A few days ago I went to Santiago de Chile, a beautiful city that like her Cuban namesake city is in a depression. The difference is great, although they both speak Spanish. This is a city that from last year’s earthquake which had a magnitude of that in Haiti, suffered as much damage as that other country, plus a tsunami. However, when we went to the airport yesterday to pick up a very dear friend who came from Miami to this city just to see me, I realized (as I hadn’t when I arrived for obvious reasons), that this air terminal, which had suffered the strong shocks of the earthquake, was completely restored, as if nothing had happened. Also the rest of the capital looks bright, as clean and flowery as usual.

Yesterday my friend Ritza and I went to the free municipal museum of Matta, to a beautiful exhibition of paintings, “The Return of the Worm Joseph” by Nicolas Camus Joannon. We also saw another of photography, “The World at Night,” by different artists. In addition to enjoying, enormously, these two exhibits, we toured the beautiful gardens of the house, taking advantage of the good weather to take some photos.

As we left the place, more than satisfied and smiling, we approached a few students who were at the bus stop to ask how much the fare cost. They very kindly told us that we had to buy a card and that to get it, we had to walk quite a ways since the place where they were sold was a bit far.

As they told us this I said that walking wasn’t a problem for me because I come from a planet where we have to walk a lot. One of them asked me where this planet was, and I answered: Cuba.  My friend spoke up and said, “I’m also from this planet but now I live on the other shore, in Miami.”

They laughed, said goodbye and we continued our journey. I was thinking about the anniversary of Girón, or the Bay of Pigs as it is also known, which is commemorated on this day. I was a little sad to think that at that event Cubans from both shores faced off against each other and we were all hurt.

April 18 2011

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