Each person can move freely amongst the stations at will, without feeling obligated to spend time at any particular station or with any particular person; merely enjoying the stationed activity and the company of the people that also chose to participate in that station, and changing stations at your own leisure.
Intriguing. Now I have to say that this thought had never occurred to me before, but the more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me. And so upon our arrival in Cabarete, I found myself consciously trying to set up the stations that my friend and I had discussed.
First off let me explain though, this weekend was a three day weekend since there was a Dominican holiday on Monday. Coincidentally, the beach town of Cabarete decided to host a jazz festival for Saturday and Sunday night. So it wasn't really tough to decide how we were going to spend our long weekend: beach, sun, and good music, who could say no? A group of 8 of us rented 2 rooms in a cheaply priced hotel and split in on food. It was definitely "La vie boheme" for the weekend, but that made it all the much more fun.
We arrived in Cabarete Saturday evening, ate our thrifty dinner of ham and cheese sandwiches accompanied by rum and juice cocktails, and began our journey along the beach to the jazz festival (our hotel was situated about a quarter mile walk from the jazz tent). Of course though, as soon as we had made it about half way to our destination, it began to drizzle. And that drizzle soon turned into a steady pour. We sprinted for shelter under the nearest cabana to wait out the rain.
After waiting about 15 minutes, with jazz music taunting us from a distance, and serious talk being tossed around about just giving up and taking a dip in the ocean (we were already soaked), the rain finally began to ease up. Notice I said ease up, not stop. At this point, a few wandered back home, deeming tomorrow a more worthy night for celebration, and a few of us (those who had drank more rum and juice cocktails) continued on, making a mad dash for the nearest night club and hurling ourselves inside out of the rain. By this time, the jazz festival tent had also given up due to the inclement weather, but the night clubs (having real roofs), were getting into full swing. We danced ourselves dry into the wee small hours of the morning. And despite the rain, the night was awesome. Maybe even because of it. Nothing like dancing in the rain to make you throw away all cares in the world.
At our previous discussion, Maddy and I decided that for the purpose of a perfect day in Cabarete, the stations would need to include: Reading, Swimming Pool, Cards, Beach Volleyball, Playing in the Ocean, Food and Beverage Consumption
Swimming in the rain, oh swimming in the rain, what a glorious feeling, la la la...(I forget the rest of the words to that tune....but I bet it gets stuck in your head now!)
Who knows how to play Canasta? Nobody? Ok, now's a good time to learn.
Occuring simultaneously along with station 1 and 2 of course.
The sun made a temporary appearance around 2 o'clock, which is when we picked up our stations and hurried them to the beach to seize the day.
But come on, that picture was pretty awesome.
I mean, this is a real gun we are talking about here people.
Ok, so I should probably explain to the folks back home that this is not uncommon, to see watch men walking around with loaded rifles (They are called "watchimen" in Spanish, haha, no joke. Best translation ever.) Lots of businesses and people with wealthy homes hire them out to stand guard for the night. Its a pretty intimidating security system, but apparently quite effective. Even the University where I work has armed guards walking around daily.
Anywho, what really happened is that we walked by this guy on our way back to the jazz festival that night and couldn't resist asking for a picture. So there you have it, the boring truth. The night might have a been a lot more awesome if that first story had really happened.
As it turns out though, it still ended up being pretty great anyway.
Station 6: Reading
We suddsed up in the ocean like good little bohemians.
P.S.to worried friends and relatives: It is important to note that motoconchos are a very common and often-used form of transportation here in the Dominican Republic, and in fact, sometimes they are the most convenient. But the use of helmets by motoconcho drivers and passengers simply does not exist. It was not by choice that I did not wear a helmet, the motoconcho just happened to be the most readily available form of transportation this day and there were no helmets to be found.