Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Karnaval Parade, by Nia Mangine

Dear Friends,

I got the most votes to tell a story about Karnval.  

Karnaval was very fun.  And long.  So this story is going to be long.  There is going to be a video and a couple of pictures.  This the first time I have a video on my blog. (I think.)

Karnaval is a time of year in Haiti when people like to enjoy themselves.  They dress up and have fun.  These are the masks some of the kids in my family made to dress up.  Some kids didn't.  They all are pretty, but Manita used so many different colors together that hers just ended up turning brown and looking like diarrhea.  Hers is in the front of the picture.

I made a mask for both my doll and I.  This is how we made the masks.  First we printed off shapes for the masks off the internet.  Then we glued them onto pieces of cardboard cereal boxes.  We let the glue dry and then we painted them.  Then we let them dry AGAIN.  And when they were dry, we cut them out and put string on them so we could tie them to our faces.  My dad and mom cut out the eyes with my mom's sharp pocket knife.  That was all, though all the waiting made me a little crazy.

The morning of the Karnaval we were supposed to go to a field trip with IBESR.  They were supposed to come pick us up from our house at 9AM, but they didn't come until 10:47AM.  That was a problem because my parents had bought tickets on a wooden stand to watch the paper mache mask parade with all the kids.  We were supposed to go at noon.  But we didn't get to go, because we were still at the field trip.

At first, what they did at the field trip was to put makeup and glitter all over our faces.  (No makeup for the boys.)  Then they gave us a snack.  It was Tampico and bread with something salty and tomato-y on it.  It was pretty good except for all the onions.  Next they gave us shirts and maracas (Haitian people call them cha-chas) and hats.  Then they took us to the parade.  That is when we figured out we were going to BE in the parade.  But somebody in front of us decided to block the street.  So we went back to the house where we ate the snack and stuff.  There they took some pictures.  We hung out for a little bit there then they announced that the street was unblocked.  We all groaned because we knew it would be a LONG walk ahead.

We ended up walking for a really long time (as we thought we would.)  I stood towards the front and helped hold the sign.  This is me!

The grown-ups that were walking with us, helped us by making a circle around us with their arms to keep us safe.  That way no one could go in or out of our group.  That was important so that we had our space and no kids got lost in the big crowds.  Here they are.

Here is a video of us walking.  It is easy to spot me in the video because I am the only white person in the video.  Another way to know how to spot me in the video is by finding the person who gets knocked on the head.  Poor me!

It was a really long day.  I walked for more than 4 hours!  We didn't get home until after 6PM!  Remember I started the field day at 10:47AM!  And we started walking around 1PM.  There were lots of people in Jacmel for the parade.  There were all kinds of masks.  Here's a picture my mom took from the stand to show some of the animal masks.

But it's not only animal masks in the parade.  They make masks to look like everything.  They have masks that look like boxes of Apollo Soap (one of the brands here), masks that look like Ti Malice margarine.  Even masks that look like big giant rolls of toilet paper.  Maybe Manita should have walked by them in her diarrhea mask. Or maybe she should have walked by the cholera display.  (Cholera is a sickness they have here where you poop a lot!)  Ha, ha, ha!

Here she is.

That's all for now.  I told you it was going to be a long story!



  1. You got me laughing Nia! Nice job writing. I didn't realize that you walked for that long! Did you get to keep the hat?

  2. That was some descriptive writing! Great job. Poor Manita.

  3. Ok..You totally took me by surprise and I laughed a lot about Manita~! And WOW you did walk far! I hope I can come next year!

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