AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Esther Lyons and this year will be 29 years I am working at Argyll Waterfall, Tobago.
I was a tour guide but I’m not any more, because I damaged my knee.
So now I am the cleaner! And I sell memorabilias.
I was born on the boat the Bird of Paradise, leaving Tobago and going to Trinidad.
So I really am a born Trinbagonian, born between the two islands.
I went to Morvant Market School. They called it locally Lower Morvant Government School.
I liked school but I dropped out before time. But that didn’t hold me back.
I’ve lived in both Trinidad and Tobago, up, down, up, down. I still go up, down, up, down.
What happened, my father and mother end up living in Trinidad, so I live with them down there until I left school and come back to live in Tobago, in Whim, where I grow up.
Things change a lot since my girl days. Young girl children today, they do different things.
In we time, we used to play moral and hopscotch and thing. Children now going with phone, phone, phone.
I used to go down Trinidad and spend the weekend to watch cricket at the Oval, Queen’s Park Oval. If I miss the boat, I go with plane to watch the cricket!
But now I don’t do that again. West Indies not winning so much again. So I’m not really a fan much.
Now I watch on TV. When they winning, I’m excited, when they losing, I’m sad. I was watching the World Cup and they going good, going good and I picking up…and then they come and lost to New Zealand by five runs! That hurt me.
Since then, I ent watch them no more.
I talk what I know.
The biggest change I’ve seen in TT in my time is crime. Crime, crime, crime, crime, crime! Oh Lord!
I love Trinidad but, sometimes, because of the crime what going on now, I doesn’t want to go!
In Tobago, we don’t lock the door! You leave your window open. You look out for your neighbour and your neighbour look out for you.
People say (American soap opera) Young & Restless is a picture you mustn’t watch but the reason I watch it is because I learn from it. What happening on the Young & Restless is what happening in the world!
Sometime somebody who you tell yourself is your good friend, sometime is your friend who does do you.
You learn all that from Young & Restless. And Bold & Beautiful.
I’m bold but I ain’t beautiful – but I still learn from it!
They say, “In God we trust, in man, we bust.” Some people say, “In woman, it wust.”
When people go to the waterfall and they come back, they could buy T-shirts, hats, towels, purses, postcard, all Argyll Waterfall. We have local organic soap, we have chains, earrings.
Some people buy, some people don’t buy. Just like me. I will go in a store and see something, sometime I buy it, sometime I don’t. Sometime I might find it too dear and I will leave it but, if I really need it, and I can’t get it nowhere else cheaper, I have to buy it. When they don’t buy, I have to say, “Well, is the same thing with me.”
The best part of the job is meeting people, all kind of people. The bad part is when they say, “Hold on, I going in the car for the money,” and they never come back. Is just a excuse.
But sometime I and all make the same excuse.
Certain parts in Trinidad still can’t get pipe-borne water! I can’t understand that. And that going on for years!
What the Bible tell you: that, in the last days, man – they mean man and woman, eh, but the word they use is “man” – man will be lovers of money and self and not lovers of God.
That is why them criminal don’t want to work. The work they do, they rather sit down and study how to go rob these people, how to thief this thing. The love gone. Drugs lick up a lot of people!
The love might be gone but they still have plenty honest people in Tobago. They work hard for they money.
A Tobagonian, I would say, is loving and kind. You could tell a neighbour you hungry and they will tell you, “Go and pick a bunch of fig there.” “Go dig some yam.” You hungry, they give you a bowl of food.
We have harvest festival, you eating and drinking on a Sunday, all these kinds of things.
No matter where you go in the world – America, Grenada, St Vincent, Canada, New York, Australia – there is good and there is also bad. And TT is still paradise in the world.
All the bad happening in Trinidad, it have plenty worse happening in the world.
But Tobago more paradise than Trinidad!
Read a longer version of this feature at newsday.co.tt