Friends in need (Updated)

To those folks who have hit the donation button these past few weeks and helped support Babalú and the work we do here: a profound and heartfelt thanks. We dont advertise here so all the costs to maintain the blog are paid for from our pockets and having a little financial help goes a long way. Gracias for your contribution.

That said, now I have to ask you all for money again.

We have a friend and fellow Babaluer in need. His name is Joe Papp. His is a story that I will tell you all as soon as we get to the “happily ever after” part. But for now, let me give you a brief synopsis:

Joe went to Cuba some years back for a race (he’s a cyclist), met a girl, they fell in love and got married. They have unfortunately had to spend most of their married lives apart as the Cuban government has refused to allow his wife to leave the country. I cant even begin to tell you what they have been through, how many people they, I, and many others, have contacted to try to help them. How many plans have been hatched, how many schemes, how much money spent. It has been a long and arduous and harrowing experience for the both of them. In short, it’s been a nightmare.

But these two are meant for each other and their marraige has survived despite all the setbacks, despite the separation, despite all the frustrations. I cant at the moment tell you all they have been through, but trust me, it’s has been painfully hellish.

Right now, after many many months of going through hell to reunite, Joe is this close to finally having his wife come to the US and finally be together to share their lives.

Joe is not a rich guy and to make matters worse he’s recovering from surgery from a major accident he had during a race, but he’s determined and he has somehow managed to scrimp and save and sell off most of his possessions in order to pay the costs for bringing the Mrs to the States. He is about $700 short. A very painful $700 as the minute the fee is paid, the Mrs and he will be together. I cant imagine the frustration he must be feeling right now knowing that he’s that close but still that far away.

So, Babaluers, you guys have come through for me for the Cuba Nostalgia Conventions and the you supported the Troops and helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina and I am once again asking you all to open up your hearts and wallets and pocketbooks to donate whatever you can for a good cause. After all, what cause is better than love?

The Make a Donation button below is Joe’s. Please help out with a donation of a few bucks. Whatever you can. Every little bit counts.

Who knows, maybe the happy couple will name their first born “Babalu.”

A huge and heartfelt thanks in advance.

PS If you do not wish to donate via Paypal, please drop me a line and Ill forward Joe’s info.

BTW I still have plenty of Babalu Eyes and Che? Still dead! tshirts – sizes large and X large only – and each person that donates a few bucks to help Joe out will get one of each. Just email me and let me know youve donated.

Update: Ive removed the donation button as you all have already come through in a big way. Joe and the Mrs. will be reunited soon because of your donations and help. Thanks guys!

8 thoughts on “Friends in need (Updated)”

  1. Val… it’s sad that thats the case but truly…
    He went to Cuba cause he’s a cyclists? I won’t go to Cuba if were about to receive a Nobel Prize.

    I’m sure he knew something like this was going to happen… how do you just wed in a Communist country and assume it’ll all be ok.



  2. K,

    You wouldnt go to Cuba because you know what its like. It’s my understanding that Joe didnt know very much about Cuba when he first went with his racing team to compete.

    he’s got some stories to tell.

    As for getting married in a communist country? What can I say. Love makes people do what love makes people do.

  3. Val,
    your email is broken,
    please checkit out.
    this is for you:

    “Maldito sea este mundo
    en que no lleva mi negra
    que se me quedo’ en labana
    que se me ha queda’o en tierra

    Sobra el dinero
    si no esta’ a mi la’o
    sobra el dinero
    si se me ha queda’o en tierra
    si se me ha queda’ abandona’o
    y no me queda na’

    Pero que lindo y que bueno
    yo no soy que voy a hacer
    pero voy a querer este mi niña siempre
    e mi negra no
    e mi negra no
    le vaya
    y espera solo un poco mas
    quiero esplicarle a mi ciudad
    a mi negrita que es cubana
    porque me voy de labana no!

    No va a cerrar el corazon de la gente buena
    si de los poetas vive la gente
    que se siente libre y buena
    cunta cuenta
    un viagra sol no lo cuenta
    cuenta uno
    cuenta dos
    cuenta tres
    cuenta cuatro que se va fidel”

  4. Thanks for the song, and thanks to everyone who has already offered their support in this difficult endeavour. As for why I went to Cuba for the first time in 2001, I went as an athlete to represent my country – the USA – in an international cycling competition. I didn’t know sh*t from shinola with respect to the real situation in Cuba, but now I do. And this life being the funny thing that it is, I met the woman who would become my wife during one of my first training sessions there.

    If that’s not a good post-mortem rationale for having gone to a country being destroyed by communists, well, I don’t know what is.

    Again, thanks to everyone for your support. I’m going to win my personal battle to be reunited with my wife, and I know that we will all eventually triumph in the campaign for a free Cuba.

  5. Val,

    What a beautiful way to use the power of your blog! I sent something through paypal…and I will follow up soon on donating to Babalu again in the near future.


    I don’t know you, but if you’re a friend of Val’s you’re a friend of mine. Maybe someday when things work out you’ll be able to share more of your story with us. All my best to you and your bride.


Comments are closed.