A week after Thanksgiving and moving into the holiday season here in the US, I’m continuing to think a lot about gratitude. This drawing is of a taxi driver I met in Havana, during a visit to the city in 2015. He was a very warm person, and between his pigeon English and my pigeon Spanish, we managed to have a decent conversation. As we rode in his old pink 1950s car (tourists love them) he told me a little about his life in Cuba. Trained as a doctor, he could not afford to raise his family on the income set for doctors by the Cuban government. Driving a taxi brought more income, from tips, so he drove tourists around Havana all day. He went on to tell me about his daughter, showed me a picture of her dancing in a recital in school, and spoke of his aspirations for her, including travel and perhaps life abroad. He then told me that he himself could not leave the country, as he was considered an asset to Cuba.

As he spoke, I made this drawing of him, and tried to think of what it must feel like to have your world dictated to you, and have the limits of your horizons set within what can be seen from the windshield of an old Cadillac.

I’m thinking of him today, and others in his position, and I’m feeling grateful that I live in a country where we have the freedom to set the limits of our world as wide as we can make them. I also feel grateful that I live in a country where I can raise my voice to keep America that way, and raise my voice to support those who fear losing those freedoms that we in the US take for granted. (See my documentation of election related protests HERE.)

But I will not get too political today, as I am still in the gratefulness mode.

Posted by Veronica

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