Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bamboo Palace

Dean is climbing the orange tree
Dominicans are friendly and helpful people. Fortunately, the world’s monetary system hasn't spoiled and corrupted them as much as the rest of us. If money wasn’t around, relationships would be established on a solid and true ground. When people offer you products and services, you don’t really know their true intentions. That is a dilemma for me when I meet locals in different countries.

The abundance of food and water in Dominica, makes it possible for some to detach from money, such as my friend Dean. His home is in an almond tree right on the beach. He built it with his own hands and lives there with his wife and three children. He has no electricity or running water and his fire pit is on 24/7, all year around. The Almond tree is always engulfed with a positive spirit. A couple of days ago, I showed Dean our broken oar and left it with him. The next day, the oar was repaired and it was stronger than ever! Dean would not accept anything form of payment, as matter of fact he never touches money or charges for things in a monetary way. He is very handy and helps/fixes anything in the neighborhood. He has been mentioning the “bamboo palace” that he wants to build on a segment of land up in the mountains that has been in his family for a long time. He, his friend Cruzan, Nico, and I left Portsmouth early morning on foot and hiked up the mountain towards the location.

Cruzan craved “Jelly for the Belly”. Dean found a coconut tree and in no time, had climbed barefoot and bare hands right to the top. The coconut juice and jelly didn’t have caffeine in them but worked perfect as an energy drink. Along the way, Dean climbed trees to get bread fruit, calabash, bananas, nutmeg, raspberries, and grapefruits for his family and us. He knows this area like the palm of his hand. He knows what fruits are in season, where the trees are, and who they belong to. Everybody that passes by in their cars, on foot, or bicycles, waved to us and knew Dean by name.

I have been looking for strong bamboo to make a trolling fishing pole and an LED light fixture. Up in the wilderness we found many bamboo trees. Dean cut some for his handy crafts he makes and for my projects. Bamboo can be used for many different purposes, such as furniture, houses, musical instruments (flute), rafts, swords, chalices, et cetera. I have a good feeling we will catch some fish with the new bamboo trolling pole! 

By the time we got to the “Zion” as they call it, our stomachs were growling. Cruzan and Dean went up to the field to get dasheen for lunch and to take home. It didn’t take long before the fire was going and the dasheen was boiling in the pot. Dasheen is a root vegetable, similar to potatoes. They can be much larger in size, more starchy and creamy, and therefore more filling.     
Dasheen served on a leaf
We got to a flat area in Zion located in a crater of an inactive volcano. Several hundred year old trees stand in the middle surrounded by many fruit trees that were planted by Dean’s ancestors and himself. During the stay in Zion, we let our imaginations take us freely away and we came up with tons of ideas for the future bamboo palace. In our minds, we built cabins by the waterfall, reconstructed the flow of water to run through the land, installed a turbine and solar panels for electricity, hung hammocks, build shelters, and so forth.
The sharp hill next to Zion takes you down to a river and a set of three water falls. There are no trails leading there hence we followed the sound of water. It’s absolutely breathtaking, stunning, and a well kept secret. We also brainstormed about having ropes and steps to take you down each waterfall and to its corresponding pool. I live to build and do these kinds of projects. I will visit Dominica one day for an longer, extended time and help construct the bamboo palace.         

If you are lost in your world and don’t know your purpose in life, come to Dominica and go into the wilderness alone, you will find enlightenment. This is why Dean and Cruzan are calling this location the Zion!

Love from the Bamboo Palace

View Dominica's Photo Album on facebook page


  1. Wow! It's so wonderful to hear that these oasis still exist in our world. Thanks for sharing George. (Kelly has to be bummed to be missing out!)

    Katie and Mark

  2. Yes and we are lucky to see these places! Kelly is missed here! Thanks