Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Hash 2013

Sunday we attended one of my favorite activities on St. Kitts and one I haven't been too lately, but what a great time to get back to hash running.

Christmas is coming upon us very quickly and what better way to celebrate it in the Caribbean than with a Christmas Hash Run. We could never do this type of activity in Ohio a week and a half before Christmas in 10 degree weather, but you sure can here.

A second aspect of attending the hash was that we had our new family member, Clara with us this time. This would be her first hash and at ten weeks old possibly the youngest hasher the St. Kitts Hash House Harriers have had. (As a side note check out the father organizations International Hash House Harrier's webpage. It says that there are over 2,000 hash groups in over 185 countries presently. Wow!)

We attended last year's Christmas Hash at an old sugar estate but this year's celebration had a much friendlier and expansive site: Manhattan Gardens. This hideaway is an outside banquet venue, restaurant, and is located close to the Carib Brewery in what's called Lime Kiln, just before Ross University, near the sea.

The hash group is a lot of fun and can sometimes seem pretty crazy but it's all good fun. The organizers and it's members try to be open and inclusive for anyone who wants to come out and see the beautiful island, including children. This is evident by the Christmas Hash. At this event Santa Claus shows up with presents for the children of any age, as long as you sit on his lap.

Following the normal social activities of initiating new members into the club with baptisms by beer, this hash was followed by an appearance by the jolly old fellow and a Christmas dinner. But first we had to complete our hike or run depending on which you chose to do.

Since we had baby Clara with us we decided wisely to hike or walk. We arrived earlier than normal so we could get her carrying pouch set up for me to carry. We had to make sure we also covered her from the intense sun even though it's not as intense now as it normally is.

A little tyke requires a lot of gear.
There were quite a few people attending this hash. Maybe since it was only one day into Ross's three week trimester break many students were still on island. We had a nice sized crowd.

It wouldn't be a St. Kitts hash without some interesting dog attendees.

Love the dog's necklace.
The route was shorter than normal this time and I wasn't going to complain since I'd be carrying an extra 12 pounds.

This carrier works great but I wish they made a hot weather version. Check out their carriers here: Baby Carriers

Right when we were about to begin Clara started being fussy because she couldn't see with her sun hat on inside her pouch, but as soon as we started moving she quieted down and fell asleep.

Our route took us northwesterly to the steps leading down to the Glass Beach. We had quite a bottle neck at the top side.

The Glass beach wasn't very impressive since it looked like the water level was higher than usual and this made walking along the beach a little difficult. Our next obstacle was a rock outcropping and luckily the trail headed back up the hill because I wasn't too sure about climbing over rocks with Clara in her pouch.

Most hashers were tried to time the waves and it worked for some but I decided to use the old sure footed mule method and trudged through the water. Wet feet is better than a wet screaming baby any day.

The area down by the water is just stunning so we took the time to have some nice memorable photos taken.

After we reached the top we headed through some pretty cool residential areas. Down in the low lying area I got some nice raw shots of an old sugar mill and residential buildings.

I like this one and....

...this one. The pots in the photo are old sugar cane boiling pots and the public bathroom is common to see here in St. Kitts if you keep your eyes open. Most of the older neighborhoods had these, I'm assuming they were put in before most houses had indoor pluming.

Just before we made it back to Manhattan Gardens Clara woke up and nearly everyone was already back enjoying refreshments and listening to Christmas music being spun by a local DJ. The venue was decorated nicely and did emit a sense of Christmas.

I was still getting a kick out of some peoples' Christmas outfits.

I'm guessing these were battery operated lights and I wanted to get some too but couldn't find any here. Cool idea!

Within just a short while the hash ceremonies began and the "virgins" were baptized in to the club.

And the beer goes flying!

This hash was definitely pick on the little ones hash night. We had three young ones who broke rules or were new, but they were all good sports about it.

The first boy wore new shoes which is a big no on on a hash, so he had to chug water out of his new shoes. The second boy had to chug water, I believe for acting like a little boy. lol.

And then they called up "Baby Clara" to the front of the group. There were many boos and gasps as to how she'd be initiated. Some people yelled, "Make her chug milk!" This would be interesting since she is still breast feed. Anyways, they just put a dab of water on her forehead and she took it like the little champ that she is, she didn't even cry with all the loud peoples' hooting and hollering.

With all the festivities over everyone lined up to see Santa. Clara and Julie both received a gift too. This was Clara's first encounter with Santa Claus too.

This was definitely a St. Kitts Santa. He must have decided to leave his black boots in his sleigh on the beach!

After Santa's gift giving we all lined up and ate a fantastic local dinner. The entire day and evening was a lot of fun and I'll be looking forward to next year's Christmas Hash. The group certainly improved over last year's party. Besides, next year Clara will be over a year old and will be able to walk it.

I found out about the Christmas hash about a week ahead of time through an email list that you can sign up for as long as you contact the hash organizers. The easiest way to do this is through the Hash House Harrier's facebook page or by speaking to one of them during a hash.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!