Pushing a home-made cart with used roller bearings for wheels, this man covers a lot of ground collecting cardboard for recycling. I’m sure it doesn’t pay much, but in Cuba every little bit helps.
On this day, I found him almost 3 kilometers from his home in Centro Habana. Keep in mind that many streets are not good and his cart does not roll well.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Somewhere under this pile of ropes, strings and flattened boxes is the cart he pushes daily.
No, not Creedence Clearwater Revival
Cuban Computer Repair.
On two occasions I asked my friend Heiler to look at my malfunctioning laptop. The first time he quickly diagnosed a bad memory stick and replaced it with one from his laptop.
The last time things were a bit more complicated. I had a problem with the keyboard that required complete disassembly and cleaning.
Both repairs started with the 12″ red handled kitchen knife and a shot of rum (for me). When I asked him why he did not use the miniature tool set I gave him, Heiler shrugged, said something that I did not understand, and laughed. We all laughed. Cubans love to laugh. I drank more rum.
Cars aren’t the only American product that have survived the 60 years since the revolution.
These heavy, old, American-made, sewing machines just keep on working. They can be found quite often in Cuba.
This woman in Cojimar takes in sewing jobs to earn a few pesos. She was kind enough to let me photograph.
People with sewing machines in their homes can find work to do.
Singers are still used in businesses.
I met Juan Carlos when I noticed him sitting next to a welder and, being a welder in my previous life, I tried to make conversation. Fortunately Juan Carlos’ English was better than my Spanish. He was waiting for someone to pick him up and take him to a job.
Juan Carlos fabricates doors, windows, and railings. What I would call ornamental iron work. In Havana many people have bars on windows and outer doors with padlocks for security. https://wp.me/p4fUlX-w1
Juan Carlos has become a good friend of mine over the last two years. He has let me photograph his apartment, taken me to meet his 92 year-old grandmother, let me photograph from the roof of his building, and introduced me to many people in his neighborhood.
Last year I purchased an electric grinder for him on the black market. Now he doesn’t have to borrow (rent) one when he has a job to do.
A modest, but clean and efficient kitchen.
A comfortable living area.
Stairway to a loft where his daughter and grandson sleep.
He keeps the welder in his bedroom.
Stories and photos of a dozen others in this series can be found here: https://wp.me/p4fUlX-AT
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.
An assist from the landlord.
At the top
“Well done men”
All smiles now.
Tu Kola is the Cuban equivalent to Coca Cola. Apparently a shipment arrived in Havana on this day because I saw cases being delivered in more than one location.
At Bar Metropolitanos my friend Damian found himself in the middle of the action. After he posed for a photo with two cases of cola I showed everyone the image I made earlier of a guy carrying six cases into another restaurant. We all had a good laugh.