Today is the third and final day of the Cuba Nostalgia Convention and it’s been an incredible experience this year. Babalu readers and contributors came down to Miami from all over the country. California, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, New York, New Jersey and a few others I’m sure Im forgetting.
When I began blogging almost three years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have such support and have so many folks reading my butchering of the English and Spanish languages. Right now, as I sit here all alone, blogging from this huge convention center, I am truly humbled. Every time a person comes to the Babalu exhibit and asks “Are you Val?” or says “Val, I brought my family here to meet you” and then thanks me for inspiring them or making them proud of their Cuban heritage or just simply for giving them a little something of their culture, I well up like the cry baby that I am.
I think about the past two days here and what it took to get here and all the work from so many and all the people that have stopped by, all the conversations, all the stories shared, and I am overwhelmed with emotion.
To those that have come down to Miami to visit the convention and especially those who have come down to spend time with us and help out and say “presente”, I love you guys. Your presence and support makes every second I have spent blogging all the more worthwhile.
A special thanks to Dean and Rosemary Esmay, without whom Babalu wouldnt exist. And Michelle Malkin, who graciously helped spread the word yesterday by linking to Babalu and all the other bloggers that have linked as well, whose trackbacks I have been unable to monitor as it’s been so darned busy here that I’ve hardly had time to sit down.
But I am most grateful to the United States of America, who took in not just my family, but those of the tens of thousands of Cubans that have come to the convention and the millions of us scattered about this great country and given us the one thing most precious in all of our lives: freedom.
Gracias, Tio Sam!
Y Viva Cuba. Libre y soberana. Perla del Caribe.