February 3-Carbonera to Jovellanos – 61kms – Finca Luna
We have become increasingly dependent on technology, but Cuba is breaking us from this. It’s a two part intervention. First, even though we now technically have a SIM card and access to wifi at our accommodation, it seems that more often than not we have no connection at all. Second, even if we had good wifi or cell, there is very little down time to use it. Cubans don’t all disappear into their devices, they talk and visit. Let me explain: it’s like FaceTime or Zoom but with real humans. It’s really great. I hardly miss Facebook at all!
In a country that is currently struggling to cope with soaring inflation and food shortages access to the internet seems less important. Our hosts are generous with the meals they provide to us, but certain items are becoming prohibitively expensive, if they are even available. Much of the imported food is being funnelled to the resort hotels, leaving very little for the rest of the country. The lives of our hosts in Cuba involve great efforts to find milk, cheese and eggs and other products. Thirty eggs now cost 1400 pesos or roughly $14 Canadian. A kilo of good quality laundry detergent costs about the same. Ten pounds of Chicken costs 3,000 pesos or three dollars a pound. Most Cubans only earn about $50 a month. It’s not at all clear how they are able to afford to feed themselves. The sums we are paying for accommodation and meals do provide those fortunate enough to operate a B&B with significant additional funds. When we told one of our hosts that we wanted to stay another night, she raised her arms and thanked the Lord.
We have been having some great chats with our hosts, improving our Spanish and gaining some insights into the extraordinary challenges the people are now facing. We are also very grateful for all of the food placed in front of us.