Cuba: land of cigars and rum, ghost orchids and bats! Last fall, Dr. Zettler, whose students NOS has supported with internships for six years, generously invited me to go to Cuba on a research trip as a representative of the Naples Orchid Society and Naples Botanical Garden (if no one from there could go.) Of course, we said ‘Absolutely YES!”) So, on New Year’s Day 2017, La Raw and I traveled with students, professors and the provost of Illinois College, along with Greg Mueller from the Chicago Botanical Garden and Larry Richardson, Naples photographer, to Cuba. We spent two nights in Havana and on the third day headed west. At the Botanical Garden Orquideario de Soroa, where Dr. Ernesto Mujica and his wife work, we delivered two microscopes on behalf of NOS and were witness to an historical mutual agreement signed between the Chicago Garden and Soroa. I also presented a letter from the Naples Botanical Garden to Soroa, indicating that NBG was hopeful that a mutual agreement could be signed at some future time.
I was also surprised with a certificate of recognition from the General Director of Orquideario de Soroa for my “contribution to the development of scientific relations between our countries and, in particular, between our institutions.” (meaning Soroa, the Universidad de Pinar Del Rio and Naples Orchid Society). I am very grateful to NOS for providing me the opportunity to be its representative on this incredible trip and to Dr. Zettler for the invitation.
Article to be continued on Initiatives Page – Click Here.