Monday, January 7, 2008
Campus New Year's Fete
Friday afternoon we were invited to a new year’s reception hosted by the new Campus Principal (comparable to University President in the US system). The new Principal, Clement Sankat, was appointed to the position about 2 weeks ago. Last spring, he was the dean of engineering and he is the person who recruited me to come here. So Rich and I took our invitations and headed over to the reception at around 4 pm expecting a typical stuffy academic gathering with a few hors d’oeuvres. Perhaps even an English style tea. Woo, were we wrong! This was a massive Trinidad style fete complete with food, drink, music and dancing. All the classic Trinidad specialties were served including bake and shark, jerk chicken, geere pork, pastilles, grilled ribs, pig tail, roti, hops and ham, Chinese and Indian specialties and likely several things I’m forgetting. There were drinks of all kinds including non-alcoholic island specialties like Lemon-Lime Bitters and of course a wide selection of Caribbean beers and liquors. Then there was the music, a mixture of both live and recorded of various styles including Calypso, Soca, and Parang. The dancing was over the top wild. I may be able to pass as a dancer among engineers and scientists, but never among Caribbeans. A Steel Pan band was set up for most of the evening but for some reason they never played. We were pleased to find that we already know a dozen or more people or so from campus and so were easily able to find people to socialize with. I must say, Trinis definitely know how to throw a party.