Tuesday, January 8, 2008     « Sierra Maestra (Looking to the Ocean) »


Photo #1 for today.

I took this photo when our vehicle and driver took a break about halfway up into the Sierra Maestra mountains. We stopped at a schoolhouse where a group of farmers were setup along a short wall selling fruit and handicrafts. I bought a red necklace made from seeds, 2 shell rings, and a fresh cacao pod. The cacao pod cost 25 cents and was a pretty big deal. Tasting fresh cacao directly from the pod is on a list of life experiences that I hope to have before I die. Raw cacao tastes pretty terrible but at least I can scratch it off The List.

The woman I purchased the necklace from asked me if I had a pen. She was the first of several people over the course of a week who asked me for a pen. I had read about shortages in certain supplies prior to leaving but it was another thing that I understood in theory but didn't quite grasp as a reality until I experienced it directly. Everyday tools that we take for granted are a luxury for a lot of people. We saw stationery supplies for sale but they were poor quality and high-priced. I have always placed high value on a good pen and am on a constant quest for a pen that meets a complicated and deliberate criteria. However, this experience has made me value pens in a whole new way. You can be sure that the next time I go to Cuba I am going to bring a big ass box of good quality pens and pencils.

« Sierra Maestra (Looking to the Ocean) »