We just returned from our annual trek to Cuba, so I have a few more stories and lots of new pictures to share with those of you who have enjoyed following these blog posts about our visits to Cuba (last year’s series starts here).
I was torn between beginning this year’s series with an update on Lily (background on Lily here and her recent illness here) or finally revealing to my patient family their 2013 Christmas gift. Part of the dilemma is that the Christmas gift still isn’t quite finished yet, but I think we managed to get enough pictures to convince you that it really is a legitimate project and not just a way out of giving you all a Christmas gift this year.
For the past few years I’ve stopped sending traditional Christmas gifts to my family, opting instead to send Gifts of Hope. Things like goats, hens and roosters, fruit trees, mosquito nets and, my personal favourite, birth certificates which provide to children at risk access to essential, basic human rights. I think my family enjoys receiving the gift cards explaining these gifts as much as I enjoy giving them…we all hope that the gifts do help change the lives of those people all over the world who actually do receive the goats and nets and birth certificates.
But this past Christmas, I wanted to go one step further and provide a gift to a family we know personally in Cuba. We started the project last year and it was such a joyful success that we wanted to continue this year. Building indoor bathrooms for our various family members in this isolated village. So I sent a hand-made note to my family at Christmas, introducing them to Juan. And when we arrived in Cuba in mid-January, we started in on Juan’s bathroom right away.
There was no problem getting some of the fixtures, but we were all held up on construction by a province-wide shortage of cement. We ended up having to wait a few weeks for the cement to arrive, but as soon as Juan’s grandfather was able to get it, he was able to get the walls up in just a couple of days. Then he started to do the roof, but several days of torrential rain caused more delays. So by the time we left at the beginning of April, the bathroom still wasn’t finished, but all of the fixtures, wall tiles, flooring and roofing materials were bought and piled up and ready to go, so we’re sure that the bathroom is finished by now or pretty close to being done. So we’ll just have to make do with the pictures that I DO have.
So MERRY CHRISTMAS to my family – you know who you are…thank you for letting me substitute Juan’s bathroom in as your 2013 Christmas gift…I hope you understand how much better, brighter and merrier this gift will make this family’s lives!
(Here is the link to the background story on Lily’s bathroom)
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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2014. All rights reserved.