Connecting with the Spirit of Dominica
It was a long day of travelling to get there, but well worth the journey! We were met at the airport by “Ervin”, who is a guide and lives in the jungle without electricity or running water. He truly lives with the land.
From the airport to Jungle Bay Resort and Spa (www.junglebaydominica.com), we tasted 5 or 6 different fruits we had never even seen before, as Ervin identified trees and plants along the way. We were graciously greeted by all of the staff, and led to our comfortable cabin on stilts in the rainforest. Interestingly, there are no bugs to speak of and no poisoness snakes or spiders. During our entire stay, we left all the windows and doors facing the ocean open. At night we fell asleep to the roaring waves on the shore. At times it sounded like thunder as the waves rolled very large boulders around.
The island is a volcanic island, therefore very mountainous. We had the opportunity to go on several guided hikes (6-7 hour hikes, straight up and down!). One to a boiling lake at the top of a mountain/volcano and another to a fresh water lake again up in the clouds!
Once at the top of the volcano I found a comfortable safe place to sit, and closed my eyes to the sound of the boiling water and wind. I journeyed here to meet the spirit of Dominica. I was led deep down into the boiling lake, to the belly of the volcano where the spirit dwells. I felt the tremendous power and potential for healing in this place. I also felt the nature spirits desire for connection.
After leaving this location, we bathed in several natural hot springs along the way, fed by waterfalls. We also stopped and boiled some eggs in a small hot spring for a treat!
I admired the deep connection that the Dominicans have with nature. People live very intimately with nature, growing their own food, and foraging. I also was struck by the sense of sharing and communtiy that they are fortunate to have. They still hold and practice the belief that the community raises the children. Also, if there is a mango/banana or other fruit baring tree, it is an unspoken rule that you are welcome to take from it, even if it is on someone elses property, however it is expected that you share what is abundant on your own land.
The original native people are Carib, and live on designated land. I bought some beautiful basketry that they make to support themselves. Most Dominicans speak english/french mix or Creole, and many of the Dominicans ancestors came from Africa during the slave trade era.
The Jungle Bay Resort is a community built eco-lodge. All of the employess are local, and have been taught how to built, serve, cook, and in training presently to offer spa treatments. The food is all very delicious and again local. They are set up to accommodate up to 200 guests, however there were only a handful of guests when we were there.
We felt we were able to offer a great deal of help to Sam and Glenda, the owners. I was invited to come and teach a shamanism program next February there. It would be a fantastic place to connect with the spirits of nature. I’ll keep you posted.
If you are interested in hiking, nature and exploring the jungle I highly recommend visiting Dominica.
“It’s not what we do, but who we become that changes the world.”
~ Sandra Ingerman, Medicine for the Earth