Prescription from The Carnival Doctor

Rhadi Ferguson, PhD
"The Carnival Doctor"

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    The doors opened at 9pm and the party got started around 10am. Bunji did not perform until 1am but that did not seem to matter to most. Most, came to party and Bunji's performance was really inconsequential to the total assessment of the evening. Although his presence was expected and would have been a disappointed if he didn't show, the vibes of he crowd were not dependent on his presence or the lack thereof.

    With that being said, when Bunji did reach the stage, his performance was classic Bunji.  Not only did he sing his hits but he also dropped one of the most ridiculous freestyles that I've ever heard him drop. He found out that it was some young lady's birthday in the crowd who was close to the stage and just started providing her with a birthday freestyle. To say that it was "Hot" is a severe understatement.

    Sweet Like Popsicle Juice

    I am going to keep this short and sweet.

    The event Ultra Glow was THE ULTIMATE GROWN FOLK PARTY of the weekend.

    I absolutely loved it.  If I had to describe it on one word, it would be.... CLASSY!!!

    The men and women were dressed in all white. The club was clean. The restrooms were CLEAN and very accessible.  And there were 2 main dance floors to choose from.

    It was nice.  It was full, but not crowded. The vibes were chill and people were dancing and having a great time.

    Let's Just Start Here..........  THIS IS WHAT IT WAS LIKE!!!

    After a long week of work I could not wait to get to Washington, DC for carnival week.

    Like most of you that attended, I just needed a nice likkle soca injection and a good wine or two to hold me until the next time I need my fix. 

    As a graduate from Howard University, I was more than pleased to return to DC. I love the city and I always love visiting the campus while I am in town.  I usually reach DC early before I have to do business or before I have a meeting to allow my feet to touch the campus.  On Friday, I flew into DC early so I could do just that.

    I spent my whole damn childhood trying to find out how to get to Sesame Street. And here I am.  Good into my adult years and I still can't tell you how to get there.  And trust me when I tell you that I've been looking.  And although to date, I have not found it. I can tell you that I have had the pleasure of meeting Big Bird and Elmo, but I've never ever reached Sesame Street. But it seems like a really fun time from all the videos that I've seen.

    I can tell you, however, how to get to Front Street.

    Front Street in Bermuda.  And I can tell you EXACTLY how I got there.


    I had just left the party on Front Street in Bermuda and this was after reaching the island just a few hours before the party on Front Street.  I watched Lyrikal, Kes, and Kerwin perform and I had an awesome time.  I can't lie and say that I wasn't a little bit tired. I was.

    But, if you know me or have read The Ultimate Road Ready Guide you clearly understand and know that I am a J'Ouvert man and that I love J'ouvert and I paced myself to make sure that my time at J'ouvert would and could be well spent.

    After the party on front street I went to my hotel room and ate a sandwich, took a fresh and got dressed for J'ouvert.  I knew better than to sleep.  Catching a quick nap when you are time crunched is like being stranded on a boat and drinking the salt water because you are thirsty.  It seems like a good idea at the time, even though deep down you know that it's not. 

    Sometimes you just don't do what right and thirst just overtakes you. And fatigue can do that to you too.   There's a fine line of knowing when to take a nap and when not to.

    In those times when I cannot take a nap, I have some coffee.  I travel with my Starbucks instant coffee packs and I make myself a nice little cup of coffee with the two packs and keep it moving.  Knowing that all I need is the soca because....... (all together now).... Soca does me meh powers! a journalist and reporter, I have to report the truth and not skew it as I see fit. I can give my own personal view on things, and I do, but I also have to temper that with the interviews and conversations that I have with those that have attended carnival and have a different experience within the same environment.  And while nothing that I write here is "negative", please understand that this is more of a reporting type of post and it's more informative than it is entertaining. And while some carnival journalists spend more time talking about beads and feathers and making people feel like "lesser-thans" just because they are not playing frontline at carnival, I feel that it is more important to provide you with information in order to make your carnival experience the best ever.   And that means that I take it as my personal responsibility to make sure that you are prepared as much as possible.  When it is time, in this case, for you to put down your hard earned money to attend Bermuda Carnival in the future, I want you to be able to leverage the previous experiences of myself, others, and the staff at TriniJungleJuice so that your carnival can be what is should be...... AMAZING!

    And with that being said.....

    Let's begin.


    During Bermuda Heroes Weekend 2015 there were many opportunities for learning. And I was fortunate enough to learn from former Soca Monarch Champion, Kerwin Dubois.

    But before I dive into that, please allow me to share some things with you that I've learned over the years.

    When  you meet someone that is in the upper echelon of their field or profession.  Or if you meet someone that has achieved a great deal or excelled at the highest levels in their line of work, the 3 best things that you can do are:

    1. Listen
    2. Ask pertinent questions
    3. Let them know how much you appreciate them

    I had this opportunity recently with Kerwin Dubois.  And without going into a long post about this portion of my Bermuda Heroes Weekend experience, I will tell you this -- I learned a great deal about Kerwin Dubois which I did not know.
    There's nothing like sitting down in a corner and arriving early to Private Ryan's Soca Brainwash and allowing your brain and mind to capture all the mental pictures from when the first fetters walk through the entrance until the last song plays.  There's absolutely no reason to short yourself of that experience.  Especially if you are a carnival virgin. And if you are a veteran traveling with virgins, DO NOT remove this experience from them. This is the time when you teach them to look around and find the bathrooms. And explain to them why you have hand sanitizer in your pocket. This is when you explain to them that you can come to the all-inclusives and eat early and then relax and fete while people are still waiting in line.  This is the time when you all can talk about the ease of travel and how you get to actually spend more time in the fete together because you arrived early.  This is where you TEACH them and show them the value of the total experience, not just the fete but including the fete.   This is where many of the woman can analyze all of the different shoe options, clutch purse options, dress options, etc.,. and do so without the "noise" of the partying in the first 45 minutes to an hour.  There is a RICH learning experience here that many miss.  MANY!!!

    Life Is Hard

    There are some moments that you experience in life that are just downright dreadful. I mean, absolutely horrible. Things that will break you down.... cripple you and emotionally injure you to your core.  This is what life does.  Life throws us an ass kicking that you wouldn't believe. 

    And just like a sportsman fortifies themselves for the pain and abuse from the game, so does the carnival reveller fortify themselves through the total and all encompassing experiences of carnival.  There are some moments that you experience in life that are just downright dreadful. I mean, absolutely horrible. Things that will break you down.... cripple you and emotionally injure you to your core.  This is what life does.  Life throws us an ass kicking that you wouldn't believe. 

    And just like a sportsman fortifies themselves for the pain and abuse from the game, so does the carnival reveller fortify themselves through the total and all encompassing experiences of carnival.

    Through carnival we experience a great sense of joy, we make new friends and we are able to actually take two vacations in one.
    First and foremost, let me make it clear that I am NOT complaining. I understand that I am blessed beyond measure to travel the world and my home country and fete and party and lime like its nobody's business. I also understand that being able to attend carnivals around the globe is a privilege.

    And I am thankful and grateful for that. 

    But....... Ah cyah lie!!! Nothing pisses me off more than when work gets in the way of my fetting schedule!!!

    And you know this too.

    This has happened to all of us. 

    We have a WHOLE weekend planned and THEN your boss, supervisor or client, at the last freaking minute books your for that weekend or tells you that you have to work or be on travel.

    And then you start to do the thing.  You know... that thing where you are trying to find out some ridiculous way to actually make it to at least something that you have planned for the weekend. Then you realize that there is no way without getting fired, losing your job or losing the client. 

    Well that's what happened to me this weekend.
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