Culture of Positive Vibrations

Culture of Positive Vibrations

Dispatch by Delano Lavigne
Photo by Jimmy Martinello

I feel inclined if not required to reemphasize the importance that water plays on the island of Dominica. Water is more than just the life blood of the island’s bountiful forests, it is also a force of nature that shapes the island’s geography and gives rise to an intensely beautiful and proud culture.
While rivers, oceans, lakes, hot springs and waterfalls have all shaped Dominica into the physically defined island that it is, the island’s culture is more amorphous, yet just as beautiful.
My first impression of islanders was that they are a welcoming people, a characteristic reflected in their generously offered smiles and casual fist bumps. That first impression, I am glad to share, persists and in fact has been reinforced by numerous, near endless, encounters with a wonderfully welcoming people. Quick to offer help when lost, disposed towards answering banal questions and incredibly knowledgeable about their country, there’s virtually no Dominican that I have met and not been grateful for having done so.
My visit to the Saturday market in the capital city, Roseau, provides a perfect example. Vendors and local shoppers greeted me at their stands unaccosted, helping me to relax into the overly stimulating environment that can so often and so wonderfully be a Saturday market.
We spoke of recipes, family and more rainforest secrets (that Bois Bande sure has a reputation). So long as I, and the rest of the team, asked for permission to take pictures, a cultural norm that I think is too often ignored in places as paradisiacal as Dominica, I was never made to feel like a tourist. 
And that is a testament to Dominican’s culture of positive vibrations.

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