Monday, November 30, 2009

When It Rains in Cuba: Leaky Roofs, No Umbrellas

When It Rains in Cuba: Leaky Roofs, No Umbrellas
Posted on 11/30/09 at 3:10pm by CarpeDiem

One might think that in a tropical country life is organized taking the
climate into account, and that along with our light clothing we always
have umbrellas and raincoats at hand. Not so. Leaking roofs are common,
especially in the construction of the last fifty years; homes, offices,
schools and hospitals, and even stores suffer repeated losses because of
them. Collapses, now typical in the urban landscape, are not the result
of bombardments of imperialism, rather they are caused by the difficulty
of acquiring waterproof construction materials.

In foreign films we often see scenes of crowds in the rain. We are
impressed by the image of a cloud of umbrellas that extends the length
of a street or the full width of the stands in a stadium. We inevitably
compare these scenes with the typical appearance of our streets during a
cloudburst: nylon bags used as protection, trying to cover one's head
with the newspaper Granma or a piece of cardboard; older people waiting
under the balconies or huddled together at a bus stop.

These are days to ask ourselves when we will have a raincoat – one
without holes that fits – let alone what seems to be a pipe dream for so
many, when the city will not collapse because of a simple shower that
falls in the tropics.

~Yoani Sanchez

When It Rains in Cuba: Leaky Roofs, No Umbrellas | (30
November 2009)

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