Tag Archives: homes

Oswal

Oswal lives in the neighborhood where I always stay in Havana. When I see him on the street, he always tries to speak with me in English. One day his mother and father invited me into their home. The father spoke some English and wanted his son to learn. I emphasized how important it will be for Oswal’s future. In eight or ten years when he is looking for work, one of the many new hotels in Havana might hire him if he speaks another language. A restaurant or hotel job would give Oswal the opportunity to earn tips in the highly coveted tourist money. ( CUCs)

In October I brought a Spanish/English dictionary and told Oswal to practice and that I would check on him when I visited again.
Before I left for home, I received a nice message from his mother thanking me for encouraging her son to study:

“Hola Marco. Estoy muy agradecida por que gracias a usted Oswal se a interesado por el english.”

(“Hi Mark. I am very grateful that thanks to you Oswal was interested in the english language.”)

When I returned two months later I presented Oswal with a study guide.

I’ll visit whenever I get back to Havana and try to encourage him more. He’s young, and girls and cell phones will distract him, but at least he now has the opportunity to better himself.

Living Off The Land

Part 4 –

Where They Live

Be sure to check out my previous series – Where They Live – http://wp.me/p4fUlX-zn

 

The main home where five live is a short walk from the house of Yoel.

The dining area.

One of the food preparation areas.

Pot holders and rags.

Un baño

Dianelis at the other cooking area.

This “stove” uses charcoal that the family produces and sells to earn a few pesos to pay for electricity.  Cooking with charcoal also saves on expensive bottled gas.

Congris in the making.

Pig Pen.

A motorized bicycle used to go to into town.

Another motor that needs to be rebuilt. I was surprised to see the brand name “Stihl”. It was easy for me to order new  parts.

Note the bags of charcoal for sale.

Pumping water by hand.

A home-made spear gun used to “fish”.

These wires bring electricity to the home.

Living Off The Land

Part 2

After visiting with the grandfather, we walked another 100 meters to the house of Yoel.

 

Yoel is 39 years old and is separated from his wife, but he still has strong feelings for her. I suspect they will reunite.

We were invited into his humble home.

After days in Havana, I was struck by the quiet solitude. No traffic. No Music. No one yelling for a friend on the third floor. Very peaceful. What a great place to relax and think.

 

The kitchen area.

A simple bench.

 

Where They Live – Come With Me

I got caught peering down this long dark corridor from the sidewalk. He was sitting across the narrow street trying to sell some clothes. All he said was “come with me” or some such Spanish phrase. I followed him down the corridor until it opened up into a courtyard. He pointed to one of the doors at the top of the two sets of stairs and said “my house”. He wanted to show me where he lived, although we did not enter his dwelling.  I also saw where his neighbors lived below and beside him, behind the maze of walls and doors that defined their own living space.

I never got his name.