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Joel Anthony

Joel Anthony - Centre San Antonio Spurs

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My Travel Story - Cuba
February 2016



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My Winter Getaway December- January was more than just a holiday. It was an opportunity for me to visit Santa Clara, Cuba to meet my family members. My mother’s brother, Allen, had left Antigua to work in the cane fields of Santa Domingo. As a young girl, and throughout my adult years, she lamented not having heard from this long lost brother. She had heard that he was last seen in New Orleans.

When I arrived in North America in 1968 I was charged to search for him. I called all the Josiahs I could find in the U.S.A. as well as in Canada and came up empty.

Lo and behold, 20 years ago when an Antiguan Tourist Delegation visited Havana, they were approached by a Sport Psychologist who asked about an area in Antigua where his late father was born. One of the delegates knew the Josiah families from Old Road and made contact. This Sport Psychologist turned out to be Edmundo, the son of my Uncle Allen. Edmund as we now call him, was born in Santa Clara and had found his father’s sister who was the last of eleven siblings. The welcomed news spread quickly throughout the clan of extended Antiguan families.

Edmund soon arrived in Antigua to stay for a short while to stay with my sister and my Mom, his 90 year old Aunt Diana, then the matriarch of the family. He has since settled in Aruba and my sister and I had an opportunity to spend a day with him there three years ago catching up on stories about Uncle Allen.

It was a treasure for me when I received a copy of my uncle’s passport and birth certificate from Edmund. Uncle Allen had stopped in Antigua by boat in 1958 on his way to Dominica. The Port was thirteen miles from Old Road and there was no telephone to contact relatives. The stamp of his entry to Antigua was painful for me to accept. He was so close and yet had made no further contact with family.

I learned that he was a victim of the revolution 57 years ago in Santa Clara. His business property on Colon St. was confiscated. He was a successful Surveyor then. He died two years later in 1962 of a heart attack. His last daughter Silvia who was in Santa Clara until mid-January and his grandson Luis in Havana were as anxious to meet me and my sister as we were to meet them. Luis took the three hour ride from Havana to Santa Clara to meet us on our first morning and returned the next day. The warmth and attention was overwhelming. The joy and love we shared will always be treasured.

Uncle Allen’s granddaughter, also called Silvita traveled to Antigua 6 years ago to stay with one of my cousins and improved her English during those years. Her husband followed 3 years ago, then one daughter.18 months ago. Her other daughter, Diana will join her at the end of March when she finishes school. Her mother, Cousin Silvia 78 years old, joined her daughter mid-January and is happy to make Antigua her new home.

Silvita had traveled up to Santa Clara with my sister. I joined them three days later for a phenomenal packed 11 days. Silvita is now teaching in a secondary school in Antigua and is grateful for the sacrifices she made to have her family members join her one by one to be surrounded now by so many relatives. We look forward to having Luis a retired teacher, who has never traveled, experience life outside of Cuba very soon. My two days in Havana allowed us to spend more time with Luis and a few more cousins, as well as his wife’s family. Cousin Silva, her daughter and granddaughter accompanied us. They were determined to be the best host and tour guides of this memorable trip.

Quick stops in Havana, Turk & Caicos Island and then 10 days in Antigua reluctantly summoned me back to winter.

The following photographs shared of my Cuban experience will always bring back fond memories.

For the love of family,


  • At the home of Sylvita's Aunt
  • Christmas Concert at cousin Sylvia's Baptist Church
  • Cousin Silvia, my sister, and  Diana
  • Cousin Silvia, my sister, daughter, and her grand-daughter
  • Hotel Los Conyes
  • My sister, cousin Silvia, with daughter Silvita
  • Our first  morning with Luis
  • Our taxi of choice from Santa Clara to HavanaSanta Clara
  •  Roadside stopSanta Clara
  • The Knock - Where Uncle Allen livedHavana
  • We sat down for a drink after a long walk on Boulervad ObispoHavana
  • Uncle Allen's property, confiscated 57 years ago during the revolution
  • Uncle Allen's former employer with wife (Edmund's older sister)
  • With cousin Silvia and her grand-daughter Diana
  • With sister, Diana & Luis
  • Across the atreet from Luis - Our Havana accomodationHavana Architecture
  • Cathedral-de-San Cristóbal de la HabanaHavana Architecture
  • Statue of Che Guerava holding childHavana Architecture
  • HavanaHavana Architecture
  • HavanaHavana Architecture
  • Statue of Abraham LincolnHavana Architecture
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Old Road- A view from my window. Carlisle Bay Hotel in foregroundAntigua
  • Where you'll have the best sailing experienceEnglish Harbour Antigua
  • Old Road - My Bougainvillia in full bloomAntigua






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