Hop on a bus away from the hectic city environment and retreat into a cool green space overwhelmed by birds and trees which welcome you into a sanctuary for your soul, a resting place for your weary feet, a healing balm for your fears. Truly, this must be heaven.
EXPORT! EXPORT! EXPORT!
Release yourself of the burden of finding new markets overseas.
Reach across the oceans with ttinsider.com
Your platform for exports equals the cost of a whole pack of cigarettes a day.
Ridiculous ain’t it?
Get on board now or watch your ship leave shore without your livelihood.
This is what the Asa Wight Nature Centre means to locals and foreigners who come here not only for a retreat from the din of the present but for contemplation on the many rare species of birds that inhabit here.
That such an institution has now been forced to close its doors because of the country’s economic situation is most paradoxical since this very location could have been able to serve as a health oasis in these testing times.
Herein lies strong evidence that the vital message of preserving our historical legacy has been lost on a government whose bias in the past seems to be for building physical infrastructures such as bridges and buildings while vital eco-systems and cultural foundations such as Vidya Naipaul’s birth place fall by the way-side.
Yet, even as Asa Wright keels over, there are number of similar businesses which are shaking at their foundations with no lifeline in close sight.
That ambitious six-month-old multi-million dollar Five Islands Water Park at Chaguaramas must be seeing trouble after five years of construction by local businessman John Aboud in the middle of the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Movie Town owner Derek Chin was reported to have suspended his operations in Port of Spain while companies in cement packaging, schools and bar operations are quietly sending home more and more workers.
The fall-off in jobs is being felt but never talked about everywhere.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance keeps juggling figures to show the sunny side of a country where there are no crowds at the game and the police are casting a blind eye at beach goers not wearing their masks in the water.
What is to be done?
The deeper problem may be that despite TT’s reputation for resilience and innovation, there now looms the frightening prospect of nothing new emerging on the horizon to give hope for a quick resurgence.
Where is today’s dare-devil to remind us of the world famous black dancer who, on breaking through on the international stage in the 1950s, stunned a reporter by responding to an enquiry about his ability to break through doors by saying: “What doors?”
That was Geoffery Holder of Trinidad who made us proud by his work with ”Timbuktu” and other productions. Apart from an old lady in her 80s named “Calypso Rose” sometimes being called out to prance energetically on the stage to audiences packed with young people in Europe, the place is very quiet at this point in time.
Like the Capildeo family from the cane lands of Caroni, individuals have come from far and wide to make their own special mark and stamp their character as professionals and business people in the capital city which thrives off migrants from within and without.
This is where the real hope lies and where the new activity and jobs are set to explode as can be seen in the new species emerging on the street corners with goods to sell.
This can be easily felt in the vibrations of different bodies inhabiting the landscape and occupying space with a purposeful swing and vigour which make the ground tremble with a sense of anxiety and excitement. We have done it before and we will do it again.
After all, let’s never forget that we are the people who sang together with Lord Bryner for our first celebration of Independence in 1962.
“Because this is my land
And also it’s my land
This is your place
And also it’s my place”
So long as we hold together, therefore, we know we can face the world and stand tall in every quarter, ready to make the rush forward as one people with one destiny and one goal.