Embarking on a trip down memory lane, my daughter Isabella and I recently journeyed back to Trinidad, my beloved homeland, for a brief visit. Our purpose was to reconnect with close family and friends and explore and appreciate Trinidad’s vibrant tapestry of art, culture, food, music, lifestyle, and rich diversity.
Our time in Trinidad was steeped in exploration and reminiscence. We immersed ourselves in the country’s heartbeat, visiting the renowned Caroni Swamp, famous for its wide array of wildlife, particularly the Scarlet Ibis, a beautiful bird symbolising national pride and protected by law. Staying in Port-of-Spain, I had the opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances from my childhood, though time was fleeting, and there are still many more to see next time.
One of the highlights of our visit was my chance to introduce Isabella to my childhood school. I was thrilled to learn that my Year 1 teacher, Ms. Pat Drysdale, was still actively teaching, even after 40 years! The school has been instrumental in shaping my self-belief, confidence, individuality, and the importance of team spirit. And above all, it taught me resilience – the value of standing up and starting again after a fall, a lesson that resonates deeply with life’s realities.
As a bonus, the school permitted us to film inside the premises. We had the chance to interview Ms. Drysdale, and her wisdom and dedication will be featured in my upcoming book “Unleash Your Creativity.” Her advice – to love your job, accept mistakes as part of growth, and always be authentic – was a humbling reminder of why I’ve always admired her.
This trip was a beautiful blend of the past and the present. As a vocal coach, it was an enlightening experience to revisit the origins of my foundational values and to be able to share these with my daughter. The same principles that were instilled in me during my schooling in Trinidad – resilience, teamwork, authenticity – are values I strive to impart to my students every day.
Visiting Trinidad reminded me of the diverse influences that have shaped my worldview and continue to inform my teaching philosophy. Just as Trinidad is a melting pot of cultures, each student I teach is a unique blend of experiences and talents. I look forward to channelling this journey’s fresh perspective and inspiration into further enhancing my vocal coaching methods. Thank you, Trinidad, for the invaluable lessons and memories. Until next time!