Tag Archives: Trinidad and Tobago

Dear James, how do I cope with football season? #Frustrated!

Football. El Fútbol. Le Football. O Futebol. 足球 Voetbal.

Whichever language you speak, the message should be clear – 2014 FIFA World Cup is here! Life as you know it for the next month or so will be… different, especially for spouses and significant others who are not “football-minded”.

Naturally I was super-excited when an ardent football fan & friend from Trinidad and Tobago – James Nicholas – decided to preserve relationships the world over, by issuing some “sage” advice to his friends. The following are his own words, reproduced with his permission. If you want to make sure your relationship survives “Brazilmania”, read on!

Dear Frustrated,

“From now until Thursday I will be posting tips to help your relationship survive the world cup (for the ladies and some for the men).
1. World cup is like the weather, try as you may you can either cry or sing in the rain, but one thing is for sure….it’s going to rain. So embrace it and accept that it is going to happen.

2. Understand that this is man time, just like it’s woman time when you want to do your thing eg. talk, go shopping, moopenclipart.orgvies etc..it’s only for 1 month and the worst will be over in two weeks, after the group stages you might actually get to go out but don’t push it.

3. Your husband/bf team is your team unless you follow football and have your own team then most of this status isn’t for you anyway. You will support his team…you can even go as far as buying him his favourite team jersey….if you aren’t engaged yet this might just do the trick…a man needs to know you care about the things he cares about.

I‘m going to answer some of the more popular questions women/men ask during a game so you wont have to ask..This can be printed and stuck on the door or fridge. 

Q1. I thought you usually support Manchester United how come you’re supporting Brazil? 

A1. **Blank stare**…..Club and country are two different things..

Q2. Wasn’t there a finals recently? Why is there another one now lasting a whole month?

A2. Ref. answer A1 and there are knock outs in which the top two teams will face off

Q3. I thought you were watching the game. Why are you on your phone/tablet/laptop?…you aren’t really watching the game, you just don’t want to speak to me (this statement is a technical foul)

A3. **The answer for this question varies based on the person**
– I’m posting to social media an atrocity to which I spotted
– I’m talking to (insert friend’s name here) who is supporting the other team or my team
– I’m checking my fantasy team

Q4. You know, it seems like you are more focused on football than on me at any point in time…

A4. That is erroneous and purely based on your perception…I only have this for a month…you I have with me always *please note that last statement is a double-edged sword use wisely*

Q5. At half time can you/we….?

A5. No. half time is for highlights and bathroom breaks.”

To be Continued!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

I came across these two companions several months ago in Woodford Square, Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago). What a sweet moment. The sun was blue, the grass a deep green and a slight breeze played with the old trees in the park.

~“The earth has music for those who listen.” ~ George Santayana

Pigeons in the park
Pigeons in the park

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Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! ~ From Island Vignettes, Haiti

Happy Holidays to everyone from Island Vignettes!

~ Feliz Navidad (Spanish), Joyeux Noël (French),  Geseënde Kersfees (Afrikaan), Frohe Weihnachten (German), Milad Majid (Arabic), Vrolijk Kerstfeest (Dutch), С Рождеством (Russian), Nollaig Shona Dhuit (Irish), God Jul (Swedish), Καλά Χριστούγεννα (Greek) ~

Enjoying a piece of bûche de Noël with friends in Haiti
Enjoying a piece of bûche de Noël with friends in Haiti

bûche de Noël

This is such a special season and my favourite time of year. Here in the islands, we often spend time in church giving honour to Jesus Christ – the reason for the season. Family dinners, lunches, friends – lots of food and lots of alcohol, dancing and general merriment abounds. In Trinidad and Tobago the Christmas season starts around mid-October and the traditional music – Parang begins in earnest; carols are heard everywhere, company dinners, elegant evening attire and a general feeling of goodwill prevails.

This year I gave up both the Trinbagonian and Jamaican Christmas in favour of some quality time in Haiti. What an experience this was! I am pleased to announce that I will be giving honour to this by dedicating the month of January to my Haitian sojourn – the life, the people, the culture, the history and much much more…

January also marks the anniversary of the devastating earthquake the rocked Haiti three years ago.

Happy Holidays to you and yours once again! Do enjoy this Christmas rhythm & parang song – both Fedexed direct from Trinidad & Tobago to your living room 🙂

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Surviving Hurricane Sandy: the Tale, the Scare, the Humour

I survived Hurricane Sandy’s fury. Many of the trees in my yard, a friend’s roof and hundreds of acres of agricultural crops in Eastern Parishes of Jamaica did not, but I did!

So why exactly did I consider this “blog-worthy”? Well, I did it completely on my own. No friends, no family. Just me. I now feel tremendously proud of myself. The fact that the neighbourhood escaped being treated to the sight of a scared, screaming woman running down the streets, suitcase in tow and bible in hand, is an accomplishment. So here’s a toast to me!

Emergency supplies for Hurricane Sandy

Perhaps I should start with giving you the anatomy of the usual response to the threat of a hurricane or storm – at least when in Trinidad!

  • Stage 1 – Denial. During this stage plans for the evening continue, after all the skies are still blue. A visit to any of the famous nightspots eg Smokey & Bunty in St. James (the city that never sleeps), would reveal die-hard patrons enjoying their usual fare and issuing the battle cry – “No storm not coming here cause God is a Trini!”
  • Stage 2 – Realization. During this stage, it suddenly hits everyone that a hurricane or storm might be a looming reality. Usually it is triggered by an announcement that the island is on Storm watch or warning. Chaos ensues. No transportation to go home, traffic jams, empty supermarket shelves, nailing of roofs right up to the point that the storm shows up!
  • Stage 3 – Religious Fervour. The bibles come out. Whether dusty or shiny, they show up. The prayers start in earnest.

    Once in the Caribbean, a necessary tool for survival
  • Stage 4 – Dark skies, a spattering of rain, some winds, orange skies.
  • Stage 5 – More praying.
  • Stage 6 – Rain eases and skies clear. Seems like the storm is going away. Wow God must really be a Trini! Little or no acknowledgment of persons in Tobago who were badly affected or persons in Central who lost roofs to heavy winds or cyclones. All is back to normal.
  • Stage 7 – The Question. To go to work or not to go to work. That is the question.

So much for the Trini experience. My Jamaican experience was different. Jamaica’s location makes it a likely target during the hurricane season and as such the warnings are taken much more seriously. I must commend the Government of Jamaica for their quick pro-active action of immediately closing the airports and calling a curfew. The police were out actively dissuading those who thought it was a lovely time to be out in the streets taking photographs. (Ok, I admit – I was tempted to head outside too!)

A quick scan of Facebook revealed an outpouring of advice, well wishes and prayers. One friend was planning a slumber party while another thought it was the perfect night to sip on Appleton or throw a party. Everything just seemed too quiet or boring. This was Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning dawned with a stillness and cosy feeling of rain against the window panes. What a deceptive feeling. By 11:30am, there was no longer any electricity. The wind was whistling, howling and toppling trees in my yard. It threatened to take a few of my window panes too. Outside the skies grew black. Water started to leak through the roof in places that it never did before and the poor roof was simply struggling to stay put.

I rushed to set up camp in the middle of the flat, things were simply getting too scary. Well I’ve now discovered that one of the best antidotes to this is cooking. I got creative and experimented with the emergency rations. I ended up with curried rice, lentil peas and mango chutney! I’ve named it….“Curry a la Sandy”!

Sandy a la Carte – an experiment with my emergency rations 🙂

Crash! The noise was deafening and I heard a small scream in the distance. I…

To be continued! Stay tuned for Part 2 of Surviving Hurricane Sandy: the Tale, the Scare, the Humour!

Un Viaje a Costa Rica! A Trip to Costa Rica!

Tu eres una professora de espanol? Are you a Spanish teacher or someone who knows/has a passion for Spanish language and culture? If you are, then you will be interested in this intercultural exchange being arranged by a friend of mine in Trinidad & Tobago. The destination – Costa Rica! Reasonable cost, packed itinerary and lots of time to get your funding together. Check out the flyer for more details!

Birthing of a Caribbean Social Entrepreneur

*A Guest Feature Article*

Nick at the Financial Coaching Centre


My rent is due, my loans are more than half of my salary and I feel like a failure at my age. Lord help me!  How did I end up here? How am I going to get through this?


Nicholas Dean of Trinidad and Tobago is no stranger to such a predicament.  It is in this exact situation that he found himself a decade and a half ago. That experience gave him the motivation he needed to build a thriving financial coaching practice.  Nick was forced to revisit each of his money mistakes and blunders, take responsibility for them and try to correct every last one. What resulted were several home-grown strategies that he researched, tested and refined – eventually attaining something many of us aspire to – a clear path to financial freedom. Nick then began to wonder: “Maybe there are others out there just like me?” This new perspective gave way to a chain of events that led him to qualify as a certified financial advisor and start his own business.

Today the Financial Coaching Centre offers a series of programmes with its mantra “to help people feel better about their money.” There, Nick uses his vast  experience in the Banking and Insurance industries along with his qualifications, helping others.

Services include: Advice on Demand, Financial Coaching, Customized Financial Blueprints, Small Business Mentorship, Workshops and seminars ranging from Fast- track Debt Elimination to Wealth Building.

Nick indulging in the outdoors – one of his many passions.


Nick also gives freely from his broad financial knowledge through radio, television, the Internet and printed word. He has over 30,000 followers of his fortnightly financial Q&A column titled “Ask Nick” asknick.catholicnews-tt.net

In his own words, when asked what is his greatest joy in running your business he replied: “apart from the absolute freedom of working for myself, it is that moment when you see a client experience an epiphany after they learn something that you know will transform their life and financial future forever.”

E-mail Nick at  NickAdvice@gmail.com Phone: 1-868-724-6425 or Visit his webpage: www.FinancialCoachingCentre.com