I flew with Virgin Atlantic to the beautiful and unspoilt island of Tobago, and reunited with the island, family and friends for a week. With me was my 13 year old - daughter and assistant. (She had this title from the day I booked her on the flight, so that she had enough time to come to terms with my expectations of her. There is no such thing as a free holiday!)
We started our 3 weeks away in style, sunning ourselves in Scarborough, touring the island, and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Turtle Beach, Store Bay, and Pigeon Point. The food was to die for, and our taste buds titillated every day with curried crab and dumplings, cassava, dasheen and yams, Tobago style stew chicken, pigeon peas and rice, curry goat, chicken an beef, with roti.
Tobago is still very picturesque and unspoilt, but we had to leave for Trinidad after the first 7 days, where the research was waiting for me.Trinidad is the older sister of the two islands, the wealthy, industrial island, where the my books God of the Cocoa and Deep in the Cocoa were set.
The main reason for this trip was to do some face to face primary research in Trinidad, for the Cocoa Trilogy.
The trip was successfully, thanks to all those who helped. But I also wanted to get in some personal connections into my schedule, like meet up with old friends and long lost family, including the ones I had never met. And it happened! I managed to get friends and family also involved in my pursuit for finding people who didn't mind being interviewed.
They all did beautifully and I was busy from morning till night for 9 days, travelling up and down the island visiting places like The Temple in the Sea(left); a 93 year spritely old man with Carib, Indian, and Venezuelian heritage; The Murti in Waterloo (below), The Hindu Museum; and other interesting places and people. Although there was a lot more to do, I didn't have time.
It came as a relief to return to Tobago. We spent the next 6 days relaxing and reconnecting with family and enjoying the sun, sea, and waves breaking on the fine coral white sand. We took a trip out into the ocean in a glass bottomed boat to swim amongst the fish in the Coral Gardens, Buccou Reef, and the Nylon Pool miles out in the ocean. It was a sad day to have to leave, and I miss it every day so far.
I huge THANK YOU, TO ALL WHO HELPED ME WHILST OVER IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - ACADEMICS, FRIENDS, FAMILY, FRIEND OF FAMILIES, FAMILIES OF FRIENDS, INTERVIEWEES AND COMPLETE STRANGERS WHO VOLUNTEERED THEIR TIME.