For this blog post, I am posting snippets from an email one of our participants on our January Cuba Tour sent to me. She assembled several PDF slideshows she shared with us all, each one prefaced with comments. This was from her Trinidad email:
“Trinidad was the most fun part of the trip for me. I had spent months brushing up on my Spanish, and this was my chance to use it. Sometimes I got so involved in my conversations, I forgot to take pictures…
…I gave another woman a pen. She started crying and hugged me. She told me (in Spanish) everyone else gives her shampoo and soap, but no one had ever given her a pen. She was so happy. So I gave her a few more pens. We take so much for granted in the U.S. I could walk into a TD Bank tomorrow and grab a handful of pens for free.”
What a thought-provoking email, thank-you, Kathy!
In the 6 trips I’ve made to Cuba, I too have experienced how precious the simplest things – sewing needles, thread, pens, fishhooks, combs – can be. I photograph not only the artsy (from a photographer’s perspective) photos, but the real life stories that are played out everywhere I go. Like this line-up of water jugs of all types: a pipe had a leak, and someone connected a hose to the break. Residents in the area lined up their jugs to gather extra free water, leaving this one man to move the hose to each jug as one filled. And why? Because running water is not always available inside homes and at regular times, it seems, the city of Trinidad turns the water off completely.
Here at home, we turn on the tap without any thought about how precious that water is. It’s just one example, but think about all the things we take for granted! The next time you ‘borrow’ a pen from the bank, or turn on your shower, or reach for your favorite snack, pause for a moment and appreciate all that you have.
Thanks for visiting!
(Note: In northern California, we are in such a drought condition that we are thinking about every precious drop of water at the moment!)
Excellent blog here Brenda, and what a great observation from your client.
Your post reminded me of the small town in India where I grew up (I’ve been living in the N. America for 7 years now). City provided water supply would be available twice per day, couple hours each time. Back in the day, my mom would save water in huge containers for us to use until the next supply. There were community water taps where everyone lined up for their turn: Some with multiple containers. It was as much a place for social gathering as for collecting water. One or two houses in the whole neighborhood had “tube wells”, the kind farmers use to draw water, but hand operated. If anyone missed their turn for scheduled water supply, they’d go to these houses, if allowed to, and get water. Even though the water supply is still timed, nowadays most homes, including ours, have electric motors that can draw water from underground at the flick of a switch.
Abhijit – thank you for sharing your story here. It reminds us all of how things can and do improve, and what a wonderful thing that your family now can draw water as needed.