This morning was a lazy one, I spent most of it relaxing by the pool or the shore studying ahead for the semester and snacking on fruit. At two o’clock we had a group dance class on ‘wining,’ a kind of dancing in which you isolate your hips and shoulders and only roll your hips. The most similar American dance would be twerking, however, wining only uses the hips. We were practicing for a performance for the dance group in Trinidad, Malek, who had visited PLU and shown us Trinidadian dancing. We learned about the development of Calypso, a genre of Trinidadian and Tobagonian music developed during World War II as a commentary on the conflict. Calypsos tell a story, the more contemporary version is a Soka, which can be either groovy - something with a slower tempo - or more upbeat.
Following that, we went on a grocery run. To end our night we went to the Castara bonfire, an event in Castara held every Thursday evening, at seven. It was a 45-minute drive on winding roads to a corner of Castara that you wouldn’t know existed if you didn’t follow the music around the corner of a convenience store. It was a small party when we arrived, the music and dancing hadn’t gotten started and I grabbed a late dinner to start off the night. For $100TT the woman gave me an entree with every side they served. There was one of the three bonfires already lit when we arrived on the beach, the night sky was awe-inspiring to look at here and the waves were a calming background. Soon there were steel drums playing, people were talking and dancing, and they let us light the second bonfire to get the rest of the night started. A Moko Jumbie, a carnival stiltwalker, was performing, dancing with us, and had us limbo under his legs. The rum punch was much more fruity here than at the other bars we had been to and lacked what seemed like any alcohol. At midnight we went home and I crawled into bed and fell asleep.
View my Trinidad and Tobago Spotify playlist here: