“I might not make the flight,” she said.
I thought my girl was being dramatic at first, but when she clarified that she was 40 minutes away from the airport with 20 minutes left before the cutoff time, the math revealed that the drama was real.
A year ago I would have been a little sad for my new friend, who I “didn’t really know like that”, but was happy to travel to Trinidad with her since she was a veteran and I was a newbie. However, a year later, we were friends. A term I don’t take lightly, and in one year, that light sadness was now devastation.
She eventually made a flight as a standby (a miracle of testimonial praise dance proportions considering flights were overbooked for 3 days) but for that half a day when things weren’t looking good, I had trouble getting into the carnival spirit. We heard the tunes in our taxi on the way home but they weren’t doing it for me. I came home and upacked all of my outfits, feathers, glitter and carnival fun, and even that didn’t excite me. I soon realized that carnival isn’t about parties, or costumes or dancing in positions that are probably illegal in some countries. Carnival is about the people you spend it with.
A year ago this trip was “a fun trip to cross of my list.” 12 months later, this trip means so much more. This past year was phenomenal but a lot of work. Hard work. Late nights, all nighters, tears of joy, pain and everything in between trying to bring several dreams to life. The same goes even more so for so many of the people in my group who 1 year ago were homegirls and now are friends. So this trip is a celebration. Of every mountain and valley we all traveled through to get to this beautiful celebration of culture, friendship and unity across nations.
With that said, let the wotless, 72-hour nonstop, whine upon anyting, Johnny Walker Black for breakfast, dancing on top of cars, cock up your leg like a puppy on hydrant and ride out on a poor 20-something boy at 4 AM in the middle of the street covered in silver paint games begin!