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#415186 - 08/31/11 02:26 PM Carnaval 2011
Marty Offline

It’s Carnival Time and Mas Camps are heating up

The buzz about the carnival road march is heating up and the proof is in the Mas Camps where the hype and energy are at fever pitch. If the senior bands are known to get on bad when the carnival season approaches, the junior bands won’t be outdone. Our Entertainment Reporter Safiyyah Muhammad took her annual rounds at two of the junior bands at their street fest on Monday night.

Safiyyah Muhammad, Reporting

The carnival road march is only days away and although the king and queen festivities have passed the preparations are still underway. I stopped in at 2 out of the 5 junior bands to see what preparations have been like for them. Our first Mas Camp was Jump Street Posse.

Marina Welcome, Organizer Jump Street Posse

Marina Welcome

“Well I think we are in the race. This year if you notice my costumes are unusual. I didn’t do a lot of sticking and sticking. I went a little bit off this year and came up[ with something different. You will see Jump Street Posse totally totally different this year.”

Miss Welcome urged everyone to come out and see the new and reinvented Jump street posse.

Marina Welcome

“Come Saturday as usual, you will see Jump street posse coming from a distance. So come on out and support. Don’t let there be any violence out there on Saturday. We are representing to stop the violence and please people give peace a chance.”

Gareth Gill

Our next stop was Pickstock carnival band and from the moment we got there, there was no denying that these junior revelers were ready for carnival day.

Gareth Gill, Organizer Pickstock Carnival Band

“Pickstock will be out there in full colors and full force. We’re not gonna give up because we’re not a band that gives up so easy. We’re a fighter and we love to challenge different Bands. Pickstock this year, I only managed to accommodate ninety children. Because of lack of finance a little bit. But from what I am seeing, look like we’re gonna get back the whole one hundred and five. So we’re getting there, we are going out there in full force and we’re not gonna give up.”

If what I saw on Monday night was any indication of the level of energy the bands will have on Saturday you definitely won’t wanna miss it. Reporting for Channel 5 News, I’m Safiyyah Muhammad.

Mas Camps continue on Wednesday night when Soca Warriors and Eternity Mas Bands will show off their costumes and moves.

Channel 5


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#415334 - 09/02/11 02:25 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

It’s bacchanal time again; Carnival mas Camps in swing

Earlier we told you about the statement issued by gangs, saying they do not intend to disrupt the celebrations. The largest mass event for the celebration is this Saturday when citizens will be lining up the streets to view the spectacular Carnival road march. The junior and senior bands are mostly ready for the grand occasion. On Wednesday night we caught up with two high energy bands at mas camps: Soca Warriors and Eternity Mas Band; it was a special treat. News Five’s Andrea Polanco got caught up in the fervour.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

As the days wind down to Carnival Road March 2011, the bands raise the bar of energy and vibes at Mas Camp. Relatively newcomers, Soca Warriors and familiar faces of Eternity Mas Band gathered to show off some of their moves and a preview of the hype that they will take to the streets of the city:

Indira Mejia, Soca Warriors

Indira Mejia

“We’re a fairly small group. We are ninety revelers strong, but yuh know sponsorship was a bit slow this year, so it’s just ninety and we are a fairly new group.”

Andrea Polanco

“So what can Belize expect from Soca Warriors come Saturday?”

Indira Mejia

“A lot of love, hype and yuh know, just the carnival spirit.”

Misty Williams, Eternity Mass Band

“Eternity will have seventy five, strong, energetic revelers on Saturday. Our girls are ready, we’re hype and we just ready fi duh wi thing yuh know.”

Misty Williams

Andrea Polanco

“So come Carnival Day, Eternity dah one ah di bands weh everybody have to look out fah?”

Misty Williams

“Definitely, we wah be the last band but we wah be the best band! Energy, energy and more energy.”

Both bands will be promoting positive messages through their costumes on Saturday:

Indira Mejia

“We are promoting peace, love and unity. We are asking our Belizeans to please size the violence you know. So that’s our theme for this year.”

Andrea Polanco

“So in terms of outfits, everything ready and set for Saturday or work still di happen right now?”

Indira Mejia

“We’re still making some last minute preparations, and that’s basically it, not much just a little last minute touch here and there.”

Misty Williams

“Well this year Eternity is portraying Belizean Civilization, the journey to independence. When you think about civilization you think the Mayans and you think about the Africans, they are both the contribution to what are and what we have today.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Three more bands are scheduled to strut their stuff; JamJam Mas Band and Mother Nature’s Creation tonight and Black Pearl on Friday.


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#415391 - 09/03/11 02:31 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mas Camps Wind Down, Energy Stays Up

And while armed robbers had their way in Belama, in other parts of the city, it was carnival fever all around. Last night the Mas Camp madness was reaching its peak as Carnival is only two days away.

Here's what Monica Bodden and Codie Norales saw when they went out last night.

Monica Bodden reporting
Their theme this year is experiencing the Best of Belize - and according to Jam Jam Carnival Band - it's 120 revelers are ready to bring color, energy and charisma come carnival day.

Alma Gabriel - Jam Jam Carnival Band
"Our team this year is "Experience the best of Belize, the best rum, Travellers Rum, the beautiful birds and the Barrier Reef."

Monica Bodden
"How did the idea come about for you guys to do that?"

Alma Gabriel - Jam Jam Carnival Band
"Well, we sat down and we decided to do a tourism team. You know when tours come to Belize; they are looking to experience a little part of things, so we picked out three of the things we thought they should experience when they come; the liquor, go bird watching and visit the Barrier Reef."

Jam Jam began costume making in June and told us they will be having 3 sections this year in the carnival.

Alma Gabriel - Jam Jam Carnival Band
"Our first section is the Travellers section; the Gold Rum, the award winning 1 Barrel Rum and the Graffiti Rum Bitters and the second section is the beautiful birds; the Killed Bill Toucan, the scarlet macaw and the Harpy eagle and the third section is the Barrier Reef. I would to thank my sponsors Travellers Liquors and Joseph and Taylor, without them carnival would not be for Jam Jam this year. So a big thank you to both of them especially, Ms. Perla Perdomo and Mr. Francis Codd and also D.F.C. Thanks for their help."

Next stop was at Mother Nature's Mas Camp where the hype was on full blast.

Leroy Green - Costume Designer
"This year Mother Nature is bringing out the team "Religion and Superstition." We choose that team because Belizeans are deeply religious and at the same time they are also very superstitious. It is brought out through a story called movers of the seasons. Our group has 3 different sections. Section 1 is led by King Galactico, because he and King Dowd were fighting over who will be the ruler of the Belizean Heavens. The Belizean forest people selected King Galactico, so King Dowd got mad and he cast a spell over the Belizean people; the Belizean lands where there was a serious drought. All the crops dried up all the flowers got withered, all the rivers and the creeks dried up in their fields, but the people got together and prayed and offered up sacrifices up to King Galactico. King Galactico is the mover of seasons, who can change the weather. He heard their prayers and he sent the message through the lighting currents to Queen Lorena - she is Goddess of the Rain and the Waterfall. She heard King Galactico's message and she allowed the clouds to get full and clouds let down the water on the land, formed water falls, flowed into the rivers and creeks. The land became green again all the vegetables, fruits and flowers was ripened and Queen Abondia came out. Queen Abondia is the Goddess of Harvest. So when she came out and she allowed the people to have a bountiful harvest, they got together and had a big bacanal in the Belizean forest and that is the gist of our presentation for our carnival 2011."

Monica Bodden
"Tell us how many revelers have you guys this year?"

Leroy Green - Costume Designer
"175 strong."

Monica Bodden
"Is this the biggest group?"

Leroy Green - Costume Designer
"Yes it is and we still are turning away people because we don't have any more costumes and I will also like to thank every sponsor who came onboard and help to make our presentation a possibility this year. So from Mother Nature to all our sponsors a very big thank you."

Monica Bodden
"Now you think Mother Nature ready for carnival road march 2011?"

Leroy Green - Costume Designer
"I guess you guys passed through that crowed out there, so that is supposed to tell you guys, we are more than ready."

The camp visits wind up tonight - as the camps prepare for tomorrow morning's J'ouvert (Jou-vay) and then in the afternoon, the Carnival Road March.

This year - as has been the case for the past 17 years - it will be live on Channel 7 starting at noon with your hosts Shari Williams and Tyrone Chimilio, so make sure to tune into that.

Channel 7


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#415566 - 09/06/11 02:10 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

J’ouvert + Carnival Roundup/Recap

For weeks - we've been leading you up to Carnival 2011 with visits to the Mas Camps. That proved their costumes were ready and their camps were buff with revelers, but nothing prepares revelers for the big one, Carnival Day, when the cumulative frenzy, fatigue and festive fury built up in months of preparation explode into color, gyration and wild excitement on the streets.

And the craziness of carnival day it starts from early - while most of us were still sleeping, as a matter of fact. Monica Bodden didn't sleep up, though, she was out there that early and she has this report on the sort of cool craziness that ensued:...

Monica Bodden Reporting
Before dawn a multitude of revelers was out in the street swarming across Central American Blvd into Cemetery Road - in a mess of mud, music and mayhem.

Most of these revelers had been up from 4 am and walked from all across the city to participate in what could be called the common persons carnival… no costumes required, no dance steps, no lines… just music and mud.

Participant 1
"I feel Excited....."

Monica Bodden
"First time you all are doing J'ouvert or every year?"

Participant 2
"Last year because of carnival, but this year we are hype up."

Monica Bodden
"What time you wake up this morning for the J'ouvert?"

Participant 3
"I wake up at 4 o' clock."

Monica Bodden
"Is it something that you do every year?"

Participant 3
"Yes ma'am."

Monica Bodden
"Are you going to watch carnival today?"

Participant 3
"Yes ma'am."

But this year there wasn't only mud - there was also chocolate with the coco devils

Participant 4
"We wake up and we haven't got any sleep yet."

Participant 5
"We are having fun."

Monica Bodden
"I notice that you don't have mud. What do you got?"

Participant 5
"Chocolate."

Participant 6
"I am up since 3 o' clock. I went to sleep at 12 and I've been up since 3am."

Monica Bodden
"Is this something that you do every year?"

Participant 6
"Actually this is my first year and I join the coco devils but........"

Monica Bodden
"Are you having fun?"

Participant 6
"Look at me. Here is some coco for you."

Monica Bodden
"Is this your first year in J'ouvert?"

Participant 7
"It is my first year."

Monica Bodden
"How is it going so far?"

Participant 7
"We are with coco devils and we are having a lot of fun."

Monica Bodden
"Hi Ms. Vernon, how are you doing?"

Participant 8
"Having fun."

Monica Bodden
"Are you enjoying yourself?"

Participant 8
"Exactly, that's what we are doing out here."

Monica Bodden
"Is this the first time you have something like this where its chocolate instead of mud?"

Participant 8
"Well I was in Trinidad early this year and I saw it and thought we could bring this to Belize and have some fun as well and we are having fun. This year is going to be bigger and better."

Monica Bodden
"So it is a success the first time?"

Participant 8
"Exactly. I have 75 people and more people `wanted to join us this morning, so next year it's going to be much bigger."

And as dawn turned into daylight the crowd only seem to grow as the procession made its way over the Bel China Bridge and then unto Douglas Jones Street.

Monica Bodden
"Patrick how are you feeling this morning?"

Patrick
"Good, bigger and better"

Monica Bodden
"I always see in J'ouvert every year."

Patrick
"It's about 11 years."

Monica Bodden
"You guys having fun out here?"

Participant 9
"It's a lot of fun."

Patrick
"There is a young lady beside you who need to get it."

Participant 9
"Miss this culture is very important because it maker every neighborhood inter-react like in Dangriga we have the John Canoe (Jonkonnu)."

Monica Bodden
"So you come out every year for this?"

Participant 9
"Yes this is like my second time now and its very good for the culture."

Participant 10
"Well right now I feel hype up. This is like the fifth year since I never been in the J'ouvert and to the Western Paradise Masqueraders Carnival Band - I came out last year, this year I didn't come out but next year Western Paradise comes stronger than ever and we are coming to take everything."

Participant 11
"Monica you know when you come out here on this day is to enjoy the best of it."

Monica Bodden
"So you are enjoying yourself?"

Participant 11
"Oh yes."

Participant 12
"Let me dig down deeper to see if I can get more out of it Monica because I have to. This is it."

Monica Bodden
"What time you come out here for J'ouvert this morning?"

Participant 12
"I get up like from 3 o' clock this morning."

Monica Bodden
"From 3 o' clock?"

Participant 12
"Yes because I live at mile 8 and so I have to drive down with my son to enjoy this."

Monica Bodden
"This is something that you do every year?"

Participant 12
"Every year I try to make it but unfortunately the last two years I couldn't make it but this year I was well overwhelm with the crowd that I see out this year."

Monica Bodden
"It's the biggest that you've ever seen?"

Participant 12
"It's the biggest crowd we have seen for J'ouvert."

Monica Bodden
"Where do you all get this energy to wake up so early and then still go and watch carnival?"

Participant 12
"It's the spirit - this is the celebration time and especially like how it's our 30th birthday this year I think everybody is just in the groove."

Monica Bodden
"So I can expect to see you out there for carnival?"

Participant 12
"Well I am a part of the officiating team so you will definitely see me in it."

Participant 13
"Are you having fun?"

Monica Bodden
"Is it your first time out here or you always come with your father?"

Participant 13
"This is my first time miss."

Monica Bodden
"So you will go and tell all your friends about your experience?"

Participant 13
"Yes ma'am."

The massive crowd made its way back to the Belcan Bridge where the Jouvert came to an end…

I would say it was well over a thousand people who danced the street in mud.

And the last part of the Jouvert - at least for some people - is jumping into the river to clean off that mud.

And our team only had time to wash off all that mud and re-load for the Carnival road March which started up at 1:00 pm. Monica Bodden was back out there at noon, speaking with the revelers, both young and old as they got ready to put their hyper feet unto hot pavement:...

And then it was unto the road where no amount of organization could have prepared the revelers for the hot pavement and high temperatures.

Participant 1 "I am 11 years old."

Monica Bodden
"What is your name?"

Participant 1
"Sheyanne Cadle."

Monica Bodden
"Now Sheyanne you ready to push this costume all the way to BTL Park?"

Participant 1
"Yes ma'am, we train every day and we get use to the sun so we will push it all the way."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me what you do during your training?"

Participant 1
"A lot of dancing. I really ready for this carnival right now and we do a lot of dancing."

Monica Bodden
"Is this your first year or you've been in carnival before?"

Participant 1
"This is my first year."

Monica Bodden
"So you think you are ready for this?"

Participant 1
"Ready a long time."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me a little bit about your costume?"

Participant 1
"Well my costume it symbolizes peace; you know the wars and things that happen in Belize - well this symbolize peace; the red, white and blue and then it have the Coat of Arms. Our there is "Belize at 30 and its people"."

Monica Bodden
"So you are ready to entertain the crowd?"

Participant 1
"Ready as Freddy."

Monica Bodden
"This is Mahogany Masqueraders - tell me a little bit about your costume? I understand `you are the queen and you were the winning queen right?"

Participant 2
"Yes ma'am. My costume is queen Iseny - it depicts the diverse culture like Creole which is basket; Mestizo, which is the flowers; Garifuna - drums and shakas."

Monica Bodden "Now you ready to actually push this big costume all the way down to BTL Park?"

Participant 2
"Yes ma'am."

Monica Bodden
"Are you energized? Are you ready?"

Participant 2
"Long time."

Monica Bodden "What's your secret?"

Participant 2
"I don't really have any secret."

Monica Bodden
"How do you prepare for today?"

Participant 2
"I take enough rest."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me what's your name and how old are you darling?"

Participant 3
"I am Princella and I am 12 years old."

Monica Bodden "What group is this?"

Participant 3
"Jump Street Posse."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me a little bit about your costume Princella?"

Participant 3
"My costume is the garden of love and only Jump Street Posse and 12 years old Princella Samuels can show you."

Participant 4
"Mother Nature Creation. We are two peat champion and we will take 3 times - triple."

Monica Bodden
"What section is this?"

Participant 4
"This is the first group - we are the sun. That why we have the gold, orange and the red to represent the heat because there is a lot of heat today."

Monica Bodden
"So you all are ready?"

Participant 4
"More than ready."

Monica Bodden
"You think you all can keep up with it until you reach over at BTL Park?"

Participant 4
"We are more than ready. This is every year thing for us. I am in carnival from I am 8 years old - I think I am ready."

Monica Bodden
"Kevin, tell me which carnival group you are representing?"

Participant 5
"Pickstock."

Monica Bodden
"I understand you are the king. Tell me a little bit about your costume?"

Participant 5
"I am king George. I represent the battle element of the battle of St. George's Caye. My axe and paddle represent the Baymen victory. My cannon represent the bomb to blow out the Spaniard ships."

Monica Bodden
"Is this your first time in carnival?"

Participant 5
"No, four."

Monica Bodden
"This is your fourth time. Is this the first time you are pushing a king costume?"

Participant 5
"No ma'am, I always push this for 4 years."

Monica Bodden
"So 4 years straight you are king?"

Participant 5
"4 years straight."

Monica Bodden
"Well you have enough experience. Tell me what you expect out there, at a certain point you get tired?"

Participant 5
"Yes in half way of the carnival you get tired because of the heat."

Monica Bodden
"How you actually come back and boost up that energy?"

Participant 5
"I do it to make my group proud."

Monica Bodden
"How do you boost it up? Do you drink water, juice...?"

Participant 5
"I drink something sweet and just go on bad."

Monica Bodden
"You think you are ready for this?"

Participant 6
"Of course. Long time, you don't see how I look?"

Monica Bodden
"How long have you been dancing in carnival?"

Participant 6
"Many years now. From the age of 3 I am dancing in carnival."

Monica Bodden
"So this is something easy for you to push through?"

Participant 6
"Easy thing."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me a little bit about your costume?"

Participant 6
"It's sexy."

Monica Bodden
"It depicts what?"

Participant 6
"I don't know, they just gave me the costume and I wear it. But one thing - Mother Nature knows how to bring everything to the table."

Monica Bodden
"You always were dancing with Mother Nature?"

Participant 6
"No I've been in a junior band for so many years and now I am a senior now in Mother Nature."

Monica Bodden
"So now everybody can expect you to be hype up all the way to BTL Park."

Participant 6
"Listen to me, action speaks louder than words, you will see for yourself."

Monica Bodden
"Anybody you want to big up?"

Participant 6
"I want to big up my son's father Dennis Morgan, my mother and my son Dayne Morgan."

Monica Bodden
"This is a part of Mother Nature group right? Tell me a little bit about your costume? What's the name of your queen?"

Participant 7
"I am queen abondia, goddess of the harvest."

Monica Bodden
"I see this big costume. You think you could actually push this through the streets?"

Participant 7
"Yes I can."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me a little bit about it."

Participant 7
"Well I am representing all the fruits, vegetable and beautiful flowers that are abundant in Belize when bless by the rains."

Monica Bodden
"I can't even imagine how to push this thing. What you do to actually get prepared to actually do this?"

Participant 7
"Well I have the love for carnival and every Sunday we work out so I have a lot of energy for today."

Monica Bodden
"So you work out hard?"

Participant 7
"Yes."

Monica Bodden
"You are enjoying it? It's not your first time?"

Participant 7
"No, I've been dancing for many years now."

And in the end the ones who held up the best and performed the best under the pressure of crowd scrutiny and sweltering sun hot were the six winners in this year's Carnival Road March.

In the junior category Mahogany Masqueraders took first place in the road march while Pickstock Carnival band took second place and Black Pearl third.

In the senior category, Southside Masqueraders took first place - second place went to Mother Nature's Creation and third place went to Soca Warriors.

Another winner is Ernestine Carballo who, for the second year in a row, got the most played song in Carnival Road March 2011. Viewers will recall that she also won the Carnival Song Competition at the National Song Competition 10 days ago.

Channel 7


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#415789 - 09/09/11 02:46 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Carnival Belize 2011

by Evan Hyde

Writers have to be reflective, but they should also be honest. In totalitarian and other repressive societies, honesty often gets writers into hot water with political rulers. In the modern era, the most famous of such writers/dissidents was probably Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. Solzhenitsyn served many years in Russian prisons. But all over the world even as we speak, writers are being jailed, tortured and murdered for saying what they believe is truth to political power. In Belize, writers have a lot of freedom, but some of us take it for granted, and some of us, a few barely worth the name “writer,” even abuse it.

With that generalized preface, I want to discuss my impressions of Carnival on Saturday afternoon, September 3, in Belize City, the population center of the nation. I have no axe to grind. Trust me.

Of late, we have had many difficult times in the old capital, and that is putting it mildly. As individual citizens, especially on the violent, economically depressed Southside of Belize City, we can only trod on daily, because we have no choice. Whatever our opinions on its core values and behavior, Carnival Saturday last weekend provided a few hours of unrestrained enjoyment for a people who sometimes appear to be going through hell.

When Carnival was introduced to Belize by United Democratic Party elements around 1975 or so, my first thought was that this is imported stuff. Carnival is best known regionally for its New Orleans, Trinidad and Brazilian versions. Historically, the revelry concept in Europe originally involved participants wearing masks, which, in societies larger than Belize’s, allowed them to be totally uninhibited, because none of the onlookers knew who was behind the mask. Carnival, as it evolved in Trinidad and Brazil, also involved the significant influence of people of West African descent whose ancestors had come across the Atlantic Ocean in slave ships. In Christian societies like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, Carnival is held on the Tuesday immediately before the 40-day Christian period of penance begins on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”), then, is one last fling.

Before the introduction of a regional type of Carnival in Belize 35 years ago, the closest thing to it in the old capital was the dancing behind the bands of choice during the marches having to do with Tenth of September celebrations. This dancing was relatively uninhibited, but the participants were fully clothed. Those Belizeans who were members of the bourgeois classes and participated in these marches, usually on a whim, were considered daring. Tenth dancing was roots.

For sure I am not a Carnival historian, whether regional or Belizean, in any sense of the word. I have had things to criticize about the Belize Carnival process and experience over the years, but in the case of last Saturday’s Carnival 2011, I have no opinion other than that this was something that we really needed this year in the old capital, that we citizens are very grateful that the participants and onlookers were brave enough to come out in spite of the unstable social climate, and that we are all very glad that Belizeans got a chance to have an afternoon of fun together with no hassle as such.

Just days ago, things did not look promising. In fact, everything seemed dread because of the horrific Gang Suppression Unit behavior on George Street which had been the centerpiece of the television newscasts last week Monday evening. Talk of retaliatory grenades filled the air, and the whole urban atmosphere was poisoned by the fumes of violence and the prospect of the gangsters seeking revenge.

I don’t know the details of how the politicians, the police authorities, and the gang leaders worked things out to the point where Carnival was held successfully just days after Belize City seemed like Mogadishu or Baghdad. This newspaper’s journalists will report on that.

What I want to say is that our people showed a great deal of resilience and determination in coming out on Saturday, and that Carnival 2011 was a catharsis of self and group expression which the city, and the nation, in fact, benefited from in an important way. Belizeans purged the city streets of a lot of bad vibes during the Carnival experience, and, watching at home on television, I could experience flashbacks to better times here, when, September at least, the political and other forms of bickering were set aside and the Belizean people came out to the streets from their homes to declare themselves, declare themselves rulers for a day.

In closing, I say again that I have never been a Carnival fan as such. There have been times when the experience became too debauched for even the most liberal of Belizeans. As a 64-year-old sinner, I don’t want to preach morality to the younger generations, so I’ll leave that at that. On Saturday, I was just happy, as a Belizean, that something as public and interactive as Carnival in the streets of Belize City actually took place, and without incident. Just a couple days before, this had not appeared to be possible.

Amandala


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