Planning for this year’s trekk seemed pretty straightforward and easy to execute. Then COVID came marching into the equation. As in the past the trip was planned for immediately after Thanksgiving. That was abruptly canceled as my carrier COPA notified me that all flights to CUBA were canceled until further notice. I was then notified their first flight to CUBA would not be until December 17th. I said “book me!!!”
With Covid raging all across the world many thought I was crazy if not downright stupid for even thinking of going. What they didn’t understand is that a “trekker” fights through most odds and that is why their experiences are so memorable. Specifically this trip was crucial for several reasons. First, one of my primary contacts is up in age and I wanted to nab an interview before the end of the year. Also due to Covid and knowing adjustments were necessary to define this trekk as “successful” I had to narrow down some basic goals. One other important note is navigating my mandatory two day quarantine as that meant precious time which I had to forfeit. In 2013 I first heard of the ELAM program at the Latin American School of Medicine. I was finally able to make contact with some alumni who happened to be practicing in the Los Angeles area. I knew getting inside would be next to impossible but I settled on trying to get an exterior shot. The school is located near the southern coast of Havana. My other primary goal was locating the stadium where the Negro Leagues played before the Revolucion. The venue was the Pedro Marrero stadium. Luckily it is not far from the medical school. With goals in place and being familiar with the country my bottom line strategy was to land at Jose Marti international airport, get through customs, deal with quarantine and the rest is history.
Globetrekker: One who sees the world on foot traveling through all the countries on planet earth at one time or the other.
Going to CUBA and getting COVID testing and through immigration/customs