A day in the life of a girl like me!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who am I? 2

The culture of the Cocolos being from West Indian islands followed them where ever they went...and it was no different in DR. The Cocolos mixed British and African cultures and created their own; their ancestors were slaves brought from Africa to the Caribbean Islands, former British Colonies, and as any oppressed group of people, found comfort from their musical heritage and dance.

Fast forward a couple hundred years and you'll meet my greataunt Mary, descendent of a Cocolo. Mary Hodge was born on Feb 8, 1936 in Aruba (my grandfather's older sister), acknowledged by her father to carry the name Simon. Mary along with her two sisters moved to St. Maarten and hereafter back to Aruba, where they settled down in the Village in Sanicolas. The Village was where most West Indian descendants lived; for the most part because that was where the jobs were located (at the the Lago Oil Refinery). With many families from the West Indies having to uproot their families from one island to the next, they brought along with them their culture and customs for comfort.

In the early 1950s,My tante (aunt) Mary was one of the first people to start celebrating carnival in the village; she rounded up a group of friends and created the first of what we now know as "Parada di Sanicolas". With musical instruments made out of bottles, steel and plastic cups, they created music and danced through the streets of the village. It was a joyous occasion where everyone was able to let loose and be free and just have a good ol' time.

This year we marked our 56th year of carnival celebration on the island with parades in both Oranjestad and Sanicolas. A tradition (in Sanicolas) that was started by one lady who wanted to have a celebration of her [village's] cultural background. Thanks Tante Mary...for bringing this wonderful tradition to us.

Who am I ?

I've never asked myself this question before...I always knew I was Elaine Micheline Hodge. But today I was chatting with a friend and that subject came up. He claimed that I was making him blush,...and so I said to him " You mean you're shining, because black people don't blush". Then I caught myself and added, well that's if you consider yourself black. He then said to me " I consider myself Hispanic". This is when I got confused... because one can be black and Hispanic, right? Suddenly I felt as if I needed to question myself too, because like many people are nowadays...I'm what most consider a mut.

He broke it down to me and made it look so simple...his parents were both born in Cuba, so he's of Cuban descent...but what about me? My parents weren't both born on the same island....so I dug a little deeper only to find that my parents' parents (my grandparents) weren't born on the same island nor were my great-grandparents. So where does that leave me? How can I classify my ethnicity if the list goes on and on? Should I just use my race as my defining characteristic? That's what I usually did, to make it easier to explain to people, because if not, I'd have to sit them down and go down the family tree only to find that like my pops , I just happen to be born in Aruba. Why does it all have to be so complicated? So what am I supposed to tell my kids (whenever I have them,lol).

My homegirl Bianny (aka B) came into my office all excited because she wanted me to watch a couple commercials for Barcelo Rum; apparently every commercial denoted something special about a region in DR. And anything that has to do with DR excites me, besides..it's part of me too. So all of a sudden we're watching this commercial for the rum, and JLG comes on singing "Good Morning Good Morning Guaveberry"...and I asked her " B, all of the other commercials were in Spanish, why was this in Spanish and English ?" Then she told me something that made everything make sense to me.." ooh that's because that's what many people in San Pedro speak!" So you could only imagine...I was excited..and was on a quest to learn more! I started my research by searching online, calling my great aunt, etc. trying to piece together information so it would all make sense.

I learned that my great grandmother Ivanni Hodge was one of the first to immigrate to the Dominican Republic ( San Pedro de Macoriz to be exact )in 1884 from either St.Kitts or Antigua..that seems to be unknown. They moved to DR because the Sugar Plantation industry was booming and the shortage of workers made way for my family and many other West Indian families. They were known as the Cocolos by the native Dominicans, which was supposedly a derogotary term that described their darker skin colors and others claim it was just a name they gave the West Indian Immigrants. A positive of having the Cocolos in DR working in the sugar plantations was because they all spoke English and the US was DR's biggest sugar importer, so it worked for their benefit to have these Cocolos communicate with plantation managers. So there..we made it to DR....something that always surprised me was that my grandfather- Dominican born and raised always spoke English to his kids..and all of my Domincan relatives who still reside in San Pedro or Consuelo still maintain the English language in their homes!

So here I am many many years later thanking my homegirl B for coming into my life...and making everything make sense to me.Okay that was kinda deep, but it really is! I feel as if I'm found....ask me the question again...and I'd answer you proudly;I'm Elaine Micheline Hodge, descendant of Cocolos that lived in DR in the 19th century!

The commercial that inspired my research:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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You Are Elmo
Sweet and innocent, you expect everyone to adore you. And they usually do!

You are usually feeling: Talkative. You've got tons of stories to tell. And when you aren't talking, you're laughing.

You are famous for: Being popular, though no one knows why. Middle aged women especially like you.

How you life your life: With an open heart. "Elmo loves you!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Marriage License

Woke up this morning; it was a special day...a day like no other...My dushi and I were heading to District Court to get our Marriage License. I was excited and nervous at the same time, even though I knew the license wasn't anything official....but it felt official and it meant something official. We are OFFICIALLY getting married..no more girlfriend/boyfriend or fiancé/fiancée; he will soon refer to me as his WIFE and me to him as my HUSBAND!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Pheeeew what a day! It really was a day of double celebration!

My mother-in-law joined the ranks of the distinguished graduates of FIU's law school.
It was the usual scene at the Pharmed Arena; faculty, board of trustees members, President Maidique and the guest speaker on the podium, while the soon to be conferred JD candidates sat in the first few rows and were joined by family and friends. It was a happy day, and to be quite honest....I think I am ready to go back to school to add one more degree to my list of degrees....I want to be one of the students walking across the podium to receive another degree ( Maybe I should become a permanent banner marshall, at least I'll get to wear a gown everytime and not have to bust my ass studying and writing papers,lol....easy way out)
As usual I didn't pay attention to Maidique's speech ( I've heard it many times before), the class appointed speaker however gave a good speech (pretty much saying that family and friends play a big part in them being able to call themselves JD today). The only time I really paid attention was .....when they finally called my mother-in-law's name to receive her degree I was overjoyed, ..she's come a long way, this was a huge accomplishment and all that good stuff,...but the real reason was that I was happy the ceremony was coming to an end....(I was hungry as hell and couldn't wait to grub)....

So now we're outside, waiting for the new JD to come out so we can congratulate her again and take the traditional pictures outside the Pharmed Arena.......as soon as she comes we grab the camera and start clicking, next thing you know the battery light comes on and the camera shuts off....that's fine though..we had a "back up" phone....the only problem though, the "back up" camera was nowhere to be found....grrr.....doesn't that always seem to happen? Such a joyous occasion and no tangible proofs of memories.....wait....camera phones ...TG for technology....took some pics with the camera phone and called it a day....

We finally get to the house...it was decorated for a birthday party....today was Corey's FIRST birthday party...we had a cake, chips, soda and juice. The house was filled with little kids...we sang Happy Birthday,..Corey and his Mommy blew out the candles and we had cake ( they had cake, I had icing,lol..)...Can't believe that a whole year has gone by since that 5lb 11 oz baby boy joined us in this world!

It was a happy sunday; tomorrow back to the mundane life of working full-time....wish everyday could be like the weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


"Good Morning Good Morning how are you this morning?" was the song mommy would sing to me every morning when waking me up for school. Daddy would pick me up, give me a donkey ride through the house ...and before hitting the showers I had to get my daily dose of " a story about a little boy"...even as a little girl those were my favorite types of stories.

Today I'm a grown woman (sometimes) and though I don't have mommy waking me up every morning, or daddy giving me a donkey ride through the house, I still sing the "good morning" song to myself on those mornings when I just don't feel like waking up early. I miss being a kid sometimes,....no responsibilities or worries in the world. Just being able to go about our daily routine and knowing that there's someone there to make sure everything is okay for us. Now, being grown myself, I see all the hard work that goes into making and keeping a home. I thank you, mommy and daddy, for letting me be a kid when I had to be.

A Dress is just a dress

Growing up I loved dresses and skirts, then around the age of 10 or so I refused to wear them. I was in a phase where anything girlie was out of the question...except for boys that is..I've always loved them....

I remember this day as if it were yesterday....had to sing in church on Mother's day with "Coro TutuFruti" and mommy wanted me to wear a dress..."Lainchie you will look soo pretty in a dress" were her words to be exact . So ofcourse being the good daughter that I am...I got the dress she soo wanted me to get (read: forced me into buying ). ..the one I looked so pretty in, NOT!! It was a peach dress with a white collar thingy and a bow that tied in the back...think Ashley Banks in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ...so early 90s, I vowed to wear that dress the day of and NEVER EVER again....I wore it to church on Mother's day and came home hung it in the closet and never ever ever touched it again.

That infamous peach dress traumatized me and made me hate wearing dresses!! Until just recently that is !!...seems like dresses are the only pieces I want to have hanging in my "kashi" nowadays; the cute little dress and some nice shoes to match or in my case mis-match. They are so comfortable and I now remember why I used to like them as a little girl..you feel so free in a dress!

Now I'm in search of the perfect dress for the BIG DAY!! I keep envisioning myself in a yellow dress with some nice red shoes....why the combination you ask? Not really sure...it's just what I see myself wearing. It's so hard to find what I want though...but then again, isn't that always the case? You never seem to find what you're looking for....and then ofcourse when you don't need it anymore..that's when you find it. For now I'll continue my search for the perfect canary yellow dress....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Wednesday Love

Good Mooooorning!!

I'm bouncing off the walls again...I feel like the old me, refreshed and rejuvenated in the mornings....is it because I'm going to bed super early? I guess soo... or maybe it's because today is Wednesday..and on days like this I get to see my new love, Asiago cheese bagel! Yummy! I love coming to work knowing that ACB as I call him is waiting for me in the conference room...it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside,lol. And once he's gone...I come back to earth and realize that being here kinda sucks...

My new wednesday love.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another day in not-so-paradise

Me blogging? Never thought that would happen.... At first I was like, why would I put all my thought somewhere where any and everyone could read ? Then without me even realizing it was the same thing that intrigued me about blogging. So here goes....

Today is Tuesday May 13th just another day in not- so- paradise....woke up at 6:45 AM like I usually do, hopped in the shower and got ready for work. These past two weeks have been nice, my dushi and I both wake up early for work..it's nice having company in the morning, okay...the truth is I just like the fact that I'm not the only one that has to wake up, lol.....because as anyone that knows me should know..I HATE HATE HATE waking up early knowing that my dushi gets to sleep in...so it's nice for a change! Nothing exciting happend at work today....though now that I think about it even further...nothing exciting EVER happens at work.... but I must admit one thing...I do have fun with my co-workers...like when we go to the mall for lunch ( read: speed shopping), or when we go for walks in GC ...or days we congregate at the front desk or in my cubicle.....Work is fun (at times) but I get bored out of my mind too, but for now this would suffice!

Wow..blogging is kinda fun, I might just be blogging about every single thing that happens in my life....guess my grand kids will have something to read about me when they are growing up....that would actually be kinda neat!