Good Afternoon, Thank you again for checking in.
This is now my third week in Trinidad and has also been extremely eventful. I’ve never accomplished so much in one week than when I came to Trinidad to Study abroad. This week has been jam packed with using the psychological research center at the University of west indies. I have also learned how to play the steel pan this week in my last cultural history session. The steel pan is an essential cultural staple that has it’s origin in Trinidad. The steel pan has originally grown from a huge 55 gallon steel pan whose lids were bent inward by metal hammers. Each note on the steel pan is broken in by hammering different pressure points to create a different pitch. I’m so excited to show my appreciation to this beautiful country and will post a picture below of the steel pan that I learned to play “Happy Birthday” on since the video of me actually playing file is too large for me to upload here.
I also had the opportunity to visit the U.S. embassy and meet an amazing guy that has been traveling and serving the United States in different countries. He has lived in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and has finally found his spot in Trinidad. He loves what he does and it was truly a pleasure to have met the person that is trying to help fix some of the issues that can potentially effect America.
Not only did I complete my cultural history course but what is Studying abroad without having actual assignments? I also turned in a very extensive Social Welfare paper based on my experiences and understanding of my service learning agency. I have truly fell in love with the children at St. Dominic’s Children’s Home (SDCH). I’ve been able to work in the Social Welfare Unit, and the AEP (learning facility) lab with the children and I couldn’t be happier. Next week I should have the opportunity to shadow the Overseer to court to see the process in which the children are actually place at SDCH.
Lastly I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the beautiful island of Tobago! The scenery of nature and the iridescent blue color that the water possesses in the beaches of Tobago was a wonderful sight that this city girl has yet to see. We traveled from island to island via airplane and were taken to a hotel. Our first day consisted of an amazing boat tour across the ocean. We traveled to different parts of the island and had the opportunity to meet many natives and other people visiting just like us. The boat that we rode on had a see through clear looking glass that you could use to see all of the different fish and coral reefs that we were passing by along the way. We then drove within the reef that prevents sharks and other dangerous predators to attacking us and had the opportunity to go snorkeling. What an amazing experience! We then were able to get out of the boat and go to an area that had an extraordinary sand that way used for exfoliation. The islanders have a saying that if you use the sand you will “look 10 years younger and 5 years smarter”. Any woman would have jumped at the opportunity to use an organic FREE facial! I’d like to say that my skin felt very soft and clean after spending time in the sand.
The next day we went on a tour of the entire island and learned more history of Tobago which happens to be a total of 27 miles long. Then we went to an adventurous excursion where we had the opportunity to see a beautiful waterfall and had the option of jumping off of the cliff if we wanted to (with the help of a professional). Being that I couldn’t swim it was a no go for me but I enjoyed seeing my peers conquer their fears. We ended the day with a trip to get homemade ice cream and flying back to Trinidad.
As I sit here writing this blog to explain to you guys about my one in a lifetime experience I see how blessed I am. Never would I have ever though this opportunity could be provided to me, but everything happens for a reason. I have the opportunity to experience a different culture and broaden my understanding of different worldly issues that I never knew were as essential to humanity. I’m confident that this experience will help me in my journey to becoming an effective counselor in the future. Though I miss AMERICAN food and my family I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in this world. I thank you guys for experiencing my third chapter in Trinidad and Tobago with me and I invite you to follow me through my last week (next week) here and look forward to sharing it with you guys.