Trinidad shows its Colours
Trinidad plays host to the World
On April 17th,2009 Trinidad and Tobago will play host to the Fifth Summit of the Americas. The fact that the eyes of the world will be upon us has caused quite a flurry of activity in our twin island state..well OK..maybe just in Trinidad. Well maybe just in Port of Spain and some parts of the highway that the Obamas will be travelling on to be more specific. The Government has gone into a frenzy of activity never seen before 'in these here parts' to get the place looking presentable for 'company'. After all we can't let US President Barrak Obama come here and see what Trinidad normally looks like can we? Out come the paint and the brushes, and the backhoes and the cleaning crews...and everything will be looking just spiffy and 'just in time' too! Many years of neglect have been covered in a fresh layer of paint and badly engineered asphalt.
Perhaps we should say Thank God for the summit..things are finally getting done. We are thrilled that In these recessionary times, tons of tax payers dollars are being spent on whitewash and dubious projects. Case in point the Waterfront Project. While it is all well and good to beautify our landscape, I don't think it should be done at the expense of other (more trivial??) sectors such as Health and Education. The true cost of the Waterfront Project will never be known to the average Trinidadian, what we do know is that if we are rushed into our General Hospital in an emergency there are no beds, no drugs and even no water. (But don't panic! The Summit delegates and officials will have 24 hour round the clock world class top of the line medical care - even mobile units - available to them!) Our Government certainly has its priorities right.
And speaking of beautification, it broke my heart to see the magnificent poui trees that line the San Fernando Bye Pass (and also at the old airport and Lady Chancellor Hill) being cut down because they were a 'security' risk to Mr. Obama and his entourage. I wonder if anyone in the US would even so much as prune a shrub if our Prime Minister were to visit. Does anyone even know our Prime Ministers name?? Do they care??
Mrs. Obama ironically is due to visit the Wild Fowl Trustin Pointe-a-Pierre as she says the environment is a topic close to her heart. Tell that to the poor Poui Trees and to the Southerners who have been robbed of the joy of seeing the pink Poui in bloom.
I never meant this to be a rant, but to be a tribute to the finer things about our country. So now I've gotten that off my chest I'll focus on the positive. Trinidad's most valuable asset is its people. Talented, friendly, wonderful people. We do want to show you what this great place has to offer (Government gripes aside). The Opening Ceremony for the summit is being put together by a master mas man and designer extraordinaire - Brian Macfarlane. If you click on any link in this hub, click on his own..it is worth seeing. Having copped the Band of the Year and the King and Queen of Carnival you can tell he is no slouch. I am sure the ceremony will be totally unforgettable..this is a man who pays attention to the smallest details and who loves his country with a passion.
Astt Artist at Unveilling of Art at Waterfront Project, Trinidad
Our Amazing Artists
Above is a photo of four of Trinidad and Tobago's leading artists, people whom I also feel blessed to count among my friends and associates. In a ground breaking project to get the art of Trinidad out on to the streets, these people are among the first artists to have their work featured in the public places of Trinidad and Tobago. The first venue for this "People's Gallery" was the Queen's Park Oval and the second launch has been at the Waterfront for the Summit. I think that this is a project that is long overdue and I am very excited about it. Trinidad has so much to offer in terms of Art and Culture and it is great to see this fact finally being acknowledged and appreciated.
I'm going to leave you with a couple videos below to give you a feel of our music, culture and images of our beautiful isles. We welcome all our visitors to the 5th Summit of the Americas and do hope that you'll look beyond the fresh paint and the trimmings and find the true beauty of this our home.
Our Talented Dancers and Performers - Shiv Shakti Dance Troupe
Machel Montano and the HD Crew
Shurwayne Winchester - Don't Stop - one of my Faves!
Welcome to our Carnival Country!