I have no idea where the time went. It feels as though it was just a few months ago, that I was wracking my brain for the perfect name for my blog. I guess I can chalk it up to ‘Time Flies When You’re Having Fun’. I’ve been through quite a lot during that time, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my life with you, my readers.
We’ve been on quite a few adventures together. Let’s take a quick look at what we’ve been through for the past 36 months:
We stuffed our faces and drank quite a few beers while traveling through Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia & Malaysia.
We then flew to Europe and admired the stunning architecture which varied from city to city, and country to country:
After jaunting through Europe, we took a well deserved break… before sailing the Caribbean Sea on a 40 foot yacht!
Did some local travels in my home country of Antigua… (mostly beaches and more beaches..!):
Then I took you guys with me to Trinidad and Tobago for seven months while I studied abroad!
Soon, After I took a trip to Venezuela… My very first South American Country. I can’t wait to go back to the Continent!
I then returned to Europe where we visited Italy for a second time, a quick stop in London, before crossing the Atlantic to Canada and Miami. Which brings us to 2014, which saw us battling massive snow storms in New York and meeting my godson in Grenada for the very first time.
I am really happy to have connected with you guys, whether by your many comments (over 600!) or the countless ‘likes’ on my posts. The journey is far from over, so I hope you’ll stick around for the ride! Thanks, thanks, and many thanks!!!
Due to the large Indian population in the nation of Trinidad and Tobago, many of the Hindu celebrations are recognized there, and Diwali is not an exception. The Festival of Lights is one of the largest holidays of the Indian society, and I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the festivities with a local family.
In the days leading up to Diwali, there was a hustle and bustle in my neighbourhood, as locals did various chores around their homes in preparation for the event. Many different structures were skillfully created using dried halves of bamboo shoots on which lots of candles would be placed. Many of my Indian friends stopped eating meats of any kind, as this is part of their religious proceedings for Diwali.
My close friend, Ameer invited me and a few of my friends over to his home to have dinner with his family to celebrate the event. The drive to his house was fascinating, as all of the Indians in the different villages and communities had seemingly hundreds of lights dotting their front lawns and porches. Everything from driveways to even the wall fences were bathed in a golden glow, and it was a spectacular sight to behold.
We soon arrived to Ameer’s home, and his house was even more lit that most of those we had passed on our journey there. On closer inspection, I discovered that the candes were actually small wicks floating around in oil contained within small clay jars. His driveway was tiled, so at each of the four edges of a tile, a small jar was placed, creating a lovely uniform design. All around his house, from the window sills to the garage was covered with the brightly lit clay jars.
His extended family was there too, and the small children ran around the yard, taking care to avoid the jars of flames which were apparently everywhere. I was nervous about this, but they did look adorable in their traditional wear. Brightly coloured garments covered them from head to toe and the Bindi mark on their foreheads significantly stood out in a bold declaration of their religion.
Dinner was then held in the common room, and we were seated around a very long table. Several bowls of food were alligned in front of us containing all sorts of Indian dishes including Dahlpouri, Callaloo, roti skins, white rice, curried Channa and Aloo. We were then given freshly washed fig leaves on which we were to eat from using only our hands. It was quite the experience, and I treasure the memory. Everyone passed bowls of food around, and we were shown the easiest way to eat rice with our fingers. The ‘togetherness’ of this type of dinner is vastly apparent.
Everything that I ate tasted incredible, and I even tried a few delicacies that I was unable to identify. I was so pleased about everything, that I totally forgot that there wasn’t any meat involved! All too soon, the meal was over and we washed our hands and went out to the front lawn. Ameer and his brother set off a large amount of fireworks, and after a while other homes in the community did the same. The sky was constantly painted with colours, and loud booms echoed into the night. The little ones ran around with sparklers in their hand, as their parents and grandparents watched on.
I am really grateful to my friend for his generosity, as I celebrated Diwali with him and his loved ones. It was my first experience with the Indian lifestyle, and it was an enlightening cultural adventure.
It was a long week of classes in a dull air conditioned room, so I really needed to get some sunlight and fresh air. When the weekend came around, a friend suggested that a day around Queen’s Park Savannah may be a great idea for exercise and great views. It was quite a workout too, as Queen’s Park Savannah forms the largest traffic Round-a-bout in the world!
There were lovely spots everywhere to sit and relax. The trees provided much needed shade as we walked along.