Giselle Laronde-West, former Miss World of 1986, won the gold medal in her kata category of female adults 35 years and over when the Shotokan karate international federation of Trinidad and Tobago
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Bright-eyed outlook on the lookout
My name is Ann-Marie Williams and I been selling preservatives on the lookout about ten years now. I’m from Upper St Francois Valley Road Belmont. My grandmother was Catholic and grow me up in that. I train myself in Rastafari. We used to play girl games, like moral, hop scotch, marble-pitching, mango-pelting. We used to make our own tops to pitch. But children doesn’t do that again. I come from a real big family, plenty cousin, siblings, aunts, all kind of thing. But I am the onliest one from my mother.
I have four boy children myself. Not four, three. One died a long time ago. In life, things happen. I used to tell the lord I want an army of boys. What I ask for is what I get. I stayed in secondary school three years and dropped out. I couldn’t blame my mother or nobody, it was me. I made my mistake and I understand is I who made my mistake and I go ahead with my life.
You might see someone suffering and you might say God don’t put a hand—but God say, if he don’t come, he will send someone! And someone will come, once you have patience. God doesn’t move with anything rushy. God have plenty time!
I always had pretty eyes all my life. I getting old now so they getting dull but, if you had see me when I was younger, they was shining! I will admit I cause some men some problems! They used to be running after me by fives! But I’m settled down and living a happy life, comfortable in my golden ages now. You have to enjoy your life. How long I might have again? Why should I live in misery? I lived in misery when I was young.
My real calypsonian, is Cro Cro. He’s come hitting hard and he’s talk the real thing. People mightn’t like him because they don’t like truth and realness. Right now, look how Trinidad get: the place is dread! Kids can’t stay outside. It fearful for the youths and them. It sad, real sad.
My little son had bullying in school right through, from government school to private. I was frighten for him. One day walking coming home, them school there, they pull out switchknife for him and he had was to drop books, phone, everything and run for his life! He not violent to walk with no blade or gun, he’s not that type of natured child. He came home trembling.
I’m sad to say Trinidad today is not the Trinidad I know. I sad to see how this place come. When my age group gone from this Earth, I don’t want to think what here will be like, if it don’t change. Why the youths and them killing one another? I know my grandmother making tart. Plenty plenty grandchildren she had. But I learn mango chow on my own. I was like a tomboy, go and climb tree, pick mango, cut it up, take bird pepper—you don’t see that again this time—and hide under the mango tree with your little bowl.
I sell all kind of preservatives: mango; cherry; local; foreign. I come to the lookout through I had some relationship difficulties one time and I was down! I talk to my God and my God show me the lookout, cause I not living far from there, and I come out and try, and it was very successful to me, up to this day, and I’m here ten years now.
When I came to the lookout, it was desolated. It didn’t have nobody, no car, no nothing. I bring everything you see on top of it now. Everybody you see there today follow me! The people with the plants, the jerk, I bring everything back to life! The best part of selling on the lookout is I peel my little mango and clean my little pine. I like to enjoy that. The other things, is to buy and put in a bottle. I doesn’t have to do that extra work. Remember I am getting of age, so I cannot kill myself with hard work no more.
A true roots Trini like par-day! Tobagonians different to Trini. They have a different accept and a different culture. I never say I never went Tobago and enjoy the quietness and the beaches, but I born in Trini and I love my Trini.
Read a longer version of this feature at www.BCRaw.com