So I’m supposed to be in Trinidad now for my reading challenge. My author is a Trinidadian, but the book I’m reading takes place in unnamed Central/East African countries. So I’m feeling a little unfaithful to the whole visiting the Caribbean thing. Since I can’t hop a plane to Trinidad to compensate, I’m trying to get my Trinidad fix in other ways. The coconut rice was a good start. Tonight, I’m enjoying some Trinidadian radio. You can listen along. Really helps with the mood.
I’m also reading a bit about Trinidad. According to Wikipedia, Trinidad is both the southern-most Caribbean island, and its 5th largest. The native peoples of the Island were Caribs and Arawaks. Most of them were wiped out by pretty horrible colonial policies implemented not so long after Columbus reached the island on his 3rd voyage. The island, though settled mostly by the French, was under Spanish control until the end of the 18th century, when it was united with Tobago under British control. British rule ended in 1962.
On a side note, Tobago had been switching back and forth between several powers: the British, French, Dutch and Courlanders. What, you haven’t heard of the Courlanders??? Yeah, me either. Turns out that Courlanders were from the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, which was a duchy in the Baltic. If you missed it, it could be because it only existed from 1562 to 1726. But while the Courlanders were around as a duchy, they apparently also got around as explorers. So now, trying to learn about Trinidad, I’m reading a book about Africa in the mid 20th century and also learning about Europe in the 16th century. This Around the World thing is getting a little confusing. But I’m definitely having fun (and liking the Trinidadian radio–will be listening to more of this!).
Those who know me know that I am into critters. So I will tell you that visiting Trinidad, you could see ocelots and red howler monkeys and, if you are really, really lucky, you could see the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan, which looks like this:
I was also quite surprised to learn that Trinidad is one of the top 5 exporters of liquefied natural gas.
So now I feel a little less guilty counting this book for Trinidad. I’m going to go read a bit more before I sleep!