—Two major hurricanes in less than two weeks. For a moment there was silence in Cuba, then darkness, the maddening howl of the wind, the creaking of trees falling, swollen rivers, and roofs and houses flying in the clouds.
In the numerous areas in the path of Gustav and Ike, almost everything was lost. Dead sparrows blanketing the yards of people’s homes, where there were still houses. Landscapes in disarray amid the painful murmurings of people who had lost all their material possessions, on an island where at times an electric appliance can represent an unattainable dream; as incredible as that may seem.
After the cleanup, the gathering of rubble, and the restoring of electricity that is still missing in thousands of homes: comes the resignation. Yes, it’s consolation for not having lost what’s most important, life. However the shock still continues for many. It awaits them in some places, like at work and in the efforts of others. There’s a mixed bag of feelings and emotions: Confidence, distrust, solidarity, egotism. Products are hoarded in the capital and drastic measures taken by the government. Artistic brigades travel the country, taking art and hope as the banners to restore a little happiness, typical of Cubans, and something we don’t want to let escape.
PINAR DEL RIO Province: