As I wandered through the streets of Cuba, around every corner I found Cuban children playing on the road. Each of them were as entertaining as the next. Unlike children where I live, they don’t have Xboxes, Wii’s or computers to keep them bailed up inside in front of a screen; they don’t even have 5% of the toys that kids in first world countries have. Children there are forced to be resourceful to stay entertained. They use rocks to play marbles, I’ve seen kids playing with a wheel and stick; hoop trundling, or kicking a deflated ball around a town square.
One evening in Santiago de Cuba I took a stroll around the town before dinner. I’d recently noticed how everyone in Cuba loves being photographed, especially the children, and wanted to enjoy this as much as possible. Rounding a corner I almost got knocked over by a boy zooming past me on some type of wooden board. While catching my breath I took a moment to watch what they were doing. These awesome kids had made their own quasi skateboards with 3 wheels, a stick and some recycled wood. A-mazing! I don’t even know how long I stood there to watch them play with their “skateboards”, their happiness was infectious.
My favourite experience of taking a photo with a little Cuban was in Santa Clara. Of an evening everyone takes to the streets, or maybe they just stay on the streets, as that’s where they spend their whole day too… either way, people are everywhere, relaxing, enjoying the night air, the music at a bar on the corner and most of all, enjoying each other. At the heart of almost every town is a Revolution Square, this particular one in Santa Clara had a rotunda that looked beautiful in the night-light.
My photography skills are all self-taught, and so for a good 30 mins I had tried to take the perfect photo of the rotunda. What happens if make this number a little higher? A little less? I fiddle with this button? How about this one with the funny +/- sign? Starting at novice level I can only get better! I had moved around to see what happens if I put the water fountain in the foreground when the sweetest little boy came up to me and wanted to see what I was doing. How could I tell him that I actually didn’t know what I was doing, and that I didn’t know how to explain that to him in Spanish? I showed him the screen of
my camera, explaining that I was attempting to capture a memory of the Revolutionary Square. Pretty sure that the big eyes that looked back at me had no clue of what I had just tried to explain in my horrific attempt at Spanish. To show him exactly how it worked, I took a quick snap of him. I will never know if he understood any of my butchered Spanish, but I will always remember the delight and excitement when he saw himself on my camera.