The story behind "Muffler"
words and images by Warren Wilson
My last full day spent in Cuba started early in the morning with a sunrise photography session at the Malecon. Malecon is a Spanish word meaning "a stone-built embankment." It's a dike that stretches for about 5 miles against the backdrop of a redevelopment project. New businesses and tall buildings are making a new footprint in a city that has long forgotten what the era of prosperity was like.
After the sunrise shoot, our group headed to the inner-most heart of Old Havana. With the sun barely over the horizon and dilapidated buildings surrounding us, we walked the streets seeking new photographic ventures. We saw the locals starting their their new day--going to work, hanging laundry and scurrying to their next destination. We even had the chance to stop and talk (through our translator) to some. All were friendly and willing to talk about their lives in Havana. Quite an experience!
As we were leaving the inner-city, we ran across the men shown in the above photograph. Asked what they were doing, they replied that they were making a muffler for their car. Really?! Here, they were making the muffler out of a fire extinguisher. (Note in the right of frame the piece of foam the man is holding. That fire extinguisher was very hot from the heat of the blowtorch.) Needless to say, we were all impressed. I know, for myself, that I'd heard how adaptive the people of Cuba are. But, I didn't expect to run across such a perfect example on my last day in Cuba.
(Just in case you missed the last blog on Havana, click here to a gallery of Havana photographs.)
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