I visit Josefa again today and meet another of her sisters
and her sister’s grandchild who is hanging onto her knees. We speak together
but when he gets restless and lets her know he wants to go, she immediately
says goodbye and heads off with him.
Several of the womyn in the village want me to give them
something. Two womyn especially look so terribly thin, their clothes hang in ragged
folds around their tiny bodies. Josefa has water from a pipe emerging from the
ground from a huge tube outside her home but doesn’t have a bathroom. She also
has a single burner hotplate and has borrowed a rice cooker from her son.
I wonder about how I look like a dollar tree to the womyn
here: they are always asking me for money or clothes – one peso, will I leave
my clothes when I go, do I have something to eat, do I have a school bag for
the children? And the hardest one, the children are hungry.
To me, it looks like the children are getting all the food
the mothers and grandmothers are missing.
Every womon suffers patiently through my Spanish and even
speaks English with me, probably after they see how I murder Spanish, they are
not so shy to speak English.
I wish I could feed everyone. I wish I could fix everyone’s
roof and provide a toilet and bathroom for everyone. I wish I could make the
minimum daily needs for everyone more accessible all around the world.
The money I am thinking about spending to rent a car is
probably more money than 10 families live on here in Cuba for a year.
There is two systems of money: the CUCs which are pesos for
the tourists, and pesos which are the money for the people. Those Cubans
closest to the tourists make so much more money than those people farthest
Of course, giving people money while I’m here will not
sustain them in the long run but might quell their hunger temporarily. I wish
we could have a ‘adopt a grandmother, mother, grandchild family’ program where
we in the u.s.ofa. can share our huge wealth with the poorest people here. It
is obvious which Cubans work around tourists, and which Cubans have so very