One morning, a group of us were out early, taking pictures. We happened upon this man who was preparing to out and sell his bread. I stopped to ask him if I could take his picture. He was more than willing. In fact, he grabbed a loaf, held it up, and told me, with that usual Cuban pride and sincerity, that Cuban bread was some of the best bread that you could get.

After I finished taking the picture, I told him that I was pleased to have met him. He said the same, “igualmente”. As I was about to leave, he put the loaf of bread into my hands. I told him that I didn’t have any money with me, which I didn’t, and I tried to give it back.

He said that it was no problem, that we were friends. Further, he said: This is from me to you, Cuban to American, brother to brother, and friend to friend. I was touched deeply. I could muster only a simple, thank you. We both agreed that the issue was not between the people of Cuba and America, but with our governments.

I accepted the gift and caught up with my friends along the way. I told them the story and we decided that we had to eat the bread because it was such a wonderful gift. We walked, took pictures, and ate the bread. It was delicious, light, airy, crispy outside and fluffy inside. He was right. It was quite good.

The 3 of us finished taking pictures and headed in for breakfast at the hotel. There was about 1/4 of the bread left. I ate the rest with my breakfast. Not a bit was wasted. It was an extra special gift from my Cuban friend who had very little or nothing to offer, but who did anyway!

Let it breathe
Four birthdays in a row!