One day while visiting with Abuelo I watched the kids outside play in the pot-holed dusty street. Not a Gameboy or iTouch around. Life consisted of a cart, horse and laughter. Simple living. They would circle the block a few times, run and jump off cart. Innocence. I was moved by this moment. Then smilingly I walked back into the house laid down my camera only to have one of these stinkers dart in and grab it. The whole house jumped up and chased this kid down and retrieved my camera. Innocent moment broken with the realization of poverty.
Lazy days of the summer of 2000 in Habana, Cuba. Dad asked for these images to paint a picture, I hope to see it someday soon.
We drove to an old Church where Grandma use to attend services. The children playing outside happily let me take their pictures. Can you feel the heat all the kids run shirtless and smiling.
Down at the Malecon the kids fished and played on the edge of sea leading into the harbor of Habana.
Don't be fooled by the moody image above. It really was a humid mirky blue water day in the bay full of boats.
For transportation in this city they of course have all the old vintage cars. Laws in Cuba at this time didn't allow people to buy or sell cars or homes. So the country has been filled with 1950s Fords, Buicks and Pontiacs, some in mint condition, others barely sputter down the calle's. For most of the weeks we were there we rode around in a Russian Ladas. Around town we saw few modern Peugeots and Kias. I saw maybe one shiny black SUV and was told only the elite athletes and celebrities are allowed to purchase new vehicles.
One thing about being a tourist with a camera is you stand out quite a bit. Plus usually I know how to blend with my clothing, but that was impossible unless i wanted to wear spandex. So anytime I took a picture people noticed. These guys told us "hey, you taking a picture old guys working on old cars?" Indeed I was.
We stopped and chatted with them. They wanted to know about my Dad, he told them a brief version of why were were there and how long it had been since he'd been back.
Another means of transportation where these small taxi's. I think I would prefer a vintage 1950 turquoise blue ford personally.
My cousins, who I'd just met, and spoke perfect English, learned on their own reading Vogue magazine, told me about the buses and trucks. As many people as possible would cram in them on their way to and from work. These ladies choose to walk rather than endure this, especially in the heat. I would too.
One thing about old cars, they die or stall all the time. We pushed this car so many times while I was here. Living in NM cars get stuck in mud and snow and whatever else the elements produce. I secretly kind of love pushing a car. I begged this day to push the car, but this male dominated culture wouldn't have it, so I was subjected to sitting in the back taking these photos. People are used to assisting in an old fashioned jumping a car and they come out of the wood-works to help a soul out.
Lastly on the highways it's routine to pass a buggy pulled by a horse. This is the way and life of getting around in Cuba.