Field Note #119: David Finds the Real Cuba
I’m on a plane back from Havana, Cuba. I have traveled to many places around the world but have long wanted to see this country. When we were recently invited to come to Cuba and assess what could be done to assist those in need of clean water, I jumped at the chance.
While growing up, like many other Americans I would presume, I viewed Cuba as a secret or “off-limits” culture that could only be vicariously experienced by randomly meeting someone from Cuba, reading a story or account by Hemingway or being lucky enough to enjoy a Cuban cigar somewhere, somehow. This separation from the real Cuba is obviously a result from diplomatic conditions between our nations since before I was born (42 years and counting for me).
Now, having been to Cuba, although my trip was short and my experience still very limited, I am trying to contrast what I thought I knew or expected of Cuba to what I have seen and learned.
First, from a water standpoint, like many places around the world, the Global Water Crisis is very real for many people. I pray that Wine To Water would have the opportunity to partner with the people of Cuba to assist where needed and do it well. Beyond this, what I experienced Cuba to be, beyond the old cars and beautiful buildings (which are many), is a country of extraordinary people. It is obvious beyond doubt that they are welcoming, creative and strong people rooted in community, reality, pride and hope.
Like nearly every other time I travel to another country, I have been greatly blessed by this trip, both personally and professionally. I only hope I can return the favor to the people of Cuba through love, service and a bit of clean water.
-David, Wine To Water CEO