Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Sense of Urgency

I am remembering how I hate the feeling when I know I have a lot to do that I cannot do all at once. I hate having things that I have to do that are out of my control. Namely, sell my car, and find a way to close my bank account after my final paycheck is deposited into it at the end of this month. I am doing a classified ad which I hope has the desired effect for the car, and I guess the bank account situation will just have to go work itself out.

I have had very few classes lately too, just two hours on Thursday and 3 on Friday. All the rest of my classes are doing internships for a few weeks. They have been better about listening. I have been trying to do more fun things with them like games and songs. I did a crossword puzzle and guessing game that worked alright, but they really hate speaking in English. I had to constantly ask them to ask the questions for the guessing game in English and they just kind of ignored me.

Those are some of the reasons I am happy to be leaving Martinique. I wake up in the morning and I’ve dreamt I’ve been at home and then I open my eyes and see the mosquito nets and I realize I’m not there yet. It shows me how much my subconscious is looking forward to going home. But for the moment, I’m still just trying to make sure that I don’t leave any regrets in Martinique other than the ones that I can’t really change. I have been a lot more adventurous and I’m glad because I know I will leave with good memories to sort of work against the bad ones.

I’ve gone to two reggae concerts in the last two weeks. I saw Aswad and Gyptian. Aswad is kind of older and I guess a very well-known reggae act in the UK and elsewhere. Gyptian is a young Jamaican who just came on the scene this year and is pretty much the bee’s knees when it comes to reggae. They were very different shows in terms of atmosphere and crowd, but they were both enjoyable in their own right. Aswad was probably the most relaxing and easy-going concert I have ever been too. All we had to do was relax and sway and the music was great. I actually listened to a couple of Aswad songs after the concert (regular studio recordings) and I didn’t like them at all. I thought they were pretty terrible actually. It’s all in the atmosphere.

Gyptian was a totally different experience. There were still a lot of rastas and a lot of weed being consumed, but the crowd was a lot younger and a lot rowdier. The opening act was a native Martinique rapper called Mighty Killa who raps in Creole very quickly. I understood pretty much nothing. The kids in the audience loved him though. He rapped about the upcoming presidential elections in France and had a chorus of “Sarkozy lies” going amongst the audience before too long. The fact that this guy wore his own picture on his t-shirt didn’t help my opinion of him, which was not good. I was glad when he left the stage.

There was a HORRIBLE rasta guy who came on between Mighty Killa and Gyptian and his music was terrible. I was VERY glad when he left the stage. Then Gyptian came on and he was really good. But, there was a small group of Guadeloupeans at the concert, and about three songs into his set, a fight broke out between the Martinis and the Gwadas. There was bottle throwing and fist-throwing and lots of little fights that splintered off the others. A bunch of people got up on stage to escape the fight, and Gyptian left the stage. He came back about 5 minutes later when things had calmed down, played 2 more songs, told us he was angry and that he wasn’t going to play anymore, and then left. So the concert ended poorly, but it was interesting anyway.

I went kayaking in a mangrove on Sunday which was a fabulously relaxing experience. We had to paddle across a channel which was a little rough, but after that it was so calm and quiet. I had a great afternoon. I went to go explore the ruins of a castle in Trinité on Monday and had fun stomping around the grounds. There was the most hilarious historic interpretation translated in to English. The pronunciation was horrific but it provided a good laugh.

Tuesday I had probably my biggest day of teaching yet. I agreed to do two sessions for a private school for their “Language Days” on Tuesday. I planned a quick introduction on the US, followed by a little “Stump the Teacher” session about Martinique, then the rest of the class was for Valentine’s Day. I brought along a song to do with the kids, where they had to fill in the missing words, and another song they could follow along with. Then I gave them some vocabulary and had them write love letters to their favorite celebrity. It was hilarious. But they were much better than my normal students, they participated a lot, and I think they liked the lesson. So I was pleased with how it went.

Wednesday we decided it was the day we would tackle Aqualand… Martinique’s very own waterpark. It was pretty great. Couple of crappy slides, a shallow play area for kids and a wave pool, but because we knew it was going to be crappy, and the park was practically empty, it was awesome. We didn’t have to wait in any lines and we were allowed to go down the slides backwards which was great. So we had a lot of fun there, exploring some Martinique kitsch.

This weekend I am hoping to hit a Latin dance soirée that goes on every Friday night in the north, and then some possibly go-karting? We shall see. Leaving for Antigua next Thursday and very excited about it! Pictures and videos are up. Enjoy.

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