Life in Cuba
We got a taste of life in Cuba today. We¥re in a remote part of the country, not at all overdeveloped. It¥s rural. You see a lot of goats and horses wandering around. Everything you think about life in a remote rural area of Cuba – old cars, rusty sheds, rolling hills, cigar smoke, rum, gas fumes – it¥s all here. Despite what I thought, nobody¥s really poor. I heard lots of things today that would make any Canadian proud. Six week annual vacations for everyone, universal health care, free housing to anyone who works, abundant food. The best employees from every industry are given a free week¥s vacation at the resorts every year. This sounds like communist propoganda, of which there is a lot, but it isn¥t. It¥s not all glowing, but there are some attractive parts of living here, according to some of the locals we¥ve talked to. We passed a house today, and the children¥s worker from the resort told us that her French teacher lives there. Some years ago, she gave birth to a developmentally challenged child. Since then, the government has paid her a full salary to look after her child. I haven¥t fully developed my thoughts, but it seems that we need a more sophisticated approach to viewing the world than the one that I currently hold. While recognizing the political oppression and the low standard of living here, relative to North America, I can¥t somehow think that they¥ve got something here that we don¥t. It¥s easy to romanticize the simple life, but I was struck by how overcomplicated many of our lives have become. A good reminder once again that Jesus said that the truly disadvantaged aren¥t the poor, but the rich. Last night I saw a commercial for Burger King on TV. There are some good things about being slightly out of reach of North American life.