Friday, March 18, 2011

Children's Psych Centre, Snorkeling Adventure

Hi Everyone!!

So today was our last day in Tobago and the last day of our entire trip.  This morning we headed over to a Child and Youth Psych Centre where we met with three very informative women.  At this meeting, we discussed the centre's history, the services offered, the current government, and other issues that impact the centre's operation.

After visiting the centre, we went back to Pigeon Point to begin our snorkeling adventure!  We took a speed boat along the coast of the island and finally stopped at one reef where we put on our snorkeling gear (flippers, life vests, snorkeling masks) and hopped in the water to see many colorful fish and sea urchins.  After stopping at this reef, we hopped back into the boat, cruised around for a bit and stopped at two more reefs along the coast.  After visiting these reefs, we had extra time so our captain offered to throw the anchor down and let us relax on the boat for a while before heading to the Nylon Pool in the middle of the ocean.  This "pool" was a spot in the ocean where you could stand and the water would only come up to about your waist!  Finally, we headed back to shore and did some more souvenir shopping.

Tonight we are going to watch the SU game (GO CUSE!!) and lime a bit before we have to wake up at 5:00am for our flight to Trinidad so we can head back to NY!

Hope everyone has enjoyed following our blog over the course of our trip!  See you all soon!!

Wednesday's Preschool Visits

Hi all!  We have been so busy we haven't had much time to blog!
On Wednesday we went to two rural preschools in the southern part of Trinidad.  The first preschool had two head teachers and about twenty children.  The children were lively and seemed to be enjoying their day!  While we were there they learned about circles.  They were drawing them and cutting them out.  Behind this preschool was a home for children who cannot live with their parents.  It was built by money that had been made through fundraising.  Hearing the history of the preschool and the home was very interesting.  After this preschool visit we went to a home in the area (where Dr. Roopnarine has been staying) and made lunch with the family.  Then we ventured off to another preschool in the south.  We didn't spend as much time there but we got to talk to the director about inclusion being introduced to Trinidad schools.
We also went to a reception with students and faculty from Texas A&M.  This is where we met the principal of the University of West Indies.  We had refreshments and took pictures with the principal.  It was nice to learn about the school and the agriculture of the area.  Many global interactions are being planned for the future between Trinidad and the US.

Pigeon Point and Heritage Park

Hello again from sunny Tobago!!

We arrived in Tobago yesterday (Thursday) morning after taking a short, 15 minute flight from Trinidad.  As soon as we arrived at our hotel, we put on our bathingsuits and headed to Pigeon Point/Heritage Park.  Pigeon Point/Heritage Park is a gorgeous beach with white sand and extremely blue water.  At the beach there were many shops and snack huts to browse and enjoy while in the sun and ocean!  We enjoyed our ice cold smoothies and did some shopping around for souvenirs for friends and family back home.  We also signed up to go snorkeling on Friday.  During this snorkeling adventure, we will take a speed boat to stop at 3 reefs along the coast and a clear water pool that is set just off of the coast.  We look forward to our adventure and will let you know how it went when we get back!!

Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather at home today.. We hope it stays that nice for when we get home, too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preschool Visit (and other stuff)

Yesterday we went to the preschool at the University of the West Indies!  It is very similar to BMW at SU. The children and staff were very friendly.  We met with the director of the school (Diane) who gave us a lot of information on what academics and preschools are like in Trinidad.  We have learned so much about the government and academics through our meetings with staff and students.  There are many parallels to how children learn in the US and Trinidad.
Today we sat in on an intro to psychology class.  Surprisingly, the lecture was taught in the same manner we are taught at SU.  The professor had a powerpoint set up and went through the slides and discussed them just as you would see in a class at SU.  We also met with the dean of the School of Education.  Although we didn't meet with her for long we touched on things we have talked about with other professors such as the government, education, education funds, academics, history of Trinidad & Tobago, etc.  All of these meetings have a lot of information in them so we are trying our best to soak it all in and remember as much as we can.
Of course we still can't complain about the hot and sunny weather! :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Maracas Bay and Bake & SHARK!!

Today we ventured out to Maracas Bay after one of the Bed and Breakfast owners recommended a driver, Laurel, for us.  Laurel was a very knowledgeable and informative about the island and the culture!  On the way to Maracas, we drove through a colorful village with many fruit vendors.  We laid on the beach, soaked up the sun, took a dip in the ocean, got a massage, and enjoyed the extremely hot weather!  Then, we went to the famous Richard's Bake and Shark where we had delicious SHARK sandwiches!  Surprisingly, the shark tasted like chicken.  There were many condiments to choose from, and the locals generally put all condiments on their sandwiches.  On the way back down from the mountain we stopped at "Trini Treats" on the side of the road where we got sugar cake, fudge, plantain chips, and other local sweets that Laurel helped us pick out!

Other than that, Tamara has been proposed to 3 times in 3 days.. We'll see what the number gets up to by the end of the trip!

Us girls are going to go lime now, catch ya tomorrow!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trinidad Adventures

The Bed & Breakfast we are staying in is very comforting.  We have made it our little home for the week.  Breakfast in the morning is excellent and the rooms are very nice.  I definitely can't complain about the sun shining through the window every morning at 6am!
We have had some long days adventuring here in Trinidad.  Tamara has told you about the informative UWI visit we had on Friday.  The University is a great experience.  It is very similar to the United States.  Talking to students who are from different cultures but studying the same type of major is entertaining and informative.
Today we traveled most of the island.  We went to the nature center which had some great scenery!  We saw many species of birds, plants, and interestingly enough, dogs!  We had a nice lunch in the nature center and continued our venture through the mountains after eating lunch.  We had some time to explore one of the beaches near the bottom of the mountain.  Nothing beats being in the sun, sand, and ocean!

This is the front of the Bed and Breakfast we are staying at in Trinidad!

This is a photo of the livingroom area of our Bed and Breakfast here in Trinidad!

Here is a picture of some lizard-type creature we saw at the Nature Center in the mountains!

U.W.I. St. Augustine 3.11.11

We arrived in Trinidad at 1:00am on Friday morning which would have been 12:00am on Friday back home.  Once we got our rental car, we were shocked to see that the driver sits on the opposite side of the car and drives on the opposite side of the road compared to how we drive in the U.S.  Also, we have discovered that there is no speed limit on the roads along with no stop signs at most intersections.  There are some stop lights at major intersections but on your average side street, parking lot exit/entrance, etc. there aren't any stop signs which makes for quite aggressive driving!

On Friday, we began our day with a great breakfast provided by the Bed and Breakfast that we are staying in.  Then, we headed to U.W.I St. Augustine where we took a quick tour and met with Derek, a Psychology Professor, and his graduate students.  Derek and his students were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the studies they are currently conducting on stigmas attached to persons with HIV/AIDS.  Later, we went to lunch with Derek and his grad students and then Monica, Casey, and I (Tamara) headed to the pool at the university to get cooled off from the 85 degree weather!

The trip and the weather have been great and exciting so far! We will keep you updated with more information and pictures as the days go on!

From warm and sunny Trinidad-
Tamara, Monica, Casey
Mary Kish
Professor Roopnarine