31 Dec 2018

Some sunrise thoughts for 2019...

Because of the significance of this 2009 photo, it serves as my website logo image.

The sun will soon rise on a new year

The photo above may look like a sunset but it was really a sunrise, taken on the beach at Marea del Portillo, Cuba, back in 2009. I was up at about 4:30 a.m., after a minor earthquake punctuated my semi-sleepless night. It was such a mild "coffee stirrer" that most other resort guests didn't even wake up. For me, however, it was significant.

I'd been tossing and turning, thinking about ways I could work with people in the surrounding rural community to improve their lives. One of the things I came up with was leading tour groups there, since that could help to create more work opportunities in an area where the tourism industry is the biggest employer. Then – BOOM! – the earthquake seemed to say, "Yes, do it!" So I did.

Now, as we move into 2019, I'm still wishing I could do more to assist and empower the people in that region. I take groups there twice a year and, when I lead bus tours of the island, I make sure Marea del Portillo is one of our stops. I do have other projects in the works, of course, and I'll be sure to let you know when they come to fruition!

Meanwhile, for those who are thinking about joining my April 24 group, please remember that the deadline to sign up is Jan. 4. Also, if you're pondering one week or two, here's something to keep in mind: May 1st is International Workers' Day and, in Cuba, that's cause for a big celebration. I attended the parade in Pilón last year and used my photos to make a little video. Here's a link to it... May Day!

Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo!
Until next year,

27 Dec 2018

NOW BOOKING: April 24 group trip to Marea del Portillo – deadline is Jan. 4

Deposits needed by Jan. 4 for this trip!!!

The timeline for booking my annual April trip to Marea del Portillo, Cuba, is a shorter than usual, so please reply promptly, if you want to join this group.

For those of you who have enough time available, I would encourage you to consider going for two weeks, April 24-May 8. Since Sunwing is now charging $400/person in taxes & fees whether you go for one or two weeks, the prices per week are better when you stay longer. The first week (April 24-May 1) will be when the group activities are offered but, don't worry, there will be lots of fun options during the second week too... or you can just relax!

Please note: I will be out of the office Jan. 7-26. During that time, I'll have limited Internet access, so I won't be able to make late additions to the group, as I've sometimes done in the past. IF space is still available after Jan. 26, I may be able to add more people but there's no guarantee there will still be seats on the plane. In other words, if you want to go, don't procrastinate!

Another thing to note: A maximum of 10 people in a group can purchase cancellation &/or medical insurance through Sunwing & it must be done upon booking. So, if you want this insurance, let me know when you sign up.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

19 Dec 2018

Holiday greetings + a note about April

Warm greetings to all... with warmer times to come!

I've been working on getting good prices for my annual April trip to Marea del Portillo, Cuba, and I hope to have them very soon! When I have the best possible rates for both one week and two weeks, I'll send out my usual flyer, either before Christmas or shortly thereafter.

If you want to join Gord and me on this trip, however, you'll need to act fast. The deadline for booking will be during the first week of January (at the latest, it will be Jan. 5).

Keep this trip in mind, if you need a special gift for someone, or for yourself! We'll be flying out of Toronto on April 24, the Wednesday following Easter. Meanwhile, best wishes for wonderful holidays!

Bye for now,