I always feel that my New Year’s is September when school starts. I feel much more attuned to the academic calender. Yet despite that when New Year’s eve (‘Ole years here in Trinidad) rolls around there is all this pressure to do something. Staying home with some champagne and some good TV is not acceptable. So in the end we set aside our exciting plans at home and we went to a big Lime which was a mesh of Trini and Kiwi cultures.
We had just enjoyed a fabulous 3 days with some dear friends from Montreal who hopped over from Barbados where they were spending Christmas. Seeing Trinidad through their eyes was a special experience. I became more aware of how this little island is a real collection of cultures and influences. So going to a Trini/Kiwi celebration for New Years seemed fitting.
Our host lives on top of a mountain and we felt on top of the world as we climbed the tikki lamp lit staircase to the garden. We were led to the edge of the hill where the Hangi was dug. A Hangi, I have just come to learn is a traditional Maori method of cooking meat and root vegetables using super heated rocks buried in the ground. The hole had been dug at midday and the food was cooking as we watched steam rising through the soil.
At around 9.30 pm 3 kiwis ( probably the entire Kiwi population of Trinidad) and a few game men appeared with rakes and shovels. The unveiling began.
Our Chef is a well known high end Kiwi caterer here but for this event he was putting on the ritz.
Obviously this was a great event for the glam paparazzi.
The digging and scraping and pulling took a bit of time.
Once the meal was dug out and dished up we all dug in.
We ate and danced on top of the mountain until midnight when a few friendly pyros set off an impressive firework display. We had a beautiful view both of our own pryotechnics and those dotting the skies of Port of Spain. By the end of the evening I had fallen in love with Trinidad just a little bit more.
Thanks to the one hour time difference we got home in time to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I went to bed dreaming of a Trini Kiwi serving up silver truffles on top of the world.