My Nephew’s Dreams

Jorge Milanes

HAVANA TIMES — “In Cuba I used to hang out in the streets all hours of the night, and I never had any problems. But here things are different. After 9:00 pm, you can’t go out unless you’re in a car.”

My nephew has had his life goals well-defined ever since he was around 20. He aimed to have a job that would bring him in enough money to help and support his family, practice Rastafarianism and belong to an environmental organization.

Up until two months ago, all he had managed to attain was to become a Rasta. As for work, his situation was pretty bad – his wages didn’t cover anything.

His father, who was an architect, was entirely devoted to him, teaching him everything he could about the profession, and the kid learned a lot.

Notwithstanding, he soon realized that the knowledge conveyed by his father didn’t apply in an underdeveloped country. I think that’s what discouraged him a little.

“Uncle, my father and you have done, and are doing everything for this family. I think now it’s my turn. From here on I’m going to contribute, while I can, what I never could do there. If I hadn’t made this decision, how could I help? One can’t live on love alone,” said my nephew on the phone.

Today, on his twenty-eight birthday, he called me from Ecuador. He tells me he’s working days and is taking advantage of his evenings by taking a course related to architecture.

“Another thing, in Cuba you can go all over Havana on a worthless little peso, but here you can’t leave your door without some serious money, because here everything costs,” he commented.

In Ecuador, my nephew has fulfilled his second greatest desire; now he only has to start organizing in support of the environment.