Sat 5 Jan 2008
Joel and I escaped the big winter storm in the Northeast, just in time to experience Christmas in Saba!
I figured that even though Christmas is old news at this point, it would be fun to share our experience this year. I thought this year would include more of the same from last time, but I was wrong on that account. Saba is full of surprises and we had our share this time!
You may recall our first Christmas in Saba, when we went down to the Saba airport to greet Santa, who gave his reindeer the day off and flew Winar to Saba instead. If you recall growing up with department store and Mall Santas, having one fly in by plane is quite a sight. I’d imagine the children of Saba feel quite special to have St. Nick comandeer a whole plane just to visit them for a day.
Joel, having just arrived in Saba, felt like holing up in our cottage instead of making the trek down to the airport for the festivities.
This wasn’t so bad, since Santa was driven around the island in a fire engine red truck packed with his “helpers.” Again, the elves must have stayed home with the reindeer, replaced by a handfull of merry Saban teenagers.
My only complaint with missing the airport arrival of Santa was the live band who carrols him in and my favorite Caribbean holiday song about Johnnycakes. I love Junkanoo Music! This song has become the song my family always sings whenever we talk about Saba …”Mama, bake me the Johnnycakes, Christmas comin’…Christmas comin’, New Year’s comin’, Christmas comin’, New Year’s comin’…”
Well, my complaints didn’t last long because some Saban celebrants having a party the next evening, broke out their instruments and gave an impromptu concert perched on the 2nd story deck above Big Rock Market.
This band had talent and plenty of spirit and the first song they sang was my favorite Johnnycakes song!
Joel and I were treated to a concert that we could watch and hear right from our front porch. How’s that for the simple life?
Christmas Day – Perfect Way to “Sea” Saba
Ahh, the best way to get re-acquainted with Saba was to see it’s underwater wares.
We went diving with the fabulous SeaSaba, met the fun new crew and some really great tourists who made our Christmas diving celebration a load of fun.
The best part was seeing my first sea horse (thanks Beto!!). These wonderful underwater creatures are rare to spot and quite a treat to behold.
There’s nothing like floating as if in a dream, taking deep meditative breaths and floating weightlessly in this underwater world. Beto, our dive master, made sure we saw all the great sights, including sea horses, peacock flounder, a sting ray, eels, barracuda and all the other cast and crew in Saba’s ocean stage.
Taking a swim in 80 degree water after our dive, in view of the lush island rising above, we were feeling like a blue and green Christmas is really where it’s at.
New Year’s Celebration
It appears that the big thing this year is fireworks. Everyone is crazy about them and they were going off for days…just the amateur stuff.
So you can imagine our surprise when, on New Year’s Eve and the night of New Year’s day, we were treated to a beautiful (just shy of professional) fireworks display. Both evenings, the fireworks were launched over the ocean.
We have two ocean views on either side of our property, so we got to see fireworks over the ocean from either side. It was wonderful.
We knew life was simple here, but who’d have guessed we didn’t even need to leave our front porch to participate in the festivities?
Their cottage sits behind ours and their halls were already decked when we arrived. Real evergreen boughs, fantastic display of white lights and wreaths on every window.
Taking pity on us, they gave us two evergreen boughs and two wreaths, so we could get into the spirit of the holidays.
Joel and I improvised and even made a little Charlie Brown-style Christmas tree with a branch of driftwood and some of the boughs. We’ve decided we have the crafty gifts of an enthusiastic 2nd-grader.
But that’s the thing about life in Saba….
Everthing is so simple here and already so perfect, there’s nothing one needs to DO to improve upon that. Gone are the pressures of having everything “just right” that seemed to infiltrate our lives in the US. Just BEING here is enough.
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