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Mid-Winter Update on Puente Activities
Memo - Puente de Amigos Committee – Interested parties
From - Mary Ann & Len Cadwallader, co-clerks
Subject – Update on activities since our November 4, 2017 Committee meeting
Date – January 4, 2018
Greetings dear friends,
It’s been just 60 days since our committee met at Amesbury Friends Meeting, and it feels more like there’s been 6 months of activity!
We want to give you an update so you can keep apace.
Benigno Sanchez-Eppler teaching at Peace Institute.
- Benigno left yesterday to offer courses in Robert Barclay and Elizabeth Bathurst as part of the Instituto Cubano Cuaquero de Paz (ICCP). Susan Furry and Benigno have done the translations (available at raicescuaqueras.org) and Susan Furry has developed the curriculum.
- Benigno has arranged with Amherst College for 2 students to accompany him to start to scan the CYM archives. This initiative to preserve the documents is the result of Karen Sanchez-Eppler’s investigative work a year ago.
New England Delegation to Cuba – February 10-22, 2018.
- Members of the now-merged Wellesley and Hanover trips met at Framingham Friends Meeting on December 22. Attending: Cynthia Ganung, Diego Low (member of Framingham), Roland Stern, Len Cadwallader and Fritz Weiss. The group is well-aligned and has high ambitions to make full use of its time with Cuban Friends.
- Brief itinerary: Feb 10-13 La Habana Friends Church (Hanover’s sister meeting) with three days of worship, singing, fellowship, and workshops on 2/11-13. Tentative workshop topics: AVP, Faith&Play, discussion of spiritual leadings, US immigration issues, Quaker decision-making. Feb 14 Travel to Holguin. Feb 15-18 Cuba Yearly Meeting Sessions in Gibara. Feb 19-21 Visit to Puerto Padre to visit Wellesley’s sister meeting and make plans for upcoming service team trip to restore the old Quaker high school building there into a community center as has been done in Holguin.
- Fritz has been invited to give the closing plenary address/sermon on 2/18. Fritz & Len return 2/19.
Technology gifts to Cuba Yearly Meeting.
- It was decided to purchase a rugged printer, modem, hard drive, and as many flash drives as possible to round out the $600 authorized at the 11/4/17 meeting. While the laptops are proving invaluable, and we’ll send more in future years; they need the other equipment more at this time.
- We will use NEYM’s Staples account to make the purchases.
Cuban Quakers to NEYM Sessions.
- Once we get the data from Maria Yi, Susan Furry and Deena Kinsky have agreed to file the online applications to the US Department of State for the non-immigrant visas for the 4 Cuban Quakers invited next summer. As you must be aware, the US administration has halted the processing of all Cuban visas. Nevertheless, we are undaunted. We unite with our Cuban sisters and brothers in maintaining and strengthening our bridge of friendship. NEYM’s presiding clerk, Fritz Weiss, has suggested we must be even more determined in our efforts to send NE Friends to Cuba during these times when Cuban Friends are not able to come to be with us. Please consider whether you, or some other member of your meeting, is ready to join a delegation this year or next.
- Benigno carried $2,500 as an ‘advance’ to pay their visa application fees and RT air fares to/from Holguin/Miami. We will purchase their RT air fares Miami/Boston. Our ‘advance’ also reimburses Cuban Friends for expenses related to hosting our delegations.
- These expenses are covered by voluntary contributions from Friends like you! NEYM’s generous corporate commitment of $1,400 annually to Puente covers only a small part of keeping vibrant our spiritual connection with Cuban Friends. Checks can be made payable to NEYM with “Puente” in the memo line, then mailed to Puente’s bookkeeper Roland Stern 86 Barrett Street Needham MA 02492.
Best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and blessing-filled 2018.
Len & Mary Ann Cadwallader, co-clerks