Road To Trinidad Carnival 2023 Diary Entry No. 1: How It Came To Be

January 26, 2023

Back in 2020, during an extensive voice note conversation with my friend DaeNia (during the lockdown), we decided that one year we would play Mas in Trinidad Carnival together. We discussed different Mas Camps, mulled over the costumes from Trinidad Carnival 2020, and agreed that one year we would touch the road together.
And from that conversation forward, I saved the idea of playing mas in Trinidad in my heart.

Now being completely honest, I’m not a carnival kind of person. Because generally, I’m not too fond of crowds. But! There was this one costume that I simply fell in love with and decided that I had to do it. I have to play mas.

This was the costume that I fell in love with! The costume that made me say I have to play Mas!

So with a dollar and a dream, I got myself an envelope, wrote “Trinidad Carnival” on it, and stuffed all of the cash I had on hand into the envelope.
I saved as much cash as possible, added “Play Mas” to my bucket list, and on occasions, daydreamed about what my costume would look like when the day finally came for me to play.

My dream costume was a full-covering monokini with long sleeves and a big feathery backpack. It was my dream costume because it covered everything! And with the addition of stockings, I’d be ready to take on the road.

But time has proved that some dreams are just dreams!

Then 2022 rolled around. Trinidad finally reopened their borders and no longer required proof of a negative covid test or vaccination. And, there was a lot of buzz around Carnival 2023 — the return of Carnival to Trinidad.

And that’s when a light bulb went off. Why not play mas for the return of Carnival?

This is what I envision my dream costume to look like!

At this time, DaeNia was fully enrolled in her Ph.D. program in the UK, and my heart said go for it because there would be many more mases that we could play together in the future.

Now I wasn’t too sure how Carnival worked in terms of getting a costume, so I decided to go to “Caribbean Twitter.” There, a guy named Stephan responded to my tweet and gave me the full rundown on how playing mas worked. He even put me on to some bands. One being his — The Lost Tribe. He sent me links to Instagram accounts and a website to sign up. I looked it all over at the same time and then literally signed up with three different bands that same day. One being Stephan’s band and the other two Tribe and Rogue.

I wanted to ensure I had a space in each band once the costumes launched. That way, I’d find my dream costume and not have my section sell out before I could get in.
But then launch day came along, that was another story. I watched the band launch live on YouTube with my mom, and we watched each band cross the stage with the most nakedest of naked costumes. I thought all hope was lost for me as a plus-size girl. Until Lost Tribe crossed the stage. My mom and I instantly agreed that the Lost Tribe would be the band for me!
I then waited a few more days for their costumes to be launched on their Instagram, picked my top four sections, and continued watching for new videos and content to help make my decision. Four became two. And then two became one. And before I knew it, I decided on the costume that I would grace the streets of Port of Spain with.

Oh, and do you want to hear something funny? I passed up all of the monokini options when selecting my costume.

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