Steelband and Carnival!

It’s Carnival Tuesday in Trinidad and I’m feeling particularly bedeviled. For the last two days, my playlist has all been steelband (it’s NOT steel drums), calypso, and soca. I’m so wishing I could be there that I actually re-read Satan (I rarely re-read my work), which is set in Trinidad at Carnival time. Sigh, I guess you can take the girl out of the island, but you can never remove the island from her heart. Enjoy this Panorama performance from Trinidad All Stars, this year’s Panorama Champion.

Home Sweet Home!

When you’re an immigrant, home is a nebulous fellow. Having just spent the last five days in Trinidad, it felt like I’d gone home. But, now we’re back in Florida, and this, too, feels like home. So, do I have two or one? As I’ve grown older (the wiser part’s yet to kick in), it’s become clear to me – home is wherever your family is, and family has been redefined to include simply everyone I love. So, yes I went home, and yes, I came back home. It was a fabulous holiday. I loved seeing all the cousins arguing and playing games and ribbing each other mercilessly. It was amazing to have all my brothers and their wives and children and my mom and Jean in one place. Every meal was an absolute joy and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in ages. Here’s a few pics:

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The Depleted Buffet Table!

The Depleted Buffet Table!

I hope your Christmas was incredible!




Coping with Change Trini-style!


Taken from the second floor of my mother’s house. That tree needs to go 🙂

It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve visited Trinidad for longer than a couple of days. (I don’t count the visit 2 years ago, when I broke my leg on the second day in Trinidad). The changes are astounding. Port of Spain, the capital, and its environs have grown explosively. I thought I’d share a few pics with everyone.


South-west View from The Union Club situated in the Nicholas Building in the middle of downtown Port-of-Spain. In the distance on the right is the city of San Fernando.


Looking directly at downtown.


North-west view of the Northern Range of mountains. The first pic was taken from the middle mountain in the background.


The Union Club is one of those British Old-boy clubs, which only allowed women memberships in the late 80s. The restaurant has a 180 view of the city.


The Tobago Ferry awaiting passengers and cargo. The ferry-ride to Tobago takes about 2 hours.


Looking directly at the Gulf of Paria, which separates Trinidad from Venezuela. At it’s closest point, the distance between Trinidad & Venezuela is only 9 miles.


The swath of green on the left is The Savannah. The Trini equivalent of Central Park. It’s the biggest roundabout (traffic circle) in the world.


A partial view of Independence Square.


Going Back Home

Trinidad - vew from 17 072813Home. The word has so many different meanings for so many people. It’s challenging if you’ve lived in more than one place and downright confusing if you’re an immigrant, like me. Though my mother gave birth to me in Georgetown, Guyana, we moved to Trinidad when I was five, and I spent most of my formative years in that country. At sixteen and a half, I headed off the college to the University of Guelph in Canada. There, I met and married my Dutch-born husband. We lived in various parts of Canada for over seven years before moving to Trinidad.

My kids were born in Trinidad and Tobago and we spent fourteen incredible years there before, once again, changing countries. To date, we’ve lived in Florida for thirteen years. As I write this blog, I am back home.So where is home? I’ve come to believe it’s where your parents lived during your formative years. I am blessed to have my mother with me still, but I wonder if Trinidad will still be home when the inevitable happens.

My three boys are divided on the subject. They spent every summer while we were in Florida in Trinidad. They have friends here as do we, yet, for them home is Florida. And as for my poor hubby, he calls both Canada and Trinidad home. Truth be told, he’s way more Trinidadian than I’ll ever be. He took to Trini like a duck to water.

I haven’t been back to Trinidad in ten years and the changes are incredible. The country is not the one I remember and I feel like a stranger. So, have I come home? Or is that definition changing?

Where’s your home?




P.S. The pic is of the view from my mom’s home and the house where I lived in my early