A prayer corner to the Sea Goddess in the Santeria religion in Cuba.
I did something monumentally stupid when I went to Cuba. Sure, I've pulled some stunts that I thought were award-winningly dumb, but this one, well, if there was a Nobel Prize for whoopsies, I'd win and they'd name a category after me. Now that I've finished bragging--and call it what it is I am bragging--here's what happened. I counted out all the beta blockers I'd need for the two weeks and threw in a few extras just in case. As I popped one in my mouth that first morning in Havana the horrid realization came over me with a cold, glaring clarity. I only counted on one beta blocker a day. I take two. I let myself panic for about 30 seconds. I figure after that time panic would take over and I needed to think. Fortunately, I can muster up reason and logic when I have to, and I was pretty sure I had to. I went on half-doses. I snapped the pills in two and had half in the morning and half in the evening. It worked. I'm here writing this. As to the prayer part, well, it's good to cover the bases. We had a visit with a Santeria priest one morning. He was a friend of our guide and was happy to answer our questions. The religion has taken over from Catholicism in Cuba in the past few years. As near as I could tell it's a hybrid of some African religions and Christianity with the highest deity in it being the Virgin Mary. In Santeria she is a Sea Goddess. Please follow the link if you want to find out more. After the talk we had the opportunity to ask the Goddess for something. I put a coin in the plate before Her, shook a rattle a few times, and asked to please get away with being on half the dose of beta blockers until I got home. I am grateful to say my logical approach to the matter worked and I'm sure the prayer helped.
Santeria practitioners (seated, center of photo) wear all white and plenty of jewelry.