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St. Thomas Perspectives Abroad: Trinidad and Tobago

By , Contributing Columnist  |  Tuesday, January 22, 2013 11:41 AM

Learning all day and “liming” all night has been the theme of our adventures in Trinidad and Tobago. I was thrilled to escape the frigid weather in Minnesota to spend three weeks on two tropical islands. Along with “liming,” which means “hanging out” in Caribbean lingo, we have gone on countless adventures.

When we’re not touring a hospital or working at one of three orphanages, we have been spending the day on the tropical beaches, trying unique Indian food and shark sandwiches, touring the city and the mountains, boat riding through a swamp and bird sanctuary, climbing deep down into a bat cave and visiting beautiful Catholic churches and Hindu temples.

We were lucky enough to visit Port of Spain, Trinidad just before the world famous Carnival celebration. We learned about the elaborate costumes, fast-paced “Soca” music, steel pan playing and dancing that happens every year at Carnival. We even attended a “fete” on the beach, which is a pre-Carnival dance party.

We spent most of our days playing with children at three orphanages, one of which houses all children with HIV or AIDS. Spending time here and seeing the poor conditions that they live in gave us an eye-opening look into the world of poverty. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the kids and being able to bring smiles to their faces every day.

We are looking forward to more adventures in Tobago for the last few days, visiting waterfalls, coral reefs and having many other island adventures. As I leave this place, I will never forget the beautiful islands and the beautiful children that have touched my heart. I have had an unbelievable experience and would recommend this course to any student looking for island relaxation, exciting adventures and inspiration to impact the world.

Madeline Carlson can be reached at carl8801@stthomas.edu.

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