Saturday, June 20, 2015

Slight Pepper? Nope, heavy pepper!

Good day from Trini!

So while we have been here for three weeks I have learned a couple of things;
1. Greetings are good morning, good day, and good evening-- very rarely do people say hello.
2. If you are drinking from a bottle, you must use a straw.
3. Coconuts are not indigenous to the island, they have all been planted here by others.
4. Statements are always finished with "you understand, you know?"
5, If you want to say "oh, really?" you say "true?" instead.
6. Trinidad has two seasons and we are currently in the rainy season. And absolutely no rain jackets will be worn by any Trinidadian.
7. Pepper (Trini word for hot sauce) is used on everything, which I thoroughly enjoy! But restaurants and food stands always assume no pepper or slight pepper. So I always have to say, "Can I have a little but more?"

Those are some top six mannerisms and facts I have learned so far!

There have been many adventures since you last heard from me!

We went on a hike one weekend to the three pools in Blanchisseuse! It was phenomenal! We got lost for a little bit and took the harder hike, but when we finally got there, it was breathtaking. There were bamboo trees everywhere, beautiful vegetation, and the water was so warm and calming. We ate a cocoa bean before it had been dried, and had the bottom of the cashew plant! I couldn't believe that we were in the rainforest! We climbed over rocks, went on natural water slides, and saw waterfalls!

Heather and I also decided to try venturing off on our own and use public transportation to get to Port of Spain. We walked around the Avenue-- which is the hang out spot and towards the end we made our way to St James to We Beat, the Steel Pan (the national Trinidad instrument) Parade. We didn't know what to expect, but what we got was shocking to say the least. Not only are the musicians excellent players (they a variety of different music including music from the Lion King) but there were also people in costumes walking around. There was a Lady Lorraine costume which looks like our Southern Belle plantation owner, a Baby Doll costume, Moko Jumbie which were people on stilts that wore masks and danced around, blue demons that pretended to eat flesh, and much more. We both were very confused and didn't understand what was going on, but it was still a lot of fun.

My pictures all came out blurry but you can follow this link to see the costumes!

MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE STARTED INTERVIEWING! Woot woot! We solidified all of our documents, questionnaires, informed consents, and scheduled interviews and tours for the next two weeks! I have definitely learned a lot through this process; how important active listening is in interviews, how empathy muscles can constantly be exercised and strengthen, how presentation of information is very important, and how much patience one needs in developing a needs assessment. I am learning every day and I hope that the learning doesn't stop.


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