Welcome! Tally ho!

Our B.V.I. Adventure is designed to give our family, friends and any other interested followers a look into the life of two expatriates making their way on the island of Tortola. Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

So, why did we move 2,000 miles away from our home in Knoxville, Tennessee? Michael accepted a position as the director of retail and international sales for a Caribbean clothing brand.



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Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 243: Jumbies Everywhere!

The Grand Parade is a huge event, held in Road Town on Emancipation Day each year.  Hundreds of people plan, build, choreograph, sew, practice and much much more in advance of this parade. Judges are perched high on a platform in the center of town to score each group's performance. 

Our favorite spots in Road Town were opening early to accommodate parade-watchers...so after getting some work done in the morning, we headed to Pusser's for starters. 

One of the funny things about the parade is its start time.  According to all official Festival schedules and bulletins, the Grand Parade starts at 11:00 a.m.  Apparently, the parade has never started on time, which has led Barfly and Le Cabanon to take bets on the actual start time - winner take all.  We entered both raffles, guessing the parade would start at 2:28 p.m. in one pool and 2:05 p.m. in the other.  (That's more than three hours after it's supposed to begin!)

While we waited, we enjoyed the delicious gourmet burgers at Barfly.  This was their special menu for the parade:
The parade passed by Barfly at 1:43 p.m. and it took 33 minutes for it to reach Le Cabanon, which is only 100 yards away.  To say it moves slowly is an understatement, but it was totally worth the wait!  Doing the math, the parade passed by Le Cabanon at 2:06 p.m.!  We were just one minute away from winning!!!

Regardless, it was a lot of fun and as you can see from the photos, it was a lively, colorful parade, complete with jumbies walking on stilts, many of them 12 - 20 feet off the ground! 

If you're not familiar with jumbies, or moko jumbies, they are apart of the culture here; enslaved West Africans brought the tradition with them to the Caribbean centuries ago.  I am amazed by this lively and lofty art form!  I found myself holding my breath as the jumbies floated by.  It is amazing how they move! 

What a day!