Tag Archives: water

Can’t Live Without Water

Whenever I visit Havana, I always set aside one whole day to visit with this wonderful family on their farm.

They live about 45 km south of Havana, near San Jose de Las Lajas.

I’m treated like one of the family now.

I sit on the porch, relax in the quiet, breathe the fresh air, converse, and reflect on how fortunate I am have these beautiful people as my friends.

 

I pass out gifts that I have brought: vitamins, poligrip, zantac, Kool-aid, underwater flashlight for the brother that spear fishes, crankshaft and piston for the motor on the bicycle, towels and soap, coffee, clothes for the two children and of course chupa chups.

I make a new list of things that I will try to bring next time: cold medicine, aspirin, and more vitamins for the children, sneakers and socks for the women, movies in Spanish,  bandaids, neosporin, a knee brace, duct tape, cell phone ….. The list goes on and on.

The women always come up with something deliciously prepared. Congri, salad, and some kind of meat. I bring the Rum, cola, orange soda and, lately, chocolate from the U.S. for dessert.

The children usually want me to read to them. I read “The Cat in the Hat” (in English and Espanol). I read the English and Melany reads the Spanish, but I always tell her that next time she will read the English.

The water on the farm comes from a well via a hand pump. This water is needed for cooking, drinking, washing clothes, bathing, and flushing the toilet.

Lately, the old well pump has been breaking down regularly. It’s an American made pump, so it’s old. The casting is cracked and broken. The parts below ground have been welded and re-welded. Everything is wired together. Just last week the pump broke for the last time.  A similar pump is impossible to obtain new and any used pump that might be found would surely have issues.

The neighbors have been donating water, but it’s 1/2 kilometer away and must be hauled  in a horse-drawn cart.

The wife of the youngest brother on this farm finally e-mailed me and told me of their troubles (apparently the men were too proud to ask for help). Sometimes it takes a woman to get things done!

I was able to transfer enough money for them to purchase a submersible pump. (although the search is still on for a suitable size, I am assured that water will be flowing by the end of the week).

Again I wish to thank my small group of friends for their generous financial support and trust in me. These are all friends who appreciate the difficult task of survival in utter poverty.

Thank you Rob, Victoria, Louise, Kate, Susan, Pamela, Tracy, and Faye.

Check out the series:

Living Off The land

https://wp.me/p4fUlX-HH

 

Agua Potable

Decades after the revolution many people still lack basic necessities, like water that’s fit to drink.

In cities, the years of neglect result in pipes, valves, pumps, and tanks that are cracked, corroded and leaking. When water does arrive, it is with little pressure and often has a foul odor. Apparently chlorination is unreliable as well.

I don’t know if anyone officially declares the water unsafe to drink, or for that matter, who declares the delivered water potable.

Always a problem in Trinidad, Cuba:        https://wp.me/s4fUlX-agua

Trinidad, Cuba

Holgiun, Cuba

Holgiun, Cuba

Camaguey, Cuba

San Jose, Cuba

Havana

Santa Cruz Del Norte

Early one October morning, Romnis (Meet Romnis: https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Tt) and I traveled to Santa Cruz del Norte to explore and photograph.

Santa Cruz del Norte is a small fishing village on the North shore of Cuba about 50 km east of Havana. The first view was of the power plant just outside the town.

Our goal was to get into the marina and photograph the old wooden boats, but the guard was not in the mood to grant us access. Perhaps another day. We set out to explore the rest of the town.

This cozy little beach near the mouth of the river was not very inviting.

The trash problem exists everywhere.

(Down By The River – https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Qh)

Breakfast – Pan con tortilla, jamon, y queso.

People are busy, but as friendly as ever.

This man waved me over to watch the butchering of a pig. I didn’t stay long.

Some of the housing.

A definite Soviet influence.

It was recess when we passed the school.

Along the shoreline ….

more trash.

I imagine this was a sandy beach before hurricane Irma changed the landscape.

Abandoned discoteca. I suspect another casualty of Irma.

Well, not everyone was busy.

This man was selling his car.

…. and, the ever-present propaganda.

 

Going Up

The water systems in most of the houses are gravity feed only

Water is stored on the roofs of buildings in either concrete or, more recently, plastic tanks. Every building has a pump to fill the tanks from the water main in the street. This is usually done at night.

When constructing a new apartment and adding additional water supply, tanks must be hoisted to the roof. This is done with ropes and pulleys and hard work.

This was interesting to watch.

Even this passer-by was wondering about the rigging.

Hard work

Concern

An assist from the landlord.

At the top

“Well done men”

All smiles now.