Really, Dominica you are a force to be reckoned with.
About a year ago, the Caribbean had woken up to the news of a grevious disaster. Hurricane Maria had devastated the island from top to bottom. Not a single village was spared. Not many roofs remained.
I still remember the prime Minister’s words : « We have lost all what money can buy and replace ».
I was heartbroken for the sister island and with the sister island.
Months later, with post Maria images still on my mind, I was quite apprehensive to plan a trip to Dominica for WCMF (but eh… Kassav, Machel, Kes, Chronixx on the line up? How was I supposed to even pass this up?)
I’ve been to Dominica several times before and I was afraid that the country would be broken. That the people themselves would be broken in heart and spirit
Losing everything as an individual is something. Losing collectively everything as a country is something totally different.
But I was wrong, you know.
Dominica isn’t broken. Dominica is strong and resilient.
Dominica is smiling again, Dominica is rising again.
How did these people find the strength to get up again? I have zero clue. Yet, they did.
The powerful nature life is florishing once again. Forests are glowing. Rivers are flowing. Yes. Dominica is gorgeous again.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Maria was there. Somehow, it still is. You can see it in the streets, you can feel it around you. A roofless house here or there, the remains of a partial bridge in the middle of nowhere. Life in Dominica seems back to normalcy but it’s a new level of normal.
Dominicans are rebuilding everyday. Every minute. Step by step getting better and stronger. Resilience. It’s the motto. It’s written everywhere and it’s sung in every song.
Resilience seems to be the key.
Now, let’s talk about WCMF.
The festival was amazing.
Ok. I don’t think I put enough emphasis here. THE FESTIVAL WAS AMAZING YALL!! There was the great, the good and the not so good but I still can’t believe that Dominica managed to offer the same level of quality as they had done in the past.
Windsor Park stadium was standing strong. The general public was there, performances were fire!
I mean…Is there a band in the Caribbean that brings people of all different ages and backgrounds together like Kassav does?
Did I almost loose my voice over Machel performance, my shoes over jumping with Triple Kay and my mind over Kes (did the man really HAD to take his shirt off ???????)
Asa Banton moved me to tears then had me singing along and dancing like a mad woman. Tell me about a performer!
(He gave away dozens of water bottle to the crowd just to spread it in the air and that waste of water was unnecessary, though).
Chronixx?? God! The man SANG! His voice spread this peaceful, spiritual energy over the crowd and the entire stadium was vibing along with him. Goose bumps all over my body. It was magical.
Francky Vincent, J-M Ferdinand, Yemi Alade, and many many others offered great level of entertainement as well.
Sweet Micky? What can I say… I had never heard the F. word so many times in my entire life. Is that even legal?
I can’t say much about Mavado as he hardly sang more than 5 words in a row which kind of killed my vibe.
The second, smaller stage was fire as always! Local bands and DJs were putting on a show in between the main stage performances.
Timing was on point people! Every performance starting and ending right on time which blew my always-late-Caribbean-gyal mind. We knew we had precisely 30 minutes between each performance (on the main stage) to go get food, stretch our legs or nap on the terraces (don’t judge me! I’m over 30 now!).
The not so good
There is one thing that I hated, though. The food court.
The food court was crowded. No surprise here but the lines weren’t lines and I almost died from starvation a few times while waiting FOREVER for burgers only to be told they were out of whatever crucial ingredient and had to re-wait FOREVER somewhere else. I don’t remember getting food being such a hastle the previous years so let’s blame it on… well… I really don’t know who to blame but there must be someone/something to put at fault. WCMF, please do better next year. A girl needs to be fed to keep up with the long nights of
wining down to di ground dancing.
We spent the last two days of our trip touring around the island. I was not keen about driving so we hired a taxi which really was a great option. Chucky drove us up and down the island, dropping us at the festival, picking us up at 4, 6 or 8am the morning after, explaining things, showing more things and patiently waiting while we were taking hundreds of pictures.
What can I say that the images won’t tell? Nature at it’s best. Everywhere.
Dominica made me feel like anything is possible. Really.
This trip did me good. I’m off to channel my inner Phoenix now.
Be blessed friends!
All pictures are from the oh-so-talented Anaïs C
Also, a very warm and special THANK YOU to Joe Scott for providing us everything we needed before we even knew we needed it. You are la crème de la crème.
More about Dominica?