Met a girl on my way to Baracoa who invited me over for a stay. I take every offer as a blessing. Told you, first night surprise is my fate!


  Dina lives in Elda, the suburb of Baracoa, where almost everyone is her relatives and half of them are her cousins. I found myself happily immersed in endless flows of palm trees, banana trees and bamboo fences; exactly what I needed after three weeks of city hustle.
  Bathing in Río Miel; hiking to Sabanilla; chasing after chickens; crashing family fiesta by Río Mina with rum, music, roast and swim; and being fed with delicious mama's cooking. Food and drinks are a form of greeting here, and I do not mind at all.

  About half a year ago, Hurricane Matthew destroyed Dina's home not far from here while crushing towns across the Caribbean. All they had left was a small bed. They built this home little by little.

  The parents insisted to offer me the only bed in the house while spending their nights on the floor. Dina shared the same insistence on paying for my rides when commuting to the city centre. Some don't have lots of pesos but enough pride.

  I hoped they felt my deepest Gratitude from my "¡Muchas Gracias!" and a turrón de coco.
Once again, I'm overwhelmed by the Cuban hospitality when I don't even know the names of my neighbours back in my hometown.

  They were going to move to a new home in a month. I could only wish them the best. I tried to locate my memories on GoogleMap after being back to the city. It turns out neither Elda nor Dina exists on Google or internet. Dina does not have an e-mail as internet is not exactly part of her routine. Like it never existed, but only in my memories.