Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Every Girl's Dream


Kelly Montgomery
reporting from Havana
Wednesday Day 5


Havana, May 15

            We were told today by our taxi driver and newfound Cuban friend that in this country, "turning 15 is every girl's dream". 
            Teresa Verrajo is unmarried and has one daughter who will be 15-years-old in January, but the preparations for the special day are already underway. A taxi driver for 12 years now, 46-year-old Teresa talked about the struggles she continues to face given the Cuban working system. We paid 24CUCs for the ride to the restaurant and back, so it seems absurd that she walks away with only 10CUC a month. The government takes the rest. 
             She said she has been saving for her daughter's Quinseanera for years now, knowing she will have to pay hundreds of dollars for professional photographs, food, and of course, the dress, all to fulfill a young Cuban girl's dream. 
             As Teresa was telling us this story, all I could think about was girls from my high school receiving brand new convertibles for their 16th birthdays. Here, all they want is a celebration, because that's all they know. Few things on the trip put things into perspective the way this story did. 
            Right before we parted ways, I asked Teresa if she'd ever been out of Cuba. She said, "No. I wish."  

No comments:

Post a Comment