It’s 8:30 on Saturday night, and the music out back is already going strong. They’ve been doing sound checks, and I swear I hear an accordion playing bachata! It’s Carnival season, and from what I understand, each weekend builds on the next, the frenzy reaching fever pitch next weekend.This morning before 5am someone was driving through the neighborhood with music blaring, shouting through his amped loud speaker. I couldn’t catch what he was saying, except when he started chanting “Carnival! Carnival!” That’s commitment.
A lot of people from down in Santo Domingo have weekend homes here in Jarabacoa. One of the houses behind me is one of these. During the week they have local folks living there who enjoy playing Spanish Christian praise music. This is great, although they have a repertoire of three CDs, and seem content to play one, and only one, on a constant loop.On the weekend they are replaced by revelers, with loud, loud music, and the microphone needed to announce… well, I’m not sure what exactly, but every so often the music is interrupted by someone announcing stuff to loud cheers.
Tonight it sounds like a live band instead of canned stuff. Hopefully at some point they’ll need to take a break… although no doubt they’ll have recorded music ready to go.
Yeah, I might be a little frustrated right now! I woke up at 4:45 this morning (see above!), and know my typical 10pm bedtime coincides with when dinner is typically served, followed by dancing into the wee hours. I’ve had a long, tiring week, and I’m facing a night of very little sleep. All the noise should drown out the roosters and dogs, however, so there’s that!When I ask about Carnival, I get varying opinions. More than one person has told me about how someone had a gun and shot two people last year during the final night of the celebrations. That happened downtown, not over here, so please don’t worry about my safety!!
February 28 is Día de la Independencia, so I’m expecting next weekend to be loud and strong all through the long weekend. After that, I’m hoping it dies down, as it’ll be Lent.I’m not sure how Lent is seen here. It’s my understanding that a lot of the more evangelical protestant churches have tried to distance themselves as much as possible from any of the Roman Catholic traditions. This means there is very little focus on liturgy or the church calendar.
For example, nothing was said about Advent at La Vid, the church I attend here. I know there are valid reasons for this, but I think at times we can go a bit overboard, tossing out some of our rich heritage in reaction to some of the negative things that have grown out of it.I hope to talk with the women about what they think about Lent. I also hope to explain the significance of the 40 days of remembering Jesus time in the desert, and our preparing our hearts for His crucifixion.
Then, depending on how they respond, I may suggest ‘giving up’ things like gossiping, and ‘adding in’ things like reading the Bible every day.
But, that’s all for next week. For tonight, I’m trying to resign myself to another five+ hours of noise. Best charge up my Kindle, eh?