Honorary Cubans


Yes, they exist.

Let me introduce you to my friends, Pam and Gene. I love this photo of them, taken circa 1976. That's also how far back our friendship goes.

They have raised two amazing kids, Mary and Genaro, who are now grown and married themselves to Johnny the Hunter and the Indomitable Kelly, respectively.  Mary and Johnny have added the lovely Cecilia to the family.

They live in the town of Hanford, California, where Gene is the pastor of the Calvary Chapel there.  However, the MOST important thing to know about them is that they are Honorary Cubans.  Although Pam is Irish and Gene Italian, they love all things Cuban (including me =D).  We regularly send them Cuban Care Packages which include all the ingredients to make arroz con pollo.  They eat black beans at least once a week.  And they even love pasteles de guayaba.  Gene is an espresso aficionado - or fanatic. The terms are interchangeable when describing his passion for coffee.  Gene was the inspiration for our CafΓ© Cubano tee, which he is often seen wearing around Hanford.

One of the reasons I'm so grateful for technology is that even with them so far away, we are able to share our lives.  We chat a few times a week via MSN Messenger and stay current via email.  We are looking forward to seeing them in a few weeks when they will be coming for a week-long visit.  We'll probably take them to Cuban Pete's for dinner.

Pam has MS, which she has been struggling with for the past ten years.  I admire her so much for the way she faces this difficulty in her life with courage, humor and an unshaken faith in Jesus. By contrast, I am a complete whiner-baby.  I am continually amazed at how gracefully she handles the difficulties that come with her illness.  She has just changed her medication to Low Dose Naltrexone and is seeing some remarkable improvement and is feeling great.  She tells that story on her new blog.  Go here and prepare to be amazed.

Which all goes to prove my point that Cubans, even honorary ones, are incredible people.