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la Habana in Renewal

November 15, 2011

There are also signs of renewal around the city. In (old) Habana Vieja there are a number of grand old buildings being restored, perhaps the next wave of hotels? I also observed the construction of various corner stores and cafeterias around the city. The wall and sidewalk along the Malecon (waterfront highway) also displayed significant stretches of recent renewal. This is in constrast to 4 years ago when I saw nothing but decay on this stretch of the city. Here is a sample of photos I took showing some of the renewal.

The first and second a large diameter sewerage pipe being laid along the Malecon. I got a good view of this work as I spent 3 days in a hotel with a balcony that overlooked the boys doing the pipe laying. One particular time I was observing, from on high, their progress they were just at the point of connecting the new hotel sewerage pipe to the new main pipe. Whilst the pipe was disconnected I observed the odd stream of water spilling out of the hotels pipe, no doubt some tourist flushing the john. The hotel pipe was higher than the main sewerage line. As the lads connected the 2 pipes one chap worked from the hotel (higher) end and the other at the (lower) main pipe end. I would have put money on it and indeed it did happen. Just as the pipe was fitted to the hotels sewer outlet the chap holding the pipe at the lower end received a full flush of sewerage down his t-shirt. The guys workmates cracked up laughing and I had to laugh as well. You couldn’t have made that up.

The third and fourth is a 3 story (residential?) building in vedado being restored.

The firth, sixth and seventh intrigued me. The building is being replastered and painted. The owner of the ground floor flat wanted money from me for taking these photos. I ignored him as the real hero was the chap on the scaffold plank. He was sitting on the plank with no harness, 2 stories up. Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in New Zealand would have had a fit if they saw that. The chap knew enough english to understand how much I admired his bravery. Shortly after his workmates knocked off for lunch and left him sitting up there. Hopefully they brought him back a sandwich.

The last photo is of either water or sewerage pipe that was being laid in the street behind the derelict stadium in the previous post.

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