When the Fog Parts on Montagne Pelée

The skies were ominously dark, the clouds gray and heavy. The mountain hid behind thick layers of fog. Still, we were determined to persevere. We had driven all the way to Montagne Pelée and we weren’t about to turn back now. It was the day after Thanksgiving (which I celebrated on Saturday with some of…

But It’s Not Even Thanksgiving Yet

I can hear the music as we approach, the crowd gathering on the street and filtering into the courtyard behind the Vauclin middle school. It’s dark out, a little after nine, but the lights and the music show the way. The beat rumbles loudly over the speakers. The man beats his bamboo drum, a feature…

Solibo Magnifique by Patrick Chamoiseau

Solibo Magnifique by Patrick Chamoiseau | Editions Gallimard | 1988 | French “Solibo Magnifique me disait : Oiseau de Cham, tu écris. Bon. Moi, Solibo, je parle. Tu vois la distance ? Dans ton livre sur Manman Dlo, tu veux capturer la parole à l’écriture, je vois le rythme que tu veux donner, comment tu…

Il Etait Un Petit Navire: Kayaking Adventures

Le Monnerot is the type of road that you would normally just drive past without a second thought. Unpaved and bumpy, with construction signs that almost beg for you to turn around, this road seemed ominous, to say the least. As the proud new owner of a not-so-new 1999 Renault Twingo, the thought going through…

The Creole World Music Festival

I had never seen so many dreads in my life. The music was pumping, the crowd was swaying, the scent of marijuana lingered in the air. The lights on the stage flashed on and off and in bright colors and Tarrus Riley was standing on stage in nerdy glasses. He looked nothing like what I…

Swimming in a Waterfall

We wanted to visit a waterfall. We were not entirely sure which one, but we knew the waterfalls in Dominica were famous because you could swim beneath them in clear, fresh water—a strange rarity in the Caribbean where water is in abundance but most of it is salty. We asked our waitress how to get…

Living on a Catamaran

A Rastafarian man with long dreadlocks and a t-shirt tied around his head stood behind the wheel of the catamaran as it approached the dock. “That’s Victor,” one of the other assistants said. Victor was to be our captain as we made the long journey from Martinique to Dominica in a catamaran. The boat, with…