Trouble in Paradise

Pamela Cedeno - Mark Lyndresay
Pamela Cedeno - Mark Lyndresay


My name is Pamela Cedeno, and I waiting for God to come and help me, because they say God helps those who help themselves, and I’ve been doing that all my life.

I’m from Mt Pleasant, Arima, born and grow.

We went to live in town for a while, came back Arima and never left after that. I love Arima.

My mom is a Indian and my father is more Trini-Spanish.

I have family who was part of the parang long-time. I never get the chance to sing parang, but I dance very well.

I was like a tomboy growing up, always try to do everything for myself.

I have three kids, two girls, one boy.

It was a joy when my first grandchild came into this world. He’s my eyeball, Kevon, aged ten years.

Then Zhara, eight, Zacharia, seven, Annalee, six and Liam, two.

Right now, going on two years now, I’m a single person. Single mom. Single grandmother.

I went Arima Girls’ RC Primary, Nelson Street Girls’ RC when we were in town, then Mt Hope, then Arima Senior Comprehensive.

I don’t know if school was something I liked, but I did enjoy it.

I came out with just three passes.

But I don’t have any regrets. I enjoyed every bit of school, from primary to junior and senior.

I was raised Catholic but right now I’m proud to be a Spiritual Baptist.

When I got older, I went to other churches and educate myself about other faiths before I decided what I wanted to be.

I couldn’t hurt my children. So I did ask myself how God could hurt his.

But God lives in inside of us when we have faith in ourselves and our decisions.

I ain’t go lie: I’s have my doubts.

Plenty people say it ent good to question God. But I say why have a God when we cannot ask a question?

Some of us just play dumb and go by what religion teach them. But I want to ask questions.

I did a little store work when I finished school. Here and there. Little cleaning. Work CEPEP. Woman’s programme. I did a course.

And I went in Miami and live over there for six years. That was nice.

Nothing come easy, it always have a rough part, but you have to know how to ride waves when you going in a boat. When you reach land, now, you decide if it going to be easy or rough.

I enjoy the work I do now, even though it involves people who have health problems, people suffering and thing.

It is hard but you can’t let patients see you’re sad. Because it shows them that something is wrong.

So you have to hold that faith, put a smile and overcome it. Treat them good, give them words of wisdom, pray for them.

I had the sense that I had to do things for myself from an early age.

Leaving senior comprehensive, we coming out from motherhood and fatherhood. The Bible say you have to fly away from the nest, and the onliest way I could fly away from my mom’ home was to start working from early, start doing things for myself.

Since the age of 18, I’m on my own.

It’s a difficult thing to be on your own in this world.

But somehow, I does get the strength. Is not to say I’m not human and I don’t have feelings – but I do get the strength.

Sometimes I’s wonder what is wrong with me. When the day will come when I will get the chance to be happy.

Me ent blaming nobody, not even God. I blame myself for everything. That is why I’s try to correct my mistakes.

I have nobody to help me. I never get no help in my life.

Not a house, a car, nothing. I’s try to do it on my own. That is why I choose to work every day.

I applied for a HDC house over how many years and went back and applied again. Ministers give me letters, I dropped them.

And I just give up.

It's not easy renting a house that is not yours. It's very hard. I stopped believing in promises.

Sometimes I just work and work and work, from Sunday to Sunday.

Working hard helps me to avoid thinking about other things.

Pamela Cedebo: "Sometimes I just work and work and work, from Sunday to Sunday. Working hard helps me to avoid thinking about other things." - Mark Lyndersay

Going home, the majority of the time, I sit down and talk with my mom. I like talking to her. She’s a good person to talk to.

And then I’ll see my children and they’ll bring a smile to my face.

And everything does just go away.

Life is stress.

But you have to put that stress behind you. Otherwise it only going to get you sick.

And that is what have me healthy now.

Once you have health, you keep on going and going and going. Once my body tell me to keep on going, I am going to keep on going.

‘Cause when you get old, that’s it, you know! It have nothing again for you to do.

The whole thing is, we doesn’t know what we have until we lost it. That is why you have to make do with what you have now until it is ready to go.

I make my mother the life of my heart because my father die and gone and she is my mother and my father.. She is my everything right now.

I like to cook. I have a sweet Trini hand. My favourite dish to eat and cook is curry.

People like my dasheen bush and pigtail. And oildown.

I feel I could fight crime more than the commissioner and all the police. I telling you. They have to put their eyes through my eyes and see what going on.

But they just turning away.

The country is a paradise for me. We have everything right here, we don’t bound to go anywhere else.

But, what happen, nobody ent standing up for their rights. We have a leader and everybody just stick behind the leader and nobody ent telling the leader whether the leader right or wrong.

To me, we can’t voice our opinion because nobody don’t want to hear. Because everybody only studying the upper part (of the society) and nobody ent studying the lower part, the poor people.

We only see the councillors when is time for election and a set of promises. They promise me a lot of things, I ent get it.

So I stop asking. I stop voting a long time, when I stop asking.

Because we have real poor people in places that need help. And nobody don’t see it. They just turning away.

To me, it is sad, real sad. Because the upper part not seeing the things that we see in the lower part. They sit on a throne and feel they is king. And everything happen for them. They only robbing the poor. Everything price going up and nobody pay going up.

To me, a Trini is bacchanal.

To me, Trinidad and Tobago is my paradise. It is. With everything going on out there, we have to consider ourselves lucky.

We’re a very lucky country: with storm; with war; with things going on all over.

We have all the festivals here. We have everything.

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"Trouble in Paradise"

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