Having just returned from Cuba, I am even more appreciative of what we call 'a normal day' here in Canada or the United States. In fact, I am more appreciative on one hand; a little embarrassed on the other.
Given American-Cuban relations, this is not a 'save Cuba' post - rather, it's meant to help all of us appreciate what we have by considering the realities of those in other parts of the world (in some cases, within a 1/2 hour boat ride).
The couple we met let us know that as a newly graduating child psycologist, she can hope to make $15/ month. Doctors? $32 a month. There is controlled emmigration, wherein a 'lottery' is held and a maximum of 30,000 people can leave annually (on a population of 11.3 million).
On the other hand, people are generally happy.
Neighbors actually talk
Many social programs are covered,
and of those 30,000 potentials emmigrants, only 15,000 actually leave most years (according to our couple).
The truth is, the nondescript, crowded, noisy, dirty, something-out-of-a-movie town our locals took us to was just as much a trip highlight as was the gorgeous beach and plethora of activity options we normally would have soaked up without appreciating the hidden tragedy/ beauty we take for granted.
What really strikes me is the greater amount of wealth and opportunity we accumulate can actually blind us as to what reality most of the world actually faces.