I stopped to communicate with a woman in a doorway. I say communicate because I don’t speak Spanish. When she learned that I was an American she insisted that I come inside and meet her family. I met a brother, sister in law, cousin and various children. I also met this woman’s daughter and her child. This girl couldn’t have been more than 17 or 18 years old. They all wanted to pose for photos in this dark and dank apartment. The mother then insisted that I take a photo of the ceiling. The ceiling was half gone. I thought this was curious until she showed me where the young mother (her daughter) had to sleep … right under the hole in the ceiling. The bed was canopied with plastic to keep the rain off.
Now, I think I’m pretty tough and not a lot bothers me, but this brought tears to my eyes. I said some quick good byes, slipped the mother a few CUC and headed back to the street. All I could think about was how hard it rained the night before and how lucky I was to be living in one of the premier hotels in Havana.