I had intended to write about work but seeing as I have spent the day working on the new NCA site I would only be able to write about HTML, CSS and other geeky subjects.
What I did after work was a lot more exciting; I travelled south to Dangriga with my host and her boyfriend. Dangriga is the known as the hub of Garifuna culture, it is where they first landed many years ago. The 19th of November is a national holiday in Belize set aside to mark this event. There are usually activities all over the country starting a week before the event but the highlight is on the 18th of November. This year Dangriga are having a Punta-Fest which starts at 6 pm and ends at 6 am. The annual renactment, Urime, shall take place at the end of the Punta-Fest. Boats shall sail into Dangriga just as they did in 1625 (i think?).
As I mentioned before my host is President of the Belmopan branch of the National Garifuna Council and she had to go and pick up a drum – drumming is a big part of Garifuna culture – hence the trip to Dangriga. We arrived at the workshop at about 6 pm and the drum was almost complete. Some of the guys at the workshop were making calabashes and there were about 20 fresh Calabash fruits (no idea what the proper name is). They explained that they first had to shave the green skin off the fruit using a very sharp and dangerous looking knife. The fruit is then boiled and once it has cooled it can either be cut in half and the inside scraped out (then used as a bowl) or you can cut a small hole on either end and draw out the insides and then fill the shell with beads (to make maracas).
I decided to help out while waiting for the drum to be finished. The shaving was harder than I thought and I was worried that I would chop of my finger. It took me almist an hour to shave off half the skin of fruit the size of mango. They told me I could take it home and finish it but I figured it was better to leave it behind with the experts. We agreed that I should return on the 18th and they would have turned my work into a pair of maracas!
I can not comment much on the town as it was dark when I got there but I am sure after the Settlement celebrations I shall have more to blog about.