Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Traversing the Terrain

Dear World,

I have been in Trinidad for over one week now! Since my arrival, all the fears have been washed away by the warm air and the cheerful locals. I've been procrastinating on this post, though, leaving it to decay in my drafts for several days now. However, here I come!

There are many things I want to talk about, but I'll touch briefly on each:

My professors are incredibly relaxed. Especially just prior to Carnival (which is a massive celebration coming up in February), the professors seem to realize that students are still hyped up. It seems that at least two of my professors will be playing mas in Carnival this year (my one adorably short, West Indian male professor is a regular participant).

"Playing Mas" means you are part of the Carnival parade. These costumed paraders dance through the streets to the sounds of the steel pan drum and soca music (both of which I love!).
I cannot wait to share my Carnival experiences! Watch out for those in the upcoming weeks. :)

This past weekend was jam packed! I spent Friday on a 5-hour hike into the mountains on the north side of St. Augustine. We climbed up towards the monastery, Mount St. Benedict, and then far beyond.

It was an INCREDIBLE view! I suffered a few scrapes and bruises, but they were definitely worth the hike.
That night we ventured into Tunapuna, a town just down the road from campus, and watched the steel pan drummers practice for their Carnival performance.

 Steel pan drums are such cool instruments! They look basic, but each one can make a million different sounds.
The next day... Maracas Bay!

 We tried Bake n' Shark, a local delicacy! It had a lot of gluten (bad idea, I later realized) but in the moments I savored the meal, I was in heaven :) I am not a huge fan of fish, but shark is absolutely delicious. And just look at those juicy, red tomatoes!
Everyone insisted that Maracas is hardly beautiful if you have experienced the other beaches, particularly the ones in Tobago. I can't imagine anything more gorgeous, so I'm pretty pumped to explore some more!

Ended the trip with coconuts, then returned to St. Augustine. Alas, this week begins with actual lectures and real work to do! 

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