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Archive for February, 2012


Ruins Rock Cafe in Roseau, DominicaPhoto by:TKpics616 via flickr.com

If sampling local and exotic Caribbean rums is your uncommon idea of a Caribbean vacation? Then The Ruins Rock Cafe in Roseau, Dominica welcomes you to try-out the best Rum punch, best Rum Selections, and ‘weirdest rums on the island…Try the Hi Rise!

God only knows how many different types of local rum-concoctions there are around the island; you can well imagine that there exist many excellent places round island where one can enjoy the quintessential ‘natural’ spirit.

Just remember, too drink responsibly!

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Stilt Walker at the opening parade, Dominica Carnival 2012

On January 28 many Dominicans and visitors alike went out to revel along the streets of Roseau with their hearts beating in time with each other.

Dominica Carnival 2012 officially opened; tourists and natives, revelers, children and their parents – all having a chance not only to watch this spectacular opening parade, but also take part in it and compete in beauty and talent.

This year’s carnival opening parade proves to accept all body builds, ages and genders, because two new contests were added to the traditional ones! The first ever Miss Plus Size and Elegance contest gains more and more popularity, and that’s great! Such a contest widens the frames of the Carnival to a large extent, as it gives the plus-sized ladies an opportunity to show their beauty and talents. These ladies, from Roseau, Mahaut, Mero and Canefield East, will compete in several types of wear and question and answer. It is very modern and ethic that they will be able to show their beauty, grace, sexual appeal, and talent proving that all Dominican women can set off the crowd! The show will take place on February 11, 2012.

Miss Plus Size and Elegance

And one more event that makes its debut this year! It’s “Mr. Dominica 2012”! Seven young handsome, really HOT guys, 18 to 30 years old, will compete for this deserved title. The Dominica Festivals Committee has willingly accepted this event as the men taking part in it are expected to release their talent and potential. Dominican men are not to be ignored, as they are as hot and attractive as the ladies, but in their own “masculine” way. Check it out with your own eyes on February 10, 2012.

The contestants for the titles “Carnival Princess 2012”, “Carnival Teen 2012 are young, beautiful and shining as usual!

And of course, the traditional “pearl” of the Carnival – Miss Dominica 2012 – will hit the crowd! Six gorgeous ladies will show their beauty and talent as they attempt to grab the Miss Dominica 2012 crown. Don’t miss this inimitable event, scheduled for February 19-20, 2012.

Carnival Make Up

The new events find a broad response among the Carnival visitors, as they are modern, fresh and innovative! The usual shows are the “pillars’ of the Carnival which maintain the festive atmosphere and carnival’s colourful image.

But if one searches for something extraordinary, mysterious and authentic, this desire is sure to be fulfilled as well. This year the visitors have a chance to witness the traditional Dominican images, such as sensays, stilt walkers, flag wavers, and the traditional costumes made of dried banana leaves, cloth and paper stripes, shabby ropes, and so on.

Caribs at Dominica Carnival 2012 Parade

And of course, there’s no festival without music! During the carnival you can hear music everywhere. Music tracks and cultural music groups were pumping the vibrating music to the streets. Put your hands up and let this magic joy and fun penetrate your soul!

See our photos from the Carnival Opening Parade 2012: (more…)

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My mom always told me “If you can’t say anything nice, it’s best to say nothing at all”. Following her advice, I won’t say much about Caribbean TV other than that it’s usually not the right cup of tea for American and UK expats. After a bit of experimentation, we believe we have found the best, most cost-effective solution. You need:

1.Internet access of at least 1MB/sec download speed. You can get that on phone-line ADSL nearly anywhere in Dominica from LIME (the telephone company) at EC$129.95 (US$48.50) per month. You’re required to take it with land-line phone service that you may never use. If you live in Roseau, Portsmouth or Marigot you can add MARPIN cable Internet to your cable TV service. I don’t know that price but believe it’s less.

2.A US or UK streaming private proxy server, available for US$20/month from www.trustedproxies.com. UK citizens must add15% VAT. A proxy allows you to download content as if you were in the US (or UK) – without the proxy, downloads are blocked because of digital rights management (DRM). The service will allow you enough data per month to watch 350 hours of HD movies or TV per month.

3.Netflix. For US$8/per month you can stream movies from the Netflix library. There is a Caribbean Netflix, but the movies are a library subset and all dubbed with Spanish audio.

4. A local cable TV provider. Of the two here, we prefer MARPIN (www.marpin2k4.com) based both on experience and the fact that only MARPIN gives you both HBO and Showtime and reliably PBS. MARPIN costs the equivalent of US$21/month.

5.Optionally, a way to get the content to your TV and stereo. We use an HDMI cable from the PC to TV and an audio cable from PC to stereo. Otherwise you must watch and listen on your PC screen and to your PC’s audio output.

6.Also optionally, a TV receiver card on your PC. That allows you to record TV content from MARPIN* that may conflict with your schedule (even while streaming something else), although often you can see recorded versions of popular programs by streaming them from the station Web sites or Netflix.

* But only from MARPIN, which brings everything to your TV on the cable. The other local TV provider cables into a box that outputs composite video to your TV. The PC’s TV card would need another box (and account with the provider), and that’s if the card accepts composite video and audio input.

That’s it. For only US$49/month (not counting high-speed Internet, which you’d probably get anyway) you get all the good movie channels and access to content you can stream from the Web sites of those channels and Netflix. And for music, you can stream any type you like and play it through your stereo.

We use the proxy server in the Firefox browser. You can also use it with Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) or Google Chrome to stream otherwise blocked content. We do other surfing and music streaming through our local Internet Service Provider by simply using either IE or Chrome. We like www.jazz.24.org for example.

I believe this is the model of the future for home entertainment. On the one hand, TV forces you to watch what the broadcaster wants to show when the broadcaster wants to show it, often with commercial interruptions, and in US or UK time, which may be inconvenient for those of us in Dominica on Atlantic Time. And one pays for lots of content one might never care to view.

On the other hand, streaming over the Internet lets us see only what we wish to, whenever we want it, and often without interruption (or the ability to fast-forward though commercials). We’ll take streaming any time. Last night we caught up with the PBS series Downton Abby, which the 2nd local TV provider caused us to miss because of problems it had presenting the PBS signal.

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