Monday, February 15, 2010

Carnival in Trinidad

Once I finally got into Trinidad on Friday I could feel carnival in the air. There was no workout for Friday so I just limed at my aunt's house with my cousin and did some catching up. My uncle Deryck from Canada is also here, so he came over and we just spent some quality family time together. The finals for the steel pan competition were on so we watched them. It was very exciting to see the competition and listen to the very energetic music all night long. I headed to bed a little early though because Saturday night was going to be a long night at the Insomnia fete. A fete is basically a party, but on the larger scale. Since it was carnival, this fete was going to be even bigger then a normal one.
Saturday my mom and I took a little walk into town to watch Kiddie Carnival. This was just a mini version of what Carnival on Monday and Tuesday was going to be like. There were a lot of cute little outfits, and a whole lot of loud music. The little walk we took ended up being seven miles long and at the end of it I had a nice shoe tan going on. I got back and crashed hard, but it turned out to be for the best because it gave me my second wind for the night. Around ten my cousin Keisha came and picked me up to head to Insomnia. On the way I could see stages set up for different fetes. When we finally got to Insomnia it was way bigger then I thought it was going to be. There was a stage set up and booths for alcohol and food, it was the real deal. By eleven the first performer was up and the crowd was loving it. For the second act we snuck into the VIP area and was able to get stage side for the performance! It was pretty exciting and the energy was amazing, the only down fall was I had no idea who the artists were and I couldn't understand any of their songs. This didn't stop me from jumping and dancing like the best of 'em though! By 5 a.m. I was beat, so we headed back home and once again I crashed as soon as I hit my pillow.
Sunday was more of a relaxed day. We woke up at 9, which at first I was very angry about, but then we headed to the beach which made my day. The beach looked like one of the beaches off of a post card or something. The sun was the hottest is been since I got here, the water was perfect and the waves were amazing. Other then being a little tired when we first got there, it was amazing. The sand was so hot I had to sprint to the water, but once I got in it was all good. I was suppose to do a jog and a warm up for my workout on Sunday, but since we spent the whole day at the beach I wasn't able to get it in. I did some running in the water for 20 minutes and did a lot of swimming so I was able to at least get something in.
Carnival Monday started bright and early at 4 am wit j'ouvert. Just before 4 a large truck was driving up and down the streets blaring soca music, waking people up to take part in j'ouvert. By 5 my family and I were up and out in the streets dancing and welcoming in Carnival. The streets were full of music and people, people covered in paint and mud. As soon as I saw the crowd I knew I had made a error in my wardrobe selection as I was wearing nice bright white pants and a t-shirt just out of the dryer. As I danced down the street with the crowd I tried my best not to get any paint on me, and I was doing pretty good until paint started falling from the sky and there was no escape. I didn't get too upset though because it was all in the name of the celebration. For three hours we danced up and down the street, and as soon as the sun came up it instantly got hot! We headed back to the house to eat a little breakfast and clean up from j'ouvert. My coach back home sent me my workout for today, Monday, and after taking a nap I started to look into getting to the track for the afternoon. My search didn't last long because after asking my aunt I found out that the facility will be closed for Monday and Tuesday because of Carnival. I was really bummed that I couldn't workout, but maybe the rest will be good. I ended up spending the afternoon watching the Carnival parade in town with my mom. The parade was like no parade I had ever seen before. There were costumes like an ordinary parade, but they were more than ordinary costumes. Some were so big you would think they were floats, but when looked at closely you could see that it was just one person alone carrying the costume. Then the same trucks that supplied us with music for the morning were parading as well and this time they were accompanied by a sea of people partying and dancing around them. They call it 'playing mas' and basically you follow the truck down the parade bath and 'whine' or dance and drink and just have a great time all day long, and these people definitely looked like they were having a great time! We ended up spending six hours watching the parade and when we left it wasn't even done yet. I wasn't ready to leave but I was told there would be more tomorrow. I know next year for sure I'm going to 'play mas'. My cousin said she did it before and if she wasn't pregnant she would be doing it again this year. And even though I wasn't able to workout again today, six hours of dancing has to count for something :-)

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