Tales from Afar...
So, After my meeting with the Big Cheif on wedsnesday, I headed back up to Portsmouth to the infamous Big Papa's Reggae Night! It was absoultely brilliant. Big Papa himself is this giant body building bald black dude with biceps the size of my head - very intimidating! His bar/restaraunt is this crumpled up old wooden shack which backs right onto the beach where they have a big barbeque and fish broth (very tasty at 2am in the morning!). A few rum pounches after arriving ( they are SOOO strong!), the reggae mucis became infectious and everyone was up on the dancefloor. All the guys from the dive shop were there plus a few other ex-pats (One of them was Dom Jolly's best mate from home had apparently taught Dom AND Orlando Bloom how to scuba dive here...) and somehow the hours seemed to melt away. Danced till my feet screamed, when i took a rest and then got up to dance some more. Met some very interesting characters, of which i made sure to take photographs. There was "mosquito" who told me that "when you liming with mosquito you is always a safe, man". I hid my initial reaction to leap away - i HATE mosquitoes afterall! We had a good old bop. i think he was genuinely quite surprised that i could move. Then took a turn around the floorwith Sherwin and John from the Dive Shop. They too were pretty surprised how someone so fair skinned could groove to Bob as good as the locals could. Whilst enjoying my fish broth...a local delicacy at nightclubs it seems...i got talking to this big muscly black rasta (Jess you'd have loved him) he was stunning to look at, and looked about 25 FROPM BEHIND. When he turned around properly i realised he was more like 55! I couldn't believe it! And he was an awesome dancer. I asked him what his name was. He replied: "just call me TGIF", which i dutifully did. only later did i realise that his name was actually just "Friday". He had added the "thank god it's..." bit himself. Had a brilliant night and kipped at Helen and Pete's before hopping on the bus back to Roseau in time for clinics the following day. it was so nice. The room had air conditioning - i had SUCH a good night's sleep! And just by the bus stop there's a place called "The Shacks". It's a bucnh of little shacks run by the locals to serve the US students who live nearby. They have fresh juices by the bucket load - favourites have to be pinbeapple and tangerine! Yummy! For breakfast i had an egg and cheese bake. Which is basically a big fried doughball with a fried egg and some cheese stuffed inside. Now, its no wonder that these guys are all dying from the complications of diabetes eating stuff like THAT everyday, but MY GOD did it serve as a good hangover cure! The following evening i met up with Dr Big Chief. He still hasn't told me his name so it was kinda odd spending the eveningn with him, but as i discovered everyone on the island just calls him "doc" and it seems pretty much everyone on the island knows him. He picked me up at 9 o'clock and took me over to Grand Bay, on the other side of the island to Roseau. It was awesome. we drove through the rainforest - could hear all the crickets and bugs etc nad the trees smelt divine: kinda "alpine fresh" mixed in with "ocean breeze". Anyway, the reason for going to Grand Bay was to go to the "Reunion" Festival. It was again brilliant. a real chance to see how the locals live and party etc. I can't believe how much stamina these guys have. they all just party party party all the time! The Reunion is basically an annual excuse to Party all weekend long. where all the people of Grand Bay who have left for distant shores over the years come back to celebrate their local culture. As i discovered the people of Grand Bay have a very strong cultural heritage and identity. They were all so proud of all those people who've emigrated and done well for themselves and The Reuinion is a way of celebrating that fact. There were Domincans from all over the world visiting for the party. The long hilly streets (think main st in Dingle but longer and more narrow) were shrouded in bunting nad there were barabeques being fired up in every second building. the Kubuli was flowing and the music was pounding and it was just brilliant to see. Obviously, i felt like a real plum, and Dr Big Nose did nothing to make me feel much more comfortable. Everyone was friendly enough, but to them i was just sme random white girl. and as the speaking of Patios is something that is also a very strong part of their culture, i missed out on a lot of what people were going on about. It was great just to be watching it all tho... Anyway, that's enough for now. i;m hungry. Hope all is well back home...it'd be nice to hear from some of you sometime...(spanx charlie!) Big Hugs, F Xx