The taxi's motor died three times as the driver wound his way around the fallen trees and through the flooded streets of Havana. He was trying to get me back to my hotel before the worst of October's Hurricane Irene hit Cuba's capital. Each time the decrepit Lada—a Soviet version of a small Fiat—stalled, I climbed out to push it out of the deep water. And each time help appeared. Anonymous volunteers waded into the choppy waters, heads bowed against the gale, to help push the Lada to dry land. Once the mission was accomplished, they smiled and disappeared into the wet wind and flying branches.