Almost left behind
27.04.2013 - 27.04.2013 85 °F
Greetings from Roseau, Domenica, pronounced ROSE’-oh, Do-men-EE’- ka, named by Columbus on his second journey (1493) because he sailed by here on a Sunday (Lord’s day - Dominica). The island is a wild and rugged place of high mountains covered by profuse green plants and clouds on top, a lush rain forest and strong waterfalls. This all comes at a price: the rains wash out the roads from time to time (and they aren’t very good at the best of times).
We drove cross island to the Carib Indian Territory. The Caribs got their name from the Spanish (16th C) who saw the bones in their huts as signs of cannibalism. Not so; the Kalinago had a tribal practice of burying ancestors and later exhuming their bones for transfer to the family dwelling where they were honored. The Spanish dubbed the Kalinago the Canibs for cannibals (and somehow canib morphed into Carib). The Caribs used to live on all the Caribbean Islands but now only about 3,000 are left and they all live here. These folks are eager to preserve their culture and want to be known as Kalinago (their name before the Spanish got it so wrong). The reservation is filled with exotic flowers and taro grinders and Indian huts. We saw an energetic dance and baskets that are quite exquisite.
Then to St. Mary’s Church where the altar is a native canoe set into a base that is painted like the sea. And then to Salton Falls. Whew!! On the half-mile STEEP climb down to the base of the waterfalls, there were only occasional handrails but they collapsed if used and the steps cut into the mountain were in bad repair . We slid and stumbled in 85 degree heat, first down a partially constructed road (big rocks that slid) and then through a rain forest (wet and slippery). We were too exhausted and thirsty to remember that what goes down on excursions must come up. We struggled up and up and up - and got to the ship an hour after we were supposed to sail. Thank God for cell phones that work in rain forests.
Regarding the hymnal for which we were searching yesterday - no time to continue the search. But our organist, Lois Kimball, found a Methodist Church with hymnals - but no copier. A man (pastor?), however, who was at the church, found a copy pasted into a hymnal and removed it for her. Lois made a contribution - man said it was an answer to fervent prayer. Thank God for Methodists.