Saturday, August 17, 2002

Circular No 40

Newsletter for past alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago.
Diego Martin, 17 of August 2002. Circular No. 40
Dear Friends,
This newsletter is being prepared from Trinidad. I finally did get to the island, leaving the work and stress in Venezuela.
The trip was uneventful, I started on the trip on Monday, 11th with my daughter Viki (13) early in the morning to avoid traffic in Caracas; we arrived in Pto. La Cruz about 300 km away at about 10am, where I met Hector Ahow (those that were at MSB in the mid 1960s would remember him) and family and left Viki while I moved to a meeting with the chief of communications of the local cellphone company to discuss the possibility of giving a workshop on obstruction lighting systems and the controllers that we manufacture. After the meeting I had lunch with Hector while Viki had a great time swimming with Hectorʼ s daughters.
In the afternoon I went to Hectorʼs office which is close by, but the traffic was horrible, strange for the resort city. After being stuck for a few hours at his office we decided to walk back instead of using the car.
Later in the evening the TV news showed the reason for the traffic stoppage. Students from the local University had taken their transport buses and placed them across the main road and only intersection of the city, effectively blocking traffic in all directions. They were protesting the lack of action by the judiciary and local government in a multiple run over and a death by a drunken driver that ran over four students two days before.
We closed the day with a barbecue and the arrival of additional friends.
Next morning I had another meeting at the main offices of our Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA. This took about two hours. We took to the road towards Cumana where we arrived about midday, ate lunch and went to the local Airport for a show of the flag, but we did not meet anybody.
On the road again, this time to Carupano we again encountered a traffic blockage, this time local citizens of a small village were protesting a company that was about to scavenge a large cargo ship near by. Although we never found out the real reason, we stood for close to two hours in the middle of nowhere while authorities, police got rid of the burning tyres and re-established traffic flow.
Upon reaching Carupano, again to the Airport, and we did meet the local authority, had a chat and returned to the road towards Rio Caribe and our goal Guiria.
But again a turn of fate about half an hour out of Rio Caribe the road was closed. The reason was because local residents of a small village had physically cut the road about two weeks before because after a strong rain lasting hours their houses were flooded and their only solution was to cut the road to let the dammed up water to recede. So far so good, but why were there no signs indicating that there was no through traffic from Rio Caribe to Guiria??
So we drove back to Carupano and took the alternate the road to the south to Guiria, a loss of nearly two hours. This added to the two hours already lost, totalled four hours, so instead of arriving at 5pm we arrived at 9pm. I do not mind driving in the dark but I prefer to drive during daylight to enjoy the sights.
We spent the night at a nice small hotel, we were rather tired after so many hours sitting in the vehicle.
Next morning we went to the office of the Pier #1 ferryboat and bought tickets, 46 USD one way.
The ship left the docks at about 3pm. For the 3 ½ hour trip to Pier #1 docks, which was uneventful.
The trip was over once we saw our friends at the TT dock.
So now I am in TT, enjoying my friends hospitality and my daughter is with girlfriends of her age at another home, trying out the tricks her mind and tongue learned at her English language class at school this last year.
Now off course you are a bit annoyed, as you want to know not about my trip but about the contacts I made here in TT these few days. So here is the part that you want:
On the 15th I started calling friends of my class 1960 and others on the list. I called Roger Henderson at the Bank but was told that he retired, but were kind enough to give me his new telephone number. I got hold of him and we agreed to call each other on Monday. The same situation with Michael Herrera.
I went with my hosts to the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association on Thursday morning and was rained out by midday.
I called in the afternoon my good friend Graham Gonsalves, and oldboys Alfonso De Lima, Stuart Henderson, Jean De Melliac, Capt. Jeffrey Gransaull and Gerard Kenny with whom I had a nice chat.
I left a message with Vernon De Lima
Going to meet Dr. David Bratt for lunch on Monday or Tuesday.
Had lunch with Rene Bermudez at the Chaguaramas Golf Club on Friday.
On Saturday I had lunch with Capt. Robert Date, BWIA, at Trinidad and Tobago Yacht Club, ( old Royal Yacht Club), where I also met by chance with Robert De Verteuil.
My plans for Sunday are to go with my hosts to Maracas Bay and Las Cuevas in the morning until we get rained out. It does rain every day, the accustomed 5 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
Monday will be dedicated to the Piarco Airport and Mt. St. Benedict.
In the morning I may go to see Denis Gurley, and Abraham Laquis who invited me to their offices in Pos, but I do not know if I can make it.
In the afternoon I am going to msb with Michael Dʼornellas, hope to get good photos and meet Frs. Benedict, Cuthbert, Augustine and maybe others.
In the evening I am going to meet Alex de Verteuil.
The plans for Tuesday are not set but that would be my last day in town. The ferry leaves at 9am on Wednesday.
Left my number for Robert Azar, and others, I feel that time is going to be short to be able to meet them.
Gordon Mitchell was in Tobago.
Judge Anthony Lucky, Richard Gransaull, are out of the country.
Eddie Hares, tried but no answer on the phone.
Tried to make new contacts with David Strisiver, George Laquis, John Abraham, but no luck.
I may have missed out on some of the names as I made close to a hundred calls, but you all know that the telephone book does not reflect the uptodate changes, and that some numbers just rang and rang without answer. So until next week for the second part of my enjoyable eventful trip to TT.
God Bless
Sorry no photos or columns.

No comments: