Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#atozchallenge:P is for Poverty

Bonus P: Preorder Sign of the Green Dragon at Barnes and Noble, iTunes Apple and Kobo. You can also add it to your library at Smashwords. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for helping me out with this book launch. It will be up on Amazon by the end of this month. Cover ready. Just waiting for blurbs to come in.

Here's to a great AtoZ!

Join in the 

This year I traveled to Cuba. You know, it's that little island that's spitting distance from Florida and should not be visited without special dispensation. I wanted to see it before MacDonald's arrived. I'm so glad I did. I learned a lot and I met some wonderful people. It seems they like us. Now there's a change!

I'll add a short T/F quiz to each post the same as I did last year about Burma, and I'll post the answers to the questions the following day. 

Answers to your T/F Quiz for O:

TRUE 1. Obispo does translate as bishop. In general it used to be "religious leader."
TRUE 2. Obispo is an Ancient Greek name that does come from those pre Christian times. The word it comes from is "episkopos", which translates as the overseer. "epi" meaning on or over, and "skopein" meaning to look. Aren't you glad you know this?

P is for Poverty

Every Cuban citizen is guaranteed an education through college. Every Cuban is guaranteed "health care." I put that in quotes because there are issues about that health care. So here's what happens. Everyone can go to school and see a doctor without a huge bill, but when he or she graduates, guess what? No jobs that pay enough to support a family. So people, for example, with doctorates in Botany are tour guides. It's a heck of a good deal for the tourist. It's not such a good deal for the people who would like to work in the field they studied.

Here's one of the guides at a national park. He was great because he did have a degree in Botany. He made my walk through this botanical paradise so interesting, and I should have taken notes because his tour was like taking a crash course in the native plants of Cuba.

Your T/F Quiz for P:

1. The average teacher in Cuba makes about $100 a month.
2. The government provides free transportation to workers to and from work to help them financially.

Answers tomorrow.


  1. That must be so frustrating for them. Your tour would have been fascinating.
    Thanks for sharing so much about Cuba.
    I finished Green Dragon over the weekend. It's wonderful.

  2. Yes, I guess there must be poverty there in Cuba, a wonderful account you wrote.

  3. That's really sad they can't find jobs in their field. And here we thought teachers were underpaid in the States. Yeah, I bet that one is true. It might even be a little high.

  4. A guide I had in Mongolia was a physician (and a specialist, but I don't remember his field). He had been trained in the Soviet Union and in the West. When they adopted a more capitalistic economy, he found he could make a lot more money as a tour guide as he spoke several languages including English.

  5. It's good that they get their education, but so sad there are no jobs.

  6. What a great country, and filled with happy people. Hope the future ushers in more wealth for its citizenry.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh, how frustrating that must be to get a degree and not have an opportunity to use it.

    I'm terrible at these quizzes so I'll guess false on the first (maybe it's even less than 100) and true on the second (because it should be false. Where would the government get the money for this?)

  8. That's so sad that they can't really do anything with the degrees they get.
    Congrats on the upcoming release!

  9. I hope the country grows into its people and creates better opportunities for them. I do think every person is entitled to a free education. I had a brilliant free education in the UK but that all changed a few years ago. Now graduates have hefty credit to pay off before they even begin life - same in the US I think. Scotland is still free though! Great post! Love the botanist in his zone. I bet that was a great tour.

  10. Hubs and I hope to get to Cuba before it loses too much of its character. From what you write, though, change is badly needed there. I grew up in a neighborhood in California that became a magnet for people fleeing the Philippines during Marcos' rule, and we met many highly-educated people working outside their fields. Sad.
    @RhondaGilmour from
    Late Blooming Rose

  11. I hope, as things loosen up at bit, that these well educated people will be able to get better jobs. I would love to have been on that walk with you... I'm going to go with true for both questions.

  12. That sucks the can't find jobs. Guess free doesn't count for much when there are no jobs to get.

  13. No education is wasted. Maybe they are looking at a long term outcome. Where the well educated people of Cuba slowly work together to improve their country.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  14. I'll have three in college next year, so free sounds good to me. Though I know that there really are no freebies in this life. But some common sense changes to how we operate our universities could be useful. Maybe we can't make it free, but surely we could make it more affordable for students and their families.

  15. It is like that through much of the Caribbean. So sad, really, and yet many people seem to be doing well despite their circumstances.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  16. At least his education is related to his surroundings. :-( Poverty is like a leech draining those who suffer from it. Kathleen is right: it is the same story all through the Caribbean.

  17. I think the first is true but not the second. Don't they all ride bikes?

    Susan Says

  18. Cuba is fascinating and I'd love to visit it. Interesting post.
    My blogs: Around My Kitchen Table

    That's Purrfect

  19. I'd say 1 is true, and 2 is false. What a shame that such educated people can't find decent jobs. Not much motivation for staying on the island!

  20. I think that number 1 is false and number 2 is true. I don't know if teachers are highly respected in Cuba so far as salaries are concerned. I do know that in Russia during the time of the Soviet Union, teachers were some of the lowest paid people in the country.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  21. How frustrating! I understand having a college degree that makes finding jobs difficult, but for EVERYONE's degree to be like that? It's almost not even worth it!


  22. I'm going to say for the quiz False for both questions.

    That is sad about the education, yet they can't use it to gain any type of meaningful and productive employment!

    thanks for blitzing me!


  23. With the changes will that help these wonderfully educated people? So odd that a dictatorship would want such an educated population. That's the one thing most rulers don't want, a populace that's educated to think for themselves. I find this fascinating. Especially as he's ruled for so long, the army must formidable!
    Gosh, I hope the answers are false but I'm doubtful.

  24. How terrible to spend all those years getting an education only to find work at a place where anyone can do it. Maybe someday, they'll have a better living. Sure makes me appreciate America more.

  25. There is always a catch isn't there? I'm personally glad we here, in Canada, have free health care and would never change that. It is sad about the education they have and yet they can't do anything with their degree. I would say the first question is true but the second is false.

  26. Poverty is very real here in my country too. It can get frustrating really.

  27. It must be really hard to be so well educated in a subject and then not be able to apply it to its full potential. Although I imagine passing on the knowledge to others can be rewarding in its own way in the tour guide business.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  28. Hi Lee - I'd guess both of those are true. Interesting about the tour guide - and yes I can imagine your regret at not taking notes - he must have been so interesting ... cheers Hilary

  29. Book release is getting closer, Yeah! Congrats on that too. Wow, that was interesting about tour guides with degrees. Its a shame too the can't make a living in the area they pursued higher education.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  30. Catching up... Wow this almost makes me wonder if free college is a good thing. Great for the tourist though.


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