First, the basics: TWA takes a group of volunteers to Haïti every May for a 12-day stay. It’s a pretty awesome story: John Callaghan (the one in orange, hiding his face), a high school teacher, started taking his students on trips to poor areas of Kingston, Jamaica to show them how differently some people live in different parts of the world. (My future children will absolutely receive similar privilege checks before they’re out of school.) When he retired from teaching he didn’t plan on continuing the trips; but by then some of his former students, who were college-aged or older, joined with Callaghan to form a registered charity and keep the tradition going. TWA has now travelled to Haïti 14 times. Check out their site to donate or learn more about them. Or, you know, keep reading.
Tag Archives: Caribbean
10 RULES OF FÊTIQUETTE
The first Tuesday of March 2014! Of course this means the third installment of Top Ten Tuesdays here on my blog, but it also means Carnival is in full swing for lucky partygoers in places like Trinidad, Brazil, and even New Orleans (Happy Fat Tuesday).
Being in Dubai, I am far away from any carnivalerie, so I decided to contribute somewhat by dedicating this Top Ten post to the aforementioned partygoers – here are some words of wisdom gathered by my friends and I during the last decade or so of fêting. Enjoy …
1. When you are waiting outside to get in, know that there is a direct correlation between the amount of jokes cracked and the speed at which time will pass. To this end, it is advisable to befriend strangers in line and poke fun at whatever and whomever is nearby.
However, when the line starts to get too chubby at the front, the time for jokes has passed. Band together with your newfound friends and push through the blasted door.
2. It is not okay to hold up the line at the door on your way in (or the line at the coat check on your way out) because you lost your ticket.
Put your ticket inside a pocket … inside a shoe … inside your phone case … with your ID … or, ladies, put in your bra (or your friend’s bra, if you’re really dressed to fête).
3. So basic, but apparently this needs to be reiterated a whole lot. When you’re attempting to dance on someone and they move away from you, they are not challenging you to follow them.
4. Females who arrive at a fête in high heels and/or flip flops should not be mocked gratuitously for their poor selection of footwear. Keep this in mind, but feel no obligation to go out of your way just to avoid them hurting their feet …
… it’s the only way they’ll learn.
5. Non-essential objects which fall to the floor have a retrieval time limit. If more than 30 seconds have passed since your bracelet, ring, or rag fell into the sludgy mess under your shoes, let it go.
If it is your earring that has fallen, no amount of time will make it safe for you to wear it again — do not, for any reason, attempt to put that piece of metal through your earlobe. Your mother raised you better than that.
6. Those who can hold their liquor: drink freely. Those who cannot: do not ruin this night for the rest of us.
If you are not sure which group you belong to, ask your friends.
7. Men and boys: you know how you love looking at women’s bodies but you’re really quick to judge them?
Women and girls are the same way, so hit the gym before you show up and take your shirt off.
8. Men and women: teach the boys and girls what to do and how to act. The recent influx of soca novices who seem unable to comprehend and execute even the simplest of dances …
… is untenable, and action must be taken now to prevent this situation from getting worse. (And while we’re on the subject … Can we please retire Palance???)
9. If you, like me, are tired of wining competitions which take up half of an artist’s set, meet me at the bar as soon as the selection of contestants from each Caribbean country begins.
And to those of you craning your necks to watch the whole thing go down, don’t be surprised when Trinidad wins.
10. Enjoy yourself. To the fullest.
Carnival will come back every year … genres of music will come and go and come again … our kids and their kids will have lots of fun at parties too … but the vibe will never be the same.
Oh goshhhhhhh I’m itching to go to a fête now … miss you all! Til next time xoxoxoxoxo