Wow! How time flies? One, two, three Carnivals and God knows how many miles around the Queen’s Park Savannah to rid myself of the excesses from consuming too much roti, wrapped or “buss up shut”.
What would compel a person to uproot his or her family from familiar surroundings and transplant them into an unknown, risk and perhaps uncertain environment? I am such a person, who with a simple goal to contribute to something greater than self, is using the knowledge and experiences forged from many years of education and professional life to improve lives. Improving lives is the ultimate goal of most IPSs. However, they and their families are also themselves changed or even transformed by the process. The richness of the experiences: my daughter learning the art of playing the “steel pan”, the observations of the phenomena of “mas” or “J’ouvert” in Port of Spain. Who knew that these activities were not limited to the main city but spread across the twin island republic like the wobbly arms of “tan-tan”? Three years of Diwali or Divali, the festival of lights with the deeyas all in a row (avali). What about the ancient art of stick licking or “bois”? What about the Chinese lantern festival? The richness of the experiences’ highlights is matched only by the richness of the Trinidad and Tobago’s historical context. TnT, as it is affectionately called is in a unique position. If only, its often simmering conflicts, could be harnessed to provide an example of how diversity of people, religions and cultures from every continent could co-exist in a relatively small space and indeed flourish because and in spite of the differences.
Yes, there have been some sacrifices, the social dislocation has been and continues to be omnipresent… but what an enriching experience! What possibilities for creating the future? So many new adventures ahead!
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