Contributing to a Child’s Education

Jorge Milanes Despaigne 

Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, March 24 — The director of the daycare center informed the parents that they wouldn’t be able to accept children today due to a lack of water, and that they should call tomorrow to find out whether the problem had been resolved.

Faced with this situation, Nora had no other alternative than to take her son Samuel with her to work.

Bumping into each other on the way, as we greeted it occurred to me how Samuel is a boy who’s advanced for his age; he’s very well spoken. His mother tries to educate him the best she can, though sometimes he demonstrates “contradictory characteristics that result from the daycare center environment.”

When we got to the food stand on the corner near the job, he said to his mother that they sold good cookies there, ones that he liked a lot. He added that his father would always come there and buy them for him.

I empathized with him as I listened. It was almost impossible to resist his request, mainly because I liked those cookies too.

“Wait for me here, I’ll be right back,” I said as I walked away from them.

At the stand I bought cookies for the three of us, the same ones that the little fellow liked so much. Although Nora wasn’t big on sweets, she accepted them.

The boy walked along the sidewalk, devouring the cookies one by one. As he wandered along, he approached an old man. Apparently this man made a practice of sitting down on the curb to observe everything happening around. He eyed the little boy, who came off as amusing, well-mannered and clean cut.

“Give me one of those cookies,” said the old man, playfully.

“No,” replied the boy sternly, as he walked forward, still talking. “These cookies aren’t for blacks,” he added – to the astonishment of everyone.

The mother, in a sudden impulse, grabbed the boy’s cookies, went back to where the old man was sitting and offered them to him. He didn’t want to accept them, but Nora finally convinced him that it would contribute to the boy’s education.

Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.

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One thought on “Contributing to a Child’s Education

  • Jorge,

    It’s nice of you to share these stories, I enjoyed it, much like the previous one about the little girl not being offered a part in her school pageant on the premise that it wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing. However, can you add more detail? Is Samuel white (Spaniard) or mulatto? Was your other friend’s son white or mulatto?
    If they’re both mulatto, are Cubans actually denying part of who they are? It would certainly add more to the story if you’re specific.

    Cheers from Canada

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