Cuba blogging

I am not sure who reads my blog.  I never check the statistics, not even sure if I know how.  I don’t do all the right things to promote it to the blogging community.  I don’t read many other blogs and put my address, even less so now I am in Cuba.  In fact I am always quite amazed when I meet someone who reads my blog who I don’t know, especially if they tell me that they enjoy it!

I am also quite surprised about some friends and family who are quite evidently not interested enough to read my news either. Busy lives soaked with too much information maybe ……… But I know that most people in the rest of the world can access their emails and read them on the move …… at the bus stop or in bed or waiting in a queue.  I however have to be sitting at my desk when the children are at school, slowly dialing up for a connection that sometimes does not come!  Most of you can’t remember what that is like, so you have to at least admire my tenacity to persevere and get this blog written, when sometimes I get bounced out and lose everything and have to start all over again.

I know I do have some faithful readers since the beginning, like Selena and Bass who often make interesting comments.  I know people read me in Ghana, Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, Scotland, Spain, Hong Kong and a few other places.  A Guatemalan living in the US translated one of my posts, the great US journalist Robert Parry published one.  So the quality of my readership not the quantity is my mission.  I want people to discover me through serendipity and an invisible network of good people.

So all you blog friends out there old and new, please tell the good people about my blog. People who are interested in someone with a different life and perspective who tries to blog with a positive tone and not just moaning and griping like many ex pat bloggers living abroad.

Somebody asked me the other day why I bother to write a blog.  It is not because I arrogantly think I am a great writer, it was others who encouraged me in this.  From my uncle Al who always admired my postcard writing, to Marina who pushed me into it and got me sorted with a man in India to do my website.  Also, it disciplines me to sit down and record my thoughts and experiences.  I realise that my life for the average girl from Co Durham in the north of England is not typical.  I want my children to have a record to read, to go along with all the photos to explain who they are and how they got there.  Not many British Guatemalan families living in Cuba …. or haven’t met any so far!

With a lack of Internet time and capacity, I want to keep in touch with friends and family and maybe just a little bit of the rest of the world.  Also, I admit I do want to educate people in the first world to step outside their own smug security and realise that there are other worlds out there and not everything in your life should be parochial.  We are all humans, whether we are in Africa, China, Lyon or Milton Keynes.  Some of us are rich and some of us are poor, some of us don’t realise we are rich and just want more.  Also I do want to bust a few myths about the countries where I live.   And although, where I sit in all this madness with my family and Rafa, his job and his history, it means that I have to show a modicum of diplomacy.  But I always try to be as honest as I can.

I had lunch with a wise and energetic British film teacher and his wife visiting the film school this week.  His wife is from Yorkshire (a county in Northern England).  He said to my husband, these northern women don’t mince their words.  They shoot from the hip!  Well maybe we do, but at least you know exactly where you are with us.

Anyway I cannot write about what is really on my mind in these last few days or the next few days for political reasons with a small p and a capital P so I have decided to take you through my unreal world of entertainment since I have arrived here in Cuba.  When I can, I will fill in the gaps of my real world …

My next 3 posts will be about Cuban TV and entertainment, Cuban films and independent films from other parts of the world available to me through the wonderful library at the film school.

 

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7 Responses to Cuba blogging

  1. Ann says:

    I do read your posts. It builds pictures in my mind of how you all are in Cuba… and i miss your company… Cant wait to see you and your brood, my boys are excited already.

  2. Josephine says:

    well sign up honey at the subscription bit then I won’t have to send them to you. Looking forward to a glass of wine and a chat!

  3. Paola says:

    Jo, you are an inspiration for me, brave and strong , living in hard territories and but with mazing lives and eperiences… always got fingers crossed for you. Take care and.. keep on writing, I love reading it!!

  4. marvin says:

    Excellent post, I don’t miss any and yes you’re a great writer, I love your prose. I’ve got a link to your blog and do believe people from around the world are reading it too. Thanks for acknowledging my little contribution.

    • Jo says:

      thanks Marvin! and I love the fact that you translated my post as a lot of the people in my life are spanish speakers. I have been amazed to find out that some people who I did not even realise spoke English read my blog. They say that they can understand my English because of my direct style. Anyway keep spreading the word!

  5. Serena says:

    I do enjoy reading your blog, though I find myself forgetting to check in from time to time. You like to be controversial, which is always interesting. Personally, though, I’ve found most expat blogs to be quite pleasant, with the exception being those who were moved by military or such, where they were not permitted to make the decision as to where they were going. Otherwise, like anyone, they have a few complaints, which I’ve seen here, as well, so I think that’s quite normal, whether you live in your home country or not. The biggest issue I see is when expats continually try to compare their new country with their homeland instead of trying to truly experience life in the new place. Every country has so much to offer (and downsides of course!) that it’s a shame when someone doesn’t really get into the culture and instead isolates themselves with everything money can buy, living high on the hog when everyone else is poor, for example. Not that you have to live in a mud hut or anything, but living basically, without several household staff and three cars, is the real way to experience a culture.
    Sorry, that was nearly a blog post in itself! Perhaps I should start my own . . .

  6. Josephine says:

    you must have been lucky and found the positive blogs because when I first started blogging I decided I needed to read some other blogs first. THe ex pat Guatemalan ones were very critical and here in Cuba it is easy sport to moan and whinge as Cuba is so idiosyncratic and hard to understand. I read 3 blogs, 2 that are always positive and funny in Bali and London and the third is in Cuba and she has been here so long that I think she has forgotten that she is not Cuban so I often find her a bit offensive and arrogant but her website is set up so it seems impossible to unsubscribe!! I can usually tell from the title if it is a moan or something worth reading ….

    after 9 years out of my country I feel as though i have crossed a line and although I miss my country I have found other things outside of it that I can appreciate too. THe good thing about Cuba is that it is safe and the people are so friendly, especially if you speak SPanish and have children. We always make friends wherever we go!

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