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Whoops! I started the draft for my last post of Cuba at least a month ago, but I took so many photographs there (and liked them so much) that cutting away at the pictures was a serious task. I did my best, but even so, I’ll have to break the time my family spent in Sanctus Spiritus in half. Below are photographs of the road to, and city of, Trinidad; among Cuba’s loveliest locales.
The Road to….
La Ciudad de Trinidad:
This is the only photograph I have of the woman above. In the very brief time I spent around her, she epitomized gracefulness in a way that a young American today is unlikely to encounter. She was the hired help at the very stylish apartments we stayed in, and she took care of all of our needs. When we were about to depart, my older sister (who speaks passable Spanish) informed her that we had put together a small gift basket of goods that are ordinary to us Americans, but precious to the average Cuban – soap, shampoo, makeup (these are the top commodity there), along with some treats and a tip. The woman’s eyes were immediately shot with terror. She did her best to explain that the very congenial man who owned the lovely place we were staying at would not allow her to keep these gifts if he were aware of them.
I’m not sure that there was a single event that informed us of how foreign this world was to us. This man, who was almost certainly well-connected, and likely enjoyed the kind of intimate relationship with the Communists that reigned in privileges and wealth was clearly more complicated than we had been led to believe. While I can live with the fact that every system has its prejudices and special favors, I hadn’t encountered anything quite so corrupt as what this woman was subjected to.
Thankfully, my sister could communicate, got the message, and figured out how to arrange that these meager offerings were delivered to the person who deserved them.