Leonid Lopez
Leonid Lopez

During the vacation of 1994, something occurred that doesn’t happen in soap operas. Thousands of people took to the sea in poorly constructed rafts, and others had speedboats come to pick them up and they left for the United States.

A great leap occurred after seeing people leaving from any beach in full daylight -like in a dream- and without the Cuban border patrol preventing them. When I returned to school from vacation, I noticed that many of my acquaintances were not there.

Most of my friends left, including me

My story was not one of a maladapted person in a happy world, but instead was complicated by being a maladapted person in a world that thousands did not want. I then decided that I too would certainly have to leave Cuba one day.

It seems that I first had to experience the great leap of love, and so I met Yanet. Perhaps my best times were at her side, and that was enough for me to feel that I could go far with the blessing of her company.

However, there would be two things that I learned along with her that extended my vision by many miles. First, the need and the beauty of accepting reality, being close to people, and tossing aside the constant complaint that somebody or something is restricting our lives. And second, seeing what you can do to be happy.

For several years this was my greatest leap, the one that permitted me to stay alive and restless and to gain ground on solitude, making me part of a group of friends and experiencing great moments of happiness.

However, within a period of five years, of my group of friends in Cuba, only two remained.

All of them left Cuba, including me, as I’m writing this from Japan. I have been here for a month, still as if lost in a dream, performing the last great leap and still not yet having landed.


2 thoughts on “<em>The Leap that Took Me Far</em>

  • You have certainly landed in an interesting culture. I hope you have the time and inclination to explore it. A hundred years ago a compatriot of mine, Lafcadio Hearn, migrated to Japan for an extended period and fell in love with the culture and people. I hope your experience is as rewarding.

  • We’ll get to watch your thought processes in action — and your view of the World thus evolve — as you compare one social system to another, then. Have fun.

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