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!