Ernie Braganza and Karen Moore: Back from Cuba with Love

by Monica Hoel

For Ernie and Karen, a recent trip to Cuba with an E&H group was honestly the trip of a lifetime – because it followed a lifetime of curiosity.

Karen had been particularly fascinated about Cuba since her grade school days when she had a Spanish teacher from Cuba. “She told us her story – about being put on a plane with her sister, without parents, and sent to the U.S. for what the family felt would be a better life.”

This is a copy of Ernie's certificate to prove that he had completed his safety drill during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is a copy of Ernie’s certificate to prove that he had completed his safety drill during the Cuban Missile Crisis.Ernie says his earliest introduction to Cuba was in the early 1960s: he remembers doing a safety drill with his mother during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Both alums grew up hearing all the rhetoric and fear attached to this tiny country that is situated only 90 miles from the United States – and yet it often seems a world away. When they had the opportunity to visit and see the place for themselves they both jumped at the chance. In the end, Ernie says if he had to pick one word to reflect his impression after actually visiting the country, it would be… “’Welcome.’ I wasn’t sure if the Cuban people would be pleased to see us after so much history between our countries; but everyone I met was gracious and welcoming and spoke warmly of the United States.”

There were 25 on this 2023 trip to Cuba - including alumni, students, faculty, staff, Emory community members, and a few grads ... There were 25 on this 2023 trip to Cuba – including alumni, students, faculty, staff, Emory community members, and a few grads so recent they graduated on Saturday and flew to Cuba on Sunday!The trip was a first for E&H. It was not a first trip to Cuba: Dr. Mark Finney in the E&H Communications department has been taking students to Cuba for several years. But this was the first time a trip abroad has included alumni and students together. The communications department partnered with the E&H alumni office, and the result was a magical trip where students, alumni, and community members shared a travel experience that will long be remembered.

Karen and Ernie both fell in love with the Cuban people, music, food, even the wildlife (they had the rare opportunity on a hike to experience the national bird of Cuba, the Tocororo), and when asked if they’d ever like to go back there was no hesitation as they said in unison, “YES!”

You can hear a discussion about the trip with Karen and Ernie on the Duck Pond Wall podcast. And check out other travel opportunities on the E&H Alumni webpage.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3193-randy-queen-eh-class-of-2002-named-virginias-school-psy"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,631,643/14807_Randy_Queen_2.rev.1698343269.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,631,643/14807_Randy_Queen_2.rev.1698343269.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,631,643/14807_Randy_Queen_2.rev.1698343269.jpg" alt="Man receiving award from woman." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="631" data-max-h="632" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3193-randy-queen-eh-class-of-2002-named-virginias-school-psy">Randy Queen, E&H Class of 2002, Named Virginia’s School Psychologist of the Year</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Randy is the leading school psychologist for the Roanoke County Public Schools.</p><a href="/live/news/3193-randy-queen-eh-class-of-2002-named-virginias-school-psy" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2370-the-woman-behind-the-statue"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.jpg" alt="Meg Hathaway Retinger E&H Class of 1976" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,84,2842,2927/11386_IMG-9383.rev.1654391115.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2842" data-max-h="2843" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2370-the-woman-behind-the-statue">The Woman Behind the Statue</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> There was a special ribbon-cutting in Emory on June 4. <a href="/live/news/2370-the-woman-behind-the-statue" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3146-dr-jimmy-wilmouth-is-doing-cancer-research-in-london"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,512,512/14583_James-Wilmouth-Jr.rev.1695046115.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,512,512/14583_James-Wilmouth-Jr.rev.1695046115.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,512,512/14583_James-Wilmouth-Jr.rev.1695046115.jpg" alt="Young Man smiling" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="512" data-max-h="512" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3146-dr-jimmy-wilmouth-is-doing-cancer-research-in-london">Dr. Jimmy Wilmouth Is Doing Cancer Research in London</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Sometimes life takes you to unexpected places.</p><a href="/live/news/3146-dr-jimmy-wilmouth-is-doing-cancer-research-in-london" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/945-mike-chitwood-is-finalist-for-library-of-virginia"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/82,0,282,200/6801_Chitwood-Michael_MG_7181-300x200.rev.1567128095.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/82,0,282,200/6801_Chitwood-Michael_MG_7181-300x200.rev.1567128095.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/82,0,282,200/6801_Chitwood-Michael_MG_7181-300x200.rev.1567128095.jpg" alt="Michael Chitwood, E&H Class of 1980." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="200" data-max-h="200" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/945-mike-chitwood-is-finalist-for-library-of-virginia">Mike Chitwood is Finalist for Library of Virginia Literary Award</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Chitwood will speak at Emory & Henry on Sept. 10. <a href="/live/news/945-mike-chitwood-is-finalist-for-library-of-virginia" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2440-gail-weaver-norwood-publishes-escape-from-grief"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg" alt="Gail Weaver Norwood Emory & Henry Class of 1971" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1537" data-max-h="1535" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2440-gail-weaver-norwood-publishes-escape-from-grief">Gail Weaver Norwood Publishes “Escape from Grief Prison: A Story of Love, Loss, and Healing”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> The title of <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.gailnorwood.com/">Gail Weaver Norwood’s book</a></span> may mislead you. This book is about more than grief; it’s about learning how to manage our emotional well-being in times of challenge.<br/><div></div><div></div><a href="/live/news/2440-gail-weaver-norwood-publishes-escape-from-grief" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>