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Thursday 20 June 2019
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Trini to the bone: A mail lady

Sharon Atwell. Photo by Mark Lyndersay
Sharon Atwell. Photo by Mark Lyndersay

As told to BC PIRES

My name is Sharon Atwell and I am a post lady.

I consider myself blessed to be from Santa Cruz, born and bred. Brian Lara and I grew up together. We used to go to parties. We used to go to Santa Cruz RC harvest. We used to have a nice time. Brian is one of the best things to have come out of Santa Cruz. One of them.

I come from a big family of ten, seven girls, three boys. I’m the fourth child and fourth girl. One, two, three, four girls and then the rest were boys.

I have five children, three girls and two boys. My first daughter is Kinda Atwell – some people pronounce it as Kind-a, but it’s Kin-da. Isaiah Atwell, then the next girl is Misha Atwell and the last girl is Khadisha Atwell and the boy is Isaac Atwell.

I was baptised Catholic and I go to the Catholic church. But, sometimes, you want more prayers and you go to other churches.

I believe there is a supernatural force out there that is beyond description. If I had to describe God, I would say he is a light within a light. You cannot really describe that illumination of a light but I believe God is so close to us that we ourselves do not know. I believe that, if you have faith and you tell a mountain to move, it will move.

I enjoyed school because I was fortunate to have both my mom and my dad around. My father worked with the Ministry of Social Development. My mom was a homemaker. She used to do a lot of cooking and cleaning and minding of animals.

Every August vacation, we would look forward to my father driving us in his old blue Zephyr called Betsy, HA 8864. It used to have this angel with wings at the top. We used to go to Mundo Nuevo by my grandfather and, every time we had to travel long distances, he used to say, “Go, Betsy, go, go, Betsy go.” All those things remain in my mind. We weren’t rich but we were rich in spirit, family and friends.

I love fishing but I don’t have a boat. 

I was a very athletic person but I no longer do the sports. Let the young people do that. But I exercise a lot. Probably too much. I run, walk, things like that.

I love karate movies. And I love drama movies – but not horrors! If somebody says life is enough of a horror that we don’t need horror movies, I second that emotion!

I believe in the third dimension. Third dimension means that, if you are in your living room, and someone is in the television, don’t matter what they are doing, it comes back. So, one dimension, two dimensions, three dimensions. I believe in that. And it exists. Some spirit can come out of the TV. It manifests.

We may not know but words are very powerful. If you speak and say something beautiful, it takes up a form and it makes beauty; if you say something that is not appropriate, it takes up forms and exists. It manifests as a wrong. So I am very careful with words.

I am worried about Trinidad today. The youths are out of control. From the schools go right back, everybody is out of control and it’s really, really, really, really frightening.

My son Isaac is 18 now, so he is really at risk. But I taught all my children to pray and I pray for him all the time. So I’m not really worried about him – because you know what you have.

Sharon Atwell. Photo by Mark Lyndersay

 “Campaign of Israel” and I went up on the altar and said, “Heavenly Father, I can do a lot of things with this money. I want this, I want that – but, if I buy a vehicle and I’m driving and I’m posing and my son is out there just into trouble… I said, “Eh-eh!” And I gave every single cent to the Lord. If I had $1 remain, I had much. Like Abraham giving all, I gave all. That is one of the things I’m very proud of. A lot of people say, “Oh, Sharon, you so foolish!” You should have done this that and the other.

But I said no, I’m going to put it on the altar. Things that surround heaven is sacrifices and things that surround hell is desires.

At first I didn’t like my job in the delivery arm of the post office but you know God knows best. Now I love it. If I was not walking on the road, I would have been one fat woman, because I love to eat. Because of that discipline of walking, a lot of diseases has passed me by.

My job is an opportunity to meet people and to talk one-to-one. You meet people who are very lonely, very happy, foreigners.

My beat carries me all over all of Maraval, rich areas and impoverished areas from high to low, even the highest of the high. You bounce up weird people. You might walk a road in a certain place and meet a man with a gun.

I love delivering the mails, meeting the people. Some days, the dogs rush you, people abuse you, sometimes the sun too hot. But I don’t have to pay a gym. I’ve been doing it for 17 years.

A Trini is a diversified person. We are loving but there are a lot of Tricky-dadians. We are the Caribbean exemplars. Trini people would take in any celebration. Trini love to party.

TT means a lot to me because it is in the Caribbean. We are rich in oil, rich in pitch, rich in kindness and I love that.

Read a longer version of this feature on Wednesday at wwwBCPires.com

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