Monday, March 23, 2009


Last weekend while we were diving in Tobago, we met some teachers who work at the Canadian international school in POS, Mapleleaf. They invited us to a weekend retreat on the northwestern corner of Trinidad, in Toco, to see the turtles laying eggs. The house they rented was huge and beautiful. It felt like our own private resort filled with only incredibly friendly people.
Late Saturday night, we went to the beach to look for turtles coming out of the ocean to lay their eggs in the sand. After about a half an hour of waiting, a giant mass appeared in the white of the wave. It was fascinating to watch such an enormous creature just appear out of the water and slowly, slowly, start climbing toward you. Once she found a good spot on the beach, she started digging a hole to protect her eggs using her back fins. Slowly, slowly. Then she started her egg-laying trance and about 40 ping pong balls popped out of her into her 2 foot deep hole in the sand. The eggs will hatch in a few months and then there will be babies like the ones we saw in September.
I thought it was a spectacular sight to witness. Unfortunately, so did the other 50 people who were with us and they started taking tons of photos. The guides said that in her trance, the flashing lights didn't bother her, but I couldn't stay long at the scene to watch the turtle paparazzi assault. So, no pics.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brain Coral

We took the 5 PM ferry to Tobago on Friday to go scuba diving for the weekend. We saw the world's biggest brain coral, lots of juvenile damselfish, my favorite because they have electric-blue polka dots. And we saw sea turtles, not the most graceful creatures, floating into coral. Hilarious every time.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Life is totally boring. We started counting down the days until Carnival 2010.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

J'ouvert and Carnival

1. So it's hard to describe what makes Carnival exactly what I'd always wanted every party I’ve ever been to to be like. Just saying, "There was really loud music and a lot of drinking. It was really fun… " doesn't really do it justice.

It felt like my own private musical: we danced with thousands of other people (many of whom were in costumes that matched ours, while the rest were in such ornate and creative costumes that I wish I matched theirs) and sang along with the best soca music of the year. Soca is written specifically to get you up and dancing; they play it in the months leading up to Carnival so that by the time it comes, you know the lyrics and the rhythms and you love them. I was expecting people to go all out, but I wasn’t expecting everyone to become moving art—the costumes were so striking that I couldn’t stop staring. We thought we were going all out by covering ourselves in gold glitter so that we shimmered like my favorite ring, but we were definitely out done. Every few minutes.

It felt like playing my favorite sports: the camaraderie surrounding us had none of the angst or desperation that I remember from Mardi Gras. Instead, there was a mixture of a team mentality, glee, and your average (and friendly) dancing-with-a-stranger. Plus, I didn't have a worry or care since all my basic needs were taken care of (thank-you, wee-wee truck and drink/food cart men and SPF 85).

It felt like just being in the moment and enjoying the spectacle, the color, the beauty, the life.

After getting up at 2 AM to go to J'ouvert Sunday night, dancing in the streets and getting splattered with colored mud until 7 AM, we went home, showered, and laid in bed, tried to nap, got up at 10 AM to put our costumes on and meet up with our band at 11 AM, danced until 8 PM, tried to sleep again, got up at 7 AM, and hit the streets. When we got home Tuesday evening, around 9 PM, we blasted the soca music and danced.