For the people who have held my heart and thoughts hostage to a different reality for the past 5 years, I want to say thank you. For the people who entered my life by the dozens with magic smiles ready to face uncertain futures and let me hold their hand for just a piece, I want to say thank you. For the people who took me into Cuba through the back door, through stories, and hints and subtleties as to what life is really like, the good and bad on that island I want to say thank you. For the people who taught me the lesson in letting your emotions see the light of day even with strangers, I want to say thank you. For the people who took me into the heart of the Caribbean without a soca party in my waist, but rather a thousand jokes, a desire to move forward and the stark reality of what is happening on a Communist island nation, I want to say thank you. My 5 years working with Cuban refugees (Colombian, Haitian, Venezuelan refugees too) has been no short of rewarding. Save for my own tiredness, there has been no day I have regretted or lamented seeing the faces that have developed me in untold ways. I have revised my life’s perspective a million times with the words you have left in my trust. My salsa has improved, my Spanish has improved, my vision of life has improved, my ability to reveal myself even when I am weak has improved. I have supposedly guided you, but you have only touched me and left your imprint on me as to what it means to fight for life and life more abundantly. For those who have crossed the sea in rafts, walked over unknown borders, defected on medical missions eliminating the chances to ever have a home in order to have a life, I love the sum of you for teaching me the endurance of the human spirit and the grace to do it with a smile and a joke and the shake of a hip and the courage to reinvent from the bottom up. I have become a hostage to your goodness, your empathy, your optimism, and your spirit. I will miss you all….