People Helping People
After all the worry about Hurricane Irma, in the end it was a story of “people helping people.” Neighbors helped eachother prepare for and stay safe during the storm, and afterwards helped clear the streets and sidewalks of all the downed trees that consitituted the bulk of the damage. Unboubtedly it was a disaster — there was flooding in certain areas, we hear reports of a few people who lost their lives due to downed power lines, and the landscape of a few parks and green-spaces has changed with the loss of many shade-giving trees.
But few people experienced serious damage to their homes and in Havana a week after the storm life is basically back to normal. The city’s infrastructure and systems are working as usual, roads and markets are open, people have moved on. As the final debris is cleared away, tree stumps are seen on many streets and, in the Cuban tradition of care with resources, people are often heard saying, “someone can use that wood to make something!”