Three years ago today my good friend Dean Esmay, after having installed the applications and completing the set up, posted the very first entry on Babalú Blog. And three years ago today, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Saying it has been an interesting three years is an incredible understatement. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined just how much this blog would mean to me and how it would be the catalyst for so many emotions – good and bad – as it has been.
And I’ll be honest with you all: there have been days, weeks sometimes, when I’ve just wanted to quit. Forget about the blog and politics and Cuba and everything else and go about living a normal life. You’ll forgive the cliche, but it has been an uphill battle everyday.
But just as I’m thinking about calling it quits, ready to give up amid anger and frustration, Ill get an email from some reader in Omaha or Canton or Seattle or some city in Europe Ive never heard of thanking me for Babalu. Thanking me for helping them understand Cuba a little better or for giving them a little bit of Cuba, a little bit of home, that they live without from so far away.
I never imagined this blog would reach as many as it has. I never imagined this blog would inspire others to join the blogranks and write daily about Cuba. I never imagined Babalú would get the exposure, both local and national, as it has. I never imagined that I would meet so many exceptional people, allies and friends, that I now know I can count on for support, a helping hand, solidarity. And I never imagined Babalú would have so many exceptional readers, supporters, from all over and with such diversity. I am truly humbled and absolutely honored.
I’m pretty proud of the work done on this here humble blog. Proud of the work our contributors do, proud of the blogkids. Proud of our readers who help out by sending links and articles from all over the world and who help spread the word, passing along information about the reality of Cuba to people all over. I’m proud to know that we share a love for this country that has afforded us our freedoms and a love for Cuba, who despite living in shackles, has freedom in her heart.
Im especially proud of the fact that we helped raise money for the Spirit of America, showing our support for our troops in harm’s way, despite the fact that I had to shave my legs to do so. (And yes, I know I still owe someone a leg shave. I havent forgotten.)
Im incredibly proud of how the readers of this modest blog said Presente! and donated thousands of dollars to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina, adding our voice and support and keeping up there with other blogs that have a hundred times our numbers. Being number 16 on that list out of thousands of blogs is a testament to your humanity, love and charity. I am immensely proud of your efforts and your sacrifice.
But today, this third year blogiversary of Babalu, I dont want you all to sing Happy Birthday or send congratulations or what not. No.
Today I need your prayers.
My best friend and his wife just had their third beautiful Cubanita over the weekend. Her name is Tatiana and she is blessed with having been born to the world’s best parents. She was released from the hospital on Monday morning only to have to return to the emergency room Monday night with signs of severe neonatal jaundice. Please keep her in your thoughts and pray for her recovery. That’s all Babalú wants for this 3rd birthday. The world needs another healthy, loving, beautiful and vibrant Cubanita.
God bless and keep you and thank you for your prayers.