In this personal essay for the on-line Anthropology journal Sapiens, Ruth reflects on the death of her friend and childhood nanny in Cuba, the gifts they exchanged over many decades of reunion, and the cultural and economic changes on the island since the early 1990s.
“When my cellphone rang on the morning of December 12, 2018, and I saw the call was from Paco Lopez in Miami, I took a deep breath. I told myself that he did sometimes call just to say hello or update me on the family in Cuba. There was no reason to expect the worst. But I knew that one day he’d phone me with bad news. This was the day.”