Leaving the swamp we went through a small village where Carlos stopped at an unmarked house to buy some honey. The honey they collect from the bees is all put into huge metal drums and dispensed from there. Carlos had brought along several large empty water bottles that he had filled up to take home. Honey is used in many ways in Cuba – especially good was papaya soaked in honey! After securing his honey we stopped at another house where we could see smoke in the backyard. This was the home of a carbonero, a charcoal maker who was tending to his pile of burning wood covered in ash. It’s a hot, messy business and the income from selling the charcoal is certainly not steady. Our carbonero had a burn on his arm and nothing but soap and water to treat it. We left him medicine to treat the burn. One of the things our group members carried with them was over the counter medical supplies like tylenol, bandaids, and neosporin that we could leave behind in the places we visited. Even if the people have money to purchase such items the pharmacy shelves are empty.
Children are the hope of any country and we are naturally drawn to them, their joy,