Monday, May 13, 2013

Absolutely Crabulous

So this post might be a little long...
I'd been planning to do a smaller update during the week but owing to a storm and a power outage, the internet was down at Great Huts for three days, and by then it was the weekend and I didn't have the drive/I was really hungover, so this post is a compendium of some things that happened during the week, but also the weekend as well.
To kick things off, I got sick on Tuesday night, meaning I missed dinner at 'Dickie's Best Kept Secret,' which is an awesome little restaurant built on the side of a cliff, where they cook you whatever they caught in the ocean that day, along with a whole bunch of other local fare. Suffice to say I was pretty disappointed, but the other volunteers and I are making plans to try and go again so hopefully that'll come off next time. Nevertheless, it meant I was bed ridden for most of Wednesday and Thursday, although that didn't matter so much given that we had some pretty big storms over those two days and a lot of rain.

And rain of course means....crabs.

Thankfully my room remained relatively crab-free (in the sense that I'm not finding big ones at the foot of my bed, although I can still hear the little ones and the hermit crabs scuttling around all night), as I was worried that in my delicate, bed-ridden state I would have been easy prey for them. There were also some crab-related shenanigans going on at the shelter that I missed out on, in the arrival of a crab deemed large enough to cook up in a stew for the clients. (The photo credits go to Lindsay, one of the other volunteers)

The Crab in Question

To get an idea of scale
You can see from the photo the size of crab I have to deal with here, these aren't your garden variety land crabs, these are mutant monstrosities complete with appendage-lopping claws. I honestly cannot begin to imagine how I would react if I woke up to find that guy in my room. Still, we're already halfway through 'crab season' so with any luck I can maintain my crab-free run. Another, smaller, crab was donated to the shelter on Friday, although he managed to mastermind an escape from the bucket he was being kept in.

Friday night was pretty low key, as I was still not feeling 100% and wanted to try and get a good nights sleep to save myself for Saturday. We had a pretty good staff training session on Friday, where we looked at transactional analysis and determined what ego states we usually spent most of out time in (it turns out I switch imperceptibly back and forth between adult and child). Things got a bit more exciting when I stopped off at my friend Thea's bar for a drink on the way home and found out that I was DJing at a party down the road that night. What followed was a frantic search for music and CD burning session in order to get ready.

The party itself was pretty low key, but I had a lot of fun playing music to people for the first time in 6 weeks, while Gayleon MC'ed for me and managed to even get a few rewinds thrown in for good measure. After we wrapped up there we moved on to a ninth night party back in Boston.

The concept of a ninth night party is a pretty interesting one and revolves around the Caribbean funerary tradition of 'Nine Nights.' Basically it is an extended wakewith roots in African tradition, that lasts for several days. During this time, friends and family come together to the home of the deceased. They share their condolences and memories while singing hymns and eating food together. In the old days, the nights supposedly were calm and reserved for the most part - but that tradition has changed with the times. Today, these gatherings resemble parties much more than they resemble wakes. The biggest party of all is saved for the 'ninth night,' which is the night before the funeral.

The woman who had passed away was extremely well known in Boston so almost the entire town turned up for her party. We got there close to midnight and the playing fields where it was being held were absolutely rammed with people all dancing to a live ska band that had set up at the top of the field.We linked up with a load of people we knew and spent the whole night just dancing right up near the stage and having a really awesome time, until about 4am when we all headed to a club down the road. 

I had a great night, but it left me with some pretty confused feelings about the whole thing. It seemed weird saying that we'd had such a good time because obviously the only reason the party was being held was because a lady had passed away. I suppose that maybe its better to remember someone in that way, although I still felt kind of ashamed that I'd enjoyed myself so much because I didn't really know the lady. I can say though that I think I would prefer people to celebrate my funeral with a big party like that, rather than just sitting around being upset.

Anyway that's all I have time to write as my laptop is about to run out of battery and I foolishly managed to forget to bring my adapter to the internet cafe I'm at....
I'm hopefully going to be having a tour of a luxury yacht later on in the week so I'll be sure to post up a blog about that as soon as it happens. Until next time!!


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