Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Rise in the East, set to work in the West
My name is Donna Rodriguez and I co-ordinate the activities and facilities at a professional training centre.
I’m from Quarry Street, East Dry River, Port-of-Spain. Growing up there was pretty nice, in the earlies. People played together, shared ideas and activities. On Good Friday we had a big cricket and basketball tournament where everybody was involved. And we had Christmas parties together. We shared everything. If people didn’t have a TV, people would come over to look at your television. We organised excursions and everybody was involved.
I’ve seen a lot of change in the neigbhourhood. Most of the people who grew up there are no longer there. We have had new people coming in with different cultures, different ideas, race, everything. On Quarry Street we had Indian people, we had some Chinese.
The neighbourhood is calm, [although] sometimes it’s a bit rough. We don’t have much shooting or anything like that. We hear, but we really don’t see the activity. I am not frightened or worried to live there.
I came from a family of a mother, a father, a brother and myself. I have a family myself. My husband is Kennrick Rodriguez. My one daughter is Cristal Martin. My son is Christophe Rodriguez and my other son is Kellon Rodriguez. My grandson, Caelan Martin, who will be six in January, brings a lot of joy to my life.
I sometimes go for a walk up to the Savannah. But I have my exercise stuff at home, my bike, my ab-doer, for at least an hour.
I was raised in the Catholic faith. I attended Nelson St Girls’ RC and then went on to St Martin’s Girls’ High. And then I did UWI Open Campus, George Washington University and Caribbean College of Commerce.
For relaxation, I go for a bus ride or organise a lime with friends for the end of the month, go and have some sherry or some dinner. We go to different restaurants. Hakka is one of the best; and Valpark Chinese Restaurant. I have no Chinese heritage but I like Chinese food.
Most of all I like Emancipation. I go out on the street to march, wear my African gown, I enjoy the drums—it’s so exciting!
Honesty is the best policy. My parents always pushed me to do what is right.
There is no power greater than God. I hold on to my faith and live each day, with God, as though it were my last.
My job entails preparing for programmes advertised to be run at the training centre. I make sure that, when the programme starts, it runs in a proper manner. Dealing with setting up the classrooms, getting the lunches, making sure the list of the facilitators’ needs they sent me are in order, making sure the computers are up and running. Make sure janitorial staff come in for the place to be in pristine order for the next day, every day.
I love my job. As somebody who has a certificate in events management, it’s like having an event every day. Events start at the top and I finish it at the bottom.
The best part of the job is coming to work in the morning and everything is in place, you have no hiccups, everybody is satisfied. The bad part of the job is, sometimes, I don’t get things on time. Or if things get damaged.
The training centre is in an old American base schoolhouse. My office is the old principal’s office and they never moved the label above my door. But I am not the principal! I am just the co-ordinator.
I come to work for 6 am. I see the sea, the breeze is nice, I don’t get traffic. I’m able to walk on the garden and pray, hear the birds chirp, stuff like that. I like it the scenery and peace a lot.
A Trini is one of the only people I know who have curfew and storm watch parties.
When I go away and am coming home on the plane and hear, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching Piarco International Airport,” I feel a sense of joy and pride.
Read a longer version of this feature at www.BCRaw.com
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