Saturday, September 09, 2006

T & T ... get back up

(Internet cafe ... guess why)

The TSTT man came yesterday to fix the DSL and was unsuccessful. He left saying that he had to get in touch with someone 'inside" (i.e. in TSTT) and that most likely my DSL would be 'up and running' by evening. He took my cellular number and said he would call to check in. To date I have not heard from him. Neither is my DSL up and running. I had called 824-TSTT yesterday and luckily got the same girl I'd spoken to before. She said tons of people have been calling in with reports of 'internet down' and she, having sent on the reports to the relevant authorities as she is supposed to, has no idea what is going on as she has not heard from them. What a pity Digicel doesn't offer internet service. Then TSTT would be on their toes.

The title of the book "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe comes to mind when I think of T & T ... especially between yesterday and today. Today, we witness the lines of traffic piling up as people hustle to get the last drops of gasoline. My half tank will have to last me for 'emergency usage' and I will take taxis in the interim (that is, if they themselves have gas after a few runs).

Yesterday I was on my way to a school in Waterloo to see if I could use them for episode 2 of the I SPY video project. I had not reached Chaguanas yet on the highway when I ended up in a massive traffic pile up. No doubt they were paving the road or doing something of the sort. It seems that everywhere I drove yesterday, they were either digging or paving and causing traffic pile ups because no policemen were there to direct the traffic (although they also cause traffic on many occasions).

Not in the mood to swelter in traffic, I quickly turned off the highway, abandonning plans to go to Waterloo. By a twist of spontaneous fate, ended up at a little school in a country backstreet. Being out in the country, they happened to have a garden (an orchard). In speaking with the principal, we soon went beyond talk of the project and he ended up speaking about things that the school needs. I asked him what those 'things' were. When he began to tell me, I was mortified. To think that a Government primary school is so in need of simple things that can easily be provided ... and should be provided ... but are not being provided. Instead, monstrous buildings, sporting complexes, multimillion dollar toll highways, smelters and the like take precedence. And they wonder why children grow up to become criminals?

The principal has been at the school for 2 years. When he went there, he had to beg an NGO to help provide the school with a telephone! Today, the roof has leaks which are gradually causing the ceiling to cave in. "If a piece of ceiling falls on a child's head, it is my responsibility," he said. Their library is scant and their books are kept on termite ridden wooden shelving (they need metal shelving). They applied for computers over a year ago and to date their request has gone unanswered. The principal is unable to tell parents when certain books will be provided for the children. Etc etc etc. Yes they are behind God's back, but come on Min of Edu ... (and TSTT).


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Elspeth

2 Comments:

Blogger Mirari Coaching and Consulting Services said...

sigh... it's really criminal... that's why i can't be fanatical about any political party... still the consistent failings of the Ministry of Education should really be impeachable...

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it really shows that one can't wait on the government to provide. the catholic schools have their own problems but when i attended providence we never were in need of anything. there were workmen on the compound who fixed the desk and our class had its own bathroom key to ensure we kept it clean.

why not ask parents who can donate to help out...get the students involved....stop waiting and start acting.

don't feel it is only trinidad government like that. all of them are the same.

i know schools that don't even have toilet seats in trinidad but the building exterior has a nice coat of paint. don't assume from the outside ...look within.

4:19 PM  

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