This tobacco house in Vinales Cuba is where some of your favorite Cuban Cigars start out. I wasn't expecting everyone here to be so inviting, but they all played along while I went through making my pictures. Some of the plants from here go to fancy cigar factories and some are rolled and smoked by the locals. So this is what a day at the tobacco house looks like. Show up and feed the chickens. Harvest the full grown plants, strip the leaves from the stalk, hang the leaves to dry, take a break. That's really about all there is to it. Some of the best things in life still can be just that simple. This was the first stop in Cuba where I felt like I was seeing life as it has always been. There's no visible awareness of trying to catch up to the rest of the world, just a satisfaction with doing something well and being proud of it.
Raidel Rodriguez and Hector Miguel take a siesta nap on the tobacco drying posts.
Before we left, Jose Ramos let me take his portrait as he was waking up from a nap, and then he rolled me a couple of cigars to send me on my way. Thanks for letting me invade your world for the afternoon. This was another example of everyone in Cuba being so open and friendly. Thank you to Billy and Damian who made introductions for me and helped to translate. For photographers, just keep in mind that you need to get permission before taking photos like this. Traveling solo can make it difficult to get access to personal scenes and daily life activities. Earning the good will of those you want to take photos of is always going to give you better results, and more friendly subjects to work with.