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Amanda's Travel log

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Hi, it's all about the adventure... ((*_*))

Log entries 161 - 170 of 365 Page: 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Apr 16, 2009 08:00 PM Fifth Summit of the Americas

Fifth Summit of the Americas I was quite keen to see the opening ceremony of the summit, although I’m not really sure why. But as I watched from my living room I was impressed. It felt a bit like a scaled down version of the Olympics, I mean really scaled down. But nonetheless, the cultural display was great; as they charted the birth of a nation and influences on the culture of TNT. If it is one thing Trinidadians know how to do and that is to organise a party and have a good time.

The summit was opened by the President of Argentina, followed by the President of Nicaragua whom the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago referred to as ‘Daniel My Brother’ – I’m sure this was a reference to the Elton John song. He also mentioned that he had to wait in the airport for three hours, but I suppose this is just because there is a pecking order for the dignitaries. He went on forever, kind of soap boxing, but he did raise two key issues; one I didn’t even know was an issue (colonial ownership of Puerto Rico) and the other was off course very topical – the exclusion of Cuba from the summit and the western hemisphere nations.

This was followed by Dean Barrow the President of Belize; as a traveller who wanted to go to Belize I shouldn’t say that I was surprised that he spoke fluent English and the country is at least bilingual – see how much I know. He is also the Chairman of Caricom which is the Caribbean Community and organisation of that is some 36 years old and the oldest of its kind in the region. This was followed by the US President who said that ‘we should not dwell on the past’ and more or less preached of a new beginning and building better relations; and in closing Patrick Manning spoke on behalf of TNT. He tried to be funny, which only seemed funny to the locals in the audience and what I presumed wasn’t that funny at all but was obviously lost in translation.

The 34 member states are here to discuss – Securing our Citizens’ future by promoting human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability, but the biggest take-aways from the opening 5 leader’s comments was discussing the global economic financial situation and global warming.

The main talks start tomorrow morning!

Apr 16, 2009 08:00 PM This here town is a Ghost Town!

This here town is a Ghost Town! The reports coming out of Port of Spain is that the streets are deserted. All the shops opened but there just wasn’t anyone there to buy so by lunch time most of them closed up shop for the day. I suspect the same will occur until the end of the summit. But at the Hyatt Regency it is an incredible hive of activity, with Heads of States arriving in since mid day. The international security teams sprang into action from the time the aeroplanes landed but the local defence force just looked lost. What excitement on this tiny island!

Apr 15, 2009 08:00 PM We have Obama…

We have Obama… On the morning that Obama won the elections, I remember going to work and seeing a woman in the middle of the road waving an US flag and saying ‘we’ve got Obama’. Well it seems now this statement is being realised, as Trinidad and Tobago will be hosting the Fifth Summit of the Americas and after a layover in Mexico President Barrack Obama will be coming to these shores.

It’s funny but at any other time, the whole country would have been strongly behind this summit; but with the economic situation there have been a lot of controversy about the amount that will be spent, with the segmenting of the city into different zones where people have to apply for permits to be allow entry, etc. With people being sent home from their jobs, how can the government be spending billions on ‘entertaining’.

I feel this is a little shortsighted and moving forward the country will benefit from all the exposure that it receives.

I hope, wholeheartedly, that everyone is now behind the event, as I think it is very exciting times. I suspect all of the dignitaries are already here and I can’t wait for the television news this evening, as the excitement is building…

Apr 14, 2009 08:00 PM A day of rest

A day of rest I know it isn’t Sunday, but it has been such a busy bank holiday. So much has happened and I’ve met up with so many people that today should be a day of rest. Unfortunately it isn’t now is the time to start cleaning and after cooking on a open fire, all those pots with soot at the bottom now needs to be transformed back to kitchen wear.

Apr 13, 2009 08:00 PM The Finale

The Finale Happy Tobago Day.

Like most states that rule over have more than one country there are always a little squabble about independence and how they can run their own affairs. Once in a while this surface in Trinidad and Tobago; on one said occasion they came up with celebrating the uniqueness of Tobago and came up with Tobago Day which celebrated on Easter Tuesday.

Each area celebrates Tobago Day in their own way, but on this side of the island, in the neighbouring village of Buccoo, they have the harvest. As explained previously, the concept of harvest here means that people can just wander up to your door and ask for a plate of food and you share what you have. But in Buccoo as with Carnbee yesterday, they also put on a day of fun and enjoyment. They have the traditional goat and crab races, plus some other favourite games like catch the wild pig or climb the greasy pole. But as school is out, it is usually a great family day out and the even gets really good turnout.

This has been one incredible weekend and apart from travelling over the Easter, this is the best place to send it, as there are so many things to get involved in, it really is a fun filled weekend, I think tomorrow deserves a trip to the beach.

Apr 12, 2009 08:00 PM Carnbee/Mount Pleasant's Harvest

Carnbee/Mount Pleasant's Harvest This evening, my normally quite street was turned into a parking lot. I really didn't know there were that many cars on the island [I jest], but it was really busy. It started around lunch time with the various goat races - which are really just a little bit of fun. And then it moves on to the crab race. There were so many people, mostly families, but as the evening wore on and darkness fell, it was the adults who stayed around to party.

We started cooking for the harvest just after breakfast, and owing to the amount, decided to use that traditional way, lighting a fire outside - well a something old and something new.

As the first set of people started to walk up the drive way, I joked we should just close the door and pretend we weren't home, as we hadn't finished cooking. But instead we greeted them and just handed them a beer. We cooked stew turkey, pork and a local delicacy iguana; and offered the next arrivals. Once they had come and gone, I started to experience that feeling when you give to people and it felt really nice.

Then we have some friends and family come over, they stayed much longer and we were able to chat. But as we wanted to head down to the goat race, we weren't able to serve many peoples - so it looks like we will have food for the next two weeks - oh well.

Tomorrow we have to Buccoo for their harvest as well as another goat race, but this time there are more events do it should be a really lovely day.

Apr 11, 2009 08:00 PM Happy Easter

Happy Easter Hello fellow members,

A happy Easter to all. Wishing you and yours the blessings of God in this season.


Apr 11, 2009 08:00 PM Bethel's Harvest

Bethel's Harvest Each village has chosen a day that they will celebrate harvest. This goes back many years ago when it was customary to give the first produce from the land. So throughout Tobago this is now a major outing and some people go from village to village to experience this.

Today is Bethel's harvest; and what this means is that nearly every house in the village will cook some food and invite as well as entertain passer-by during the whole day. I think there aren't many places in the world where you could walk up to someone's door and say, 'can I have some food' and they will provide you with a hearty meal and drink including beer and spirits.

I still feel a little coy about this, so I will only go to friends, friends of friends and family, but it really is wonderful to see the hospitality.

I had a wonderful time 'liming' (hanging out) at a friend’s house this afternoon. He provided more beers, or in my case shandys then I could drink, and then he gave me a wonderful plate of local food. It consisted of boiled green banana, dasheen, sweet potato, yam with flat dumplings and stew pork. And because curried crab is one of my favourite dishes he gave me some to take home. I was stuffed when I left his house. Somehow I like harvest and tomorrow it's our turn.

Apr 10, 2009 08:00 PM Hot car show

Hot car show Today sees to start of a really busy weekend on the island. Boats and ferries are coming across full and even extra services have been put on. Yet still there are a few people who will be disappointed. Whether they have to wait on standby to get a flight or a sit on the sea cat, or they can't get accommodation when they get here.

Tourism on the island, especially in this economic climate is predominantly around the bank holidays, so this is when they make their money.

Today is the car show and it adds a little diversity then just going to the beach. We have these really keen 'dudes' who sup' up their cars with fancy lights, huge stereos and adds patterns and prints to the outside etc.

Apr 09, 2009 08:00 PM Good Friday!

Good Friday! Usually every year I will abstain for something during Lent, usually it is chocolate, but it could really be anything that I have a dependency on. One of my friends gave up watching TV – I just can’t conceive that…. But this year as I was away from home, I just forgot about doing something, so today I thought I would do some thing small. Today I will refrain from drinking soft drinks. I think ordinarily this would be easy as I mostly drink water, but since being here I have grown to love an ice cold soft drink to quench the thirst of a hot day. So today it is back to the watering can.

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