so this morning we are leaving the hotel after another lecture- this morning on politics and the embargo - a talk given by two engineer brothers who play senior softball with U.S. teams in a cultural exchange program.
After that we meet in the lobby and Raul sends us off with 1 CUC (87 U.S. cents) and we are given an item, written in Spanish, to buy in the market- our task is to buy as much as we can for that 87 cents - we then are to take it with us to a park near the day care center where the bici-taxi guys will drop us off after we spend some time talking with them about their businesses as bici-taxi owners and drivers...
so off we go but first I will post a collage of some of the faces of guys in the market- mostly because if you come to this page via FaceBook it will be the photo that posts on the FB link- so I try to make those interesting - a kind of pandering/marketing/advertising about the posts to entice you in to read it LOL...
now bici-taxis- they are home made- they cost a pretty penny in Cuban terms and all the parts are expensive and in short supply. However, they make good money in hard CUC currency - the kind that spends outside the ratio stores--- so the old motorcycle tires they pay exorbitant amounts of money for help keep them on the streets.
here we are as our entourage leaves the area in front of the hotel-
seen along the way - riding through Habana Vieja-
we arrive at the market and extricate ourselves from the transport - LOL- and head in looking for boniato.. LOL a lot of peering a signs -
oh - here they are- 2 Cuban Pesos a pound- and there are 24 Cuban pesos in 1 CUC so we can buy 12 pounds of this type of sweet potato for the kid's lunch at day care.... 12 pounds of potatoes for U.S. 87 cents... but remember the average wage in Cuban pesos is roughly equivalent to 20-25 U.S.dollars a month.... mind boggling -
the spice shop-
the ubiquitous Che... if there is anything that I would be critical of about Cuba first on the list would be this cult of Che... if it were a cult of Fidel I would find it less offensive because at least Fidel has tried to do something to help his people. Che was so full of wind he could be an American politician.
so as we left the fruit and veggies market and went into the meat area we saw some butchering on the spot - which we never see in our pre-packaged American stores - even in a butcher shop it would be done out of sight mostly-
then around the corner and back on the street - where we went past a place to eat-
and a place to get your glasses repaired-
and eventually found our way to day care- in a Catholic Church -where no one stood still for a second and therefore every picture is less than optimally focused LOL- the lot of a 2-5 year old - constant motion! here is a collage of my favorite kids pics!
at least the backpacks stood still long enough to have their photos taken LOL
this was cute - the rack slopes down so shorter kids will still be able to hang up their packs- you can see the floor is level all the way across the bottom of the photo-
after we left the kids we had a talk with one of the sisters who runs the center about the kids (how many- what families etc..) and then we headed out to a plaza to have some lunch on our own. We had some excellent drinks and a good meal overlooking the plaza but those photos will need to wait... the afternoon will have to be in the next post because I have now caught up with my photo culling and have to do some more pitching out before I can continue- but of course we are only midday day three so lots more to see and do!