It sounds like lemonade, but its meaning is totally different. Although we do drink our own homemade lemonade, since we visited Trinidad. First we made it with nice green Trinidad limes, and since recently we have switched to Ecuadorian ones. “Trini lime” however, is the expression which is used when you chill out an evening with friends. “We had some good Trini lime”, you´ll hear them say.
Life often has its pleasant and sometimes not so plasant coincidences. This is something we especially experienced in Trinidad. After weeks of searching for voluntary work in this country, we arrived there with nothing on our hands. Churches, organizations and individuals were approached by us because we really wanted to do some good work in exchange for food/accommodation. However, we had to accept the fact that no voluntary work was available and therefore we chose for the other alternative: a fortnight holiday, or in other words, two weeks of Trini lime…
By departure, however, we received not one, but two opportunities to work in exchange for food and accommodation! First as host for a guesthouse and secondly as workers on a cacao estate. Perhaps it sounds a bit surprising, but the latter appealed to us very much!
Unfortunately, in both instances, we couln´t take up the offer because of our flight out of Trinidad. This is something which we regret far more than we are inclined to show. The day we departed from Trinidad, we both experienced a sort of sad emptiness. One lesson learnt is that emailing isn´t your best bet to find voluntary work, but that during your travels, it will present itself in any case. But, this also requires some lesson in trust and having a lot of time. We ended up with many “what-if” questions. For instance: what if we visited the cacao estate during our first weekend, instead of the last? And what if the owners of the guesthouse had planned their vacation one week earlier? And what if last-minute tickets weren´t 5 times as expensive? And what if…?
In any case, we had some good Trini lime and we really enjoyed these wonderful islands with their beautiful beaches and amazing rainforests. The colourful, friendly people living there, add to the great experience. Trinidadians love to show you their country and they´re very social. Their English is absolutely unrecognizable though, but they really do their best to make themselves understood. The more people you know, the more you are able to share. Each neighbour has at least two fruit trees in his garden, producing so much fruit, that the whole neighbourhood enjoyes from the stock. This definitely helps to keep the budget low, especially when suffering from a “fruit-addiction”. 😉 Apples in Trinidad cost €1,50 a piece!
Trini´s can also behave very antisocial, for example when they make use of public transport. In Trinidad it´s always uncertain when the next bus is going to depart. There`s a real possibility to stand waiting for up to 3 hours, even though the timetable states that a bus will be passing every half hour… Therefore, when a bus finally arrives, a fight commences for a spot in the bus. And these fights are rough. Once in the bus, an obtained spot isn´t given up easily, even for the elderly. Such as the women with five kids, all under the age of eight. She all let them have their own seat, while 3 elderly people are looking on with some disdain. This really surprised us!
Trinidad and Tobago are relatively small, smaller than The Netherlands anyway… Within a few hours you can be anywhere on the island, except when you would like to go to Port of Spain in the morning, of course 😀 Fortunately, by making use of public transport, you are able to reach every nook and cranny on the Islands. This makes it quite easy to do some exploring. In our opinion Tobago has the most beautiful beaches and Trinidad the most lush rainforests. Both islands were definitely worth visiting! We thoroughly enjoyed it!
From beautiful Peru, where we enjoy the South-American culture at its best, where nature is very diverse and where we slowly get used to great heights, we send many kind regards!
PS: We have been travelling for nearly 100 days!
PPS: We almost get along quite nicely in Spanish 😉