Monday, February 20, 2012

lundi gras

We've had power all day today.  I kept waiting for it to go off, and it never has. I hope typing this isn't tempting fate!  But then this evening, they explained to me that Kanaval (Carnival) is a holiday period here. It started Friday and will go until (or through?) Thursday.   EDH gave us power quite a bit during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, so I bet the reason for our luck is precisely that.

And it has been an appropriately relaxing day.

Monday is our day off, to begin with.  We can wake up slowly, pray on our own time, and have breakfast later than usual.   I can take my prayerbook and Bible and coffee out on the porch for my quiet time and not have to look at my watch. 

remembering the beauty of the
mountains and sea at Montrouis
Later in the afternoon, I had time to take my sketchbook outside. Playing with art supplies is refreshing as well as relaxing. It's been a long time since I have done that.  Why, I wonder?  I think I may have to do this next week, too. 

playing with colored pencils

When I came in, I found that the music drifting out on the porch was coming from the television - live from Les Cayes, to be precise, where they are having the official national Kanaval celebration this year.  It's the sort of energetic, rhythmic music that encourages dancing.  And there is certainly dancing!  Bands on floats are apparently a big part of it, but the part of the parade I saw had someone walking on stilts in national colors and, later, a troupe of dancers in blue and white.  Many people were in costume with Mardi Gras masks, of course.  Along with the music, the color has been quite striking. 
Kanaval 2012, Les Cayes

It's been on all day and into the evening, though we haven't watched it all that time, needless to say.  As I type, they are interviewing the president, who is in a t-shirt matching those of the people around him on his parade stand.   I have no idea what he is saying, but it has something to do with the carnival as well as perhaps more official sounding business (I did understand the word work - travay).  I gather he has a five-E theme here: education, environnement, emploi, and two others. 
Kanaval parade dancers

Of course, there are actors and other public personalities. Earlier this evening, the carnival behind them, a commentator was bantering with a comedian whose voice I recognize as the Ti Gran Moun on the radio.   I'm not sure he was playing the same character, as he was wearing a wig and dress, but he kept everyone in stitches as usual.  He's funny even to me just because of the voice he uses.

Here is a link if you want to know more, see photos, or watch videos:

8 PM, and the streets of Les Cayes are packed.    It looks like fun.

I, however, am happy to be home enjoying this down time. 

a quiet, beautiful evening in Haiti
  May each of you enjoy your lundi gras - and your mardi gras - as suits you best.

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