Christmas eve was a busy day in the city. The buses run non-stop, and for my village that is unheard of. It is an hour and a half drive and he usually makes one trip and stays for the day. The buses were consistently packed while people came down to finish their shopping. I went down to see the activity but was back home by the afternoon because it was just TOO TOO busy. The rest of the day was spent at my friend's house visiting with family that came in from neighboring islands. The night was full of eating and drinking. Carols are done... Caribbean style. Using a harmonica and a bamboo with ridges Dominicans sing their original Christmas carols.Christmas day began with friends stopping by the house to exchange Christmas greetings. Gift exchanges is not common. Small gifts may be given between friends and some children get toys. I was able to ''Skype" home to see our traditional gift-opening morning but was beckoned back to my friend's house for lunch. The woman served a pumpkin, beef, potato and spices soup. It was fantastic, simple but able to to make in a big pot to feed the large numbers of visitors for the day! It is such a wonderful feeling of hospitality and enjoyment just relaxing and visiting. It was good to see because Dominicans work so hard all the time I think that is why I enjoyed the togetherness.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Christmas in Dominica!
Where to begin... festivities began for me with an annual tradition of slaughtering a pig. My friends spent the Monday before Christmas searching the island for a pig for their tradition. (Not hunting but finding a place or person to buy it from). The following day at 5am I was awoken and pulled out of bed to join the event. There was a large fire blazing already. I went to the back yard to get the pig with a friend. The 200lb pig lay sleeping in the bushes. After awhile my friend got the pig up the hill and near the fire. The slaughtering itself was quick and quiet (a knife is stuck into the pig's heart)-it didn't squeal at all. From that they poured boiling water over the pig and shaved the black hair off entirely. Then it was cut open, cleaned and the meat was divided and given to friends and family members.