ocean?” His thoughts are well-reasoned and – if I dare employ the word in the context of a blog that mentions Cuba — revolutionary.
Speaking of which, or where, I trust you all read my Ethical Traveler blogs from Cuba! What a place, and what a trip. Stay tuned for the next Ethical Journeys Cuba trip, being cobbled together right now by our wonderful travel coordinator.