Finding Gratitude at the Cuban Market
I wrestle with the emotions surrounding seeing real struggles while abroad, like the embargo up close when I visited Cuba. The stores are fairly barren, nothing like our massive grocery stories in the US. Food is rationed for locals, the stores have empty spaces on dusty shelves. Here you’ll find a lot of canned goods or prepackaged items. Waiting in line to enter the store, checking your bag and having little choice, food felt more like a luxury than a necessity. There are some free market stores but they are more expensive and your average Cuban will have to shop for beans, rice, bread, basic vegetables and milk through libreta, the rationing process.
We had breakfasts made for us by our Casa hosts and I was impressed how much delicious food was prepared for us, it was a way for them to show pride in their home and after learning more about the struggles of everyday living, I felt grateful for what was made for us with such love and happiness. Seeing real world issues like this first hand and experiencing it for yourself make me forever grateful for the things I used to take for granted on a daily basis.