Friends and Graduation


Previously I thought that I’d retire this ‘Happenings’ album after leaving Cam. I didn’t think that there would be anything new to add to the story. But, there is. The break from the UK was far from clean. There’s a sizeable chunk of emotions and feels that remain there, and it’s been difficult thinking of England and the people there as just a foreign blob of land with foreign masses of people. England has come to feel like a second home, not in the least because I’ve grown to feel closer to a few of those ‘foreign people’ than I feel to many strangers and acquaintances in Trini. Also, I left my paint and a pair of shoes there…so, yeah…

I came back to Trini in August and have been working at a cool job in UWI since September. So at least 2 people were a bit confused to see me on the other side of Trinidad and Tobago Immigration and Customs yesterday.

I’ve just returned to Trini from a short trip to the UK. Yesterday I left Cambridge to head to the airport at 2:30am, got to Gatwick at 7:00am, and had to wait until around 11:00am to board the plane…which spent about 9 hours in the air en route to Trinbago. Anyone who spent Saturday evening with me knows how much I was dreading that time waiting around in the airport, and so it was nice when I met a secondary schoolmate (Valini) at Gatwick. She was also on the same flight as myself ^_^. I hadn’t seen her in ages, so it was wonderful to spend the hours waiting to board the plane with her.  When I got on the airplane, I saw another friend who was returning to Trini ( Teocah ). Upon touching down at Piarco I saw yet another secondary schoolmate ( Jamie ), in the Immigration line. I still find it weird to bounce up other Trinis that I know, by chance, in a foreign country….but it’s nice when it happens.

Anywho, I went to Cambridge to graduate…and to visit some lovely people—some of whom I might discuss in future rants. I now officially have an MPhil…yay!! They said all the Latin stuff, I walked up when they called my name, I held the praelector’s finger, knelt down in front of the guy sitting in on behalf of the VC, he held my hands together as I knelt and said more Latin stuff, I stood up and bowed, and then I walked out of Senate house where they handed me my degree certificate.  I didn’t graduate with distinction, but I got the marks for a high pass ^_^ I’m pretty proud of myself.  When next I post a group of grad pics, I’ll be in a PhD gown with Dr. written in front of my name. It’ll happen; Believe dat!!
Picture: The pic in the top left corner is of me when I first arrived at Cam, the other 2 are from after graduation.:)

6 hours alone in Italy


It was quite a beautiful day outside…warm…despite the fact that the landscape was covered by snow. I was to be taught skiing that day, and was a bit anxious. I had already tried the day before, and almost ran off the side of a cliff…so, I wasn’t particularly calm about it. Still though, that day was going to be an attempt: Attempt number 2. My instructor and I boarded the ski lift. We got to the top, and all my eyes and mind saw was the slope disappearing metres away from me. I gradually became more and more panicked; and the lift operator, noticing my distress, came over and told me that I could get back down using the lift. He then offered me his hand, to help me up (since I had fallen), and together we went to the ski lift.

Safely down, but still shaken by everything that had previously occurred, I had about 6 hours to kill, before I could go ‘home’,…6 hours wandering around alone in Italy. At first the thought of it was a bit daunting. “You’re good at finding interest in things that other’s may consider boring, but can you do that for 6 hours in a country where people don’t speak the same language that you do, you have no internet access and you can only go as far away as you’re sure to return from by 4:00pm?” I waited at the bottom for a while, trying to figure out what to do with myself… I had 2 working feet, a reasonably normal level of curiosity, a camera, an ipod, a cell-phone (the non-smart kind) and enough euros to get me some food; Italy had a gorgeous landscape-like nothing my eyes had ever seen before. So, it was decided….I’ll walk as far as I can in 3 hours, taking pictures and listening to music along the way, and spend the next three hours walking back and looking for a restaurant.

And so my journey began with one step in a paved car park, and with one click of a button on my cheap, old DSLR. The landscape was beautiful, so beautiful that I wanted pictures of myself in it…and so my plan was adjusted: let’s take pictures of moi surrounded by snow at different points on my epic walk. So, that’s basically what’s in the pictures above. I walked through the snow, climbed up little hills, looked at the ground and saw a myriad of shoe prints…proof of the many others who had walked that way before. On the way back I tried to find my shoe prints—I couldn’t. I saw little house-looking-things filled with hay, forests of pine trees with paths steeply winding all the way into them, a small village just over the other side of a hill, little pools of clear water with algae lining the sides, and people trudging along skiing cross country.

Admittedly, when I began my walk I was frustrated. I had all this time to burn in an unknown environment…but by the end of it, I’d had so much time to myself, so much time to think, so much time to breathe, so much time to experience nature. I experienced a level of peace and relaxation that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I had climbed a small hill to get to a restaurant, and though panting, the panoramic view was still able to take my breath away. I remember thinking to myself then: “Situations are gonna upset you, but they’ll only steal your peace for as long as you let them. Learn how to address the negative without ignoring it or letting it take control of you.” I’m still learning… there’s always the temptation to run from problems, there’s always something out there that succeeds in causing me to fall and there isn’t always someone around to help me up… but my legs are becoming stronger, standing up is becoming quicker and easier…and there’s always something beautiful in nature to remind me that pausing for a breather, introspection (and selfies) isn’t always so bad.