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Life takes over

Hi all y’all!

Here it is September first. I think I am pretty organized, but sometimes I don’t get to my paint brushes.

Sometimes I get to my paint brushes, and I am embellishing giclées, not playing with a new painting.

Sometimes I have a million non-artistic errands.

Sometimes I look up and it is September first.

The painting that I started is Roller Girls. I have some of it blocked out. Here is a glimpse.

Roller Girls, the beginning
Roller Girls, the beginning

I listened to the soundtrack of Whip It, while I was painting. I love that movie. I love Drew Barrymore, too.

Maggie made me a paint brush out of pipe cleaners. It should come in handy. It is adjustable.

Paint Brush

One of my favorite topics about Cuba is the Medical program. Cuba will train American doctors at no cost to the USA or the students. The students are given free room and board with all of their meals prepared for them, their basic medical supplies, and basic toiletries. They are even given a stipend in their last two years when they are most valuable as a resource.

I saw 4 recent US graduates from Cuba’s six-year training program discuss their experiences. One of the recent graduates is from the 9th ward in New Orleans.

Dr. Gigi Simmons
Dr. Gigi Simmons

I will tell you the highlights of the medical program, as I remember them.

The program is taught in Spanish. Most people go to Cuba without any Spanish. The first semester is Spanish immersion. All of the exams are oral, which teaches the potential doctors to think on their feet. When they are stuck on something, they are told to help each other. They spend a full semester without any equipment so they can learn to diagnose with their 5 senses. As for paying Cuba back, they are told to go home and serve.

Medicine as a public service is just the approach that drew many US graduates to ELAM, (Latin American School of Medicine).

“When I learned about Cuba’s health system—free, universal, and with a focus on public and global health—I knew this is where I wanted to study,” Dr. Veronica Flake of Philadelphia told MEDICC, (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba).

“I came to ELAM because I believe health is a human right, and so does Cuba,” said Dr. Tia Naquel Tucker of Sulphur, Louisiana. (

Before I went to Cuba, I would have thought a Cuban medical degree was inferior to a degree in the US. Now I can’t wait until Dr. Gigi Simmons puts her shingle out.

There is no smooth transition here.

We had a tragedy in our family. Although it is sad, I feel it needs to be said. My nephew passed on August 20th. My sweet darlin’ and I flew to California to be with the family. He was 27. It’s a sad story with a sad ending.

Until next time,

Thank you for being there.

Holding you in my loving thoughts,

Gator Girl







I paint to heal the world. If I fall short of that, I would like to make you smile. Gator Girl

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