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Trinidad Mission: "Coconuts and Mangos"

Monday, December 16, 2013
by Scout Monteith

Dear Lipscomb University Followers,

The anticipation for this trip has been high for a long time. Finally, the wait is over and the whole team is ecstatic to begin the journey in Trinidad. This trip has the capability of changing many lives in all different kinds of ways, as well as making our unity as a team grow closer every step along the way.

The first full day in Trinidad began as we woke up at 8 a.m. with the Caribbean sunrise blazing over the hills. Within 30 minutes, we smelled the smell of fresh eggs and pancakes made by no other than the best cook in Trinidad, Marcia (Anton’s wife). They were delicious and she wanted to give us an American meal to make us feel more at home.

We got ready for Church, to experience TJ William’s (Former Lipscomb Soccer Player) church. We got there with high expectations for a great cultural event and boy we got much more.

As the great Klotzy was leading us inside, we were greeted with smiles from ear to ear from a congregation of about 15 members. During the service the band was rocking out with praises being sung from the heavens. After an hour and a half, the service was over and we went to eat at a pizza place.

The pizza was fantastic and in my opinion, the Trinidad’s special sauce made it that much better.

We ate lunch with TJ’s family and his kindergarten aged daughter was full of energy and joy. She was not scared to ask any questions to the white foreigners.

We left to come back to home base, “The Castle.” The group and I thought we were going to relax for a couple hours and wait for the others to arrive around 3 p.m., but we were awakened with surprise and curiosity. Bobby, Anton’s landscaper and the most knowledgeable survivalist in Trinidad, wanted to take us on a jungle safari by foot.

Cam, Micah, Daniel, Kolbo, Robbie, Tyler (Anton’s son), Ralphy (fomer College of Charleston player) and myself (Scout) were up for the challenge.

We traveled through the neck high grass for an hour to our destination where we were looking for caimans (gators). Daniel and Micah chickened out and decided to make there way back to the castle. However, while they were gone, we found a mango tree and Bobby taught us how to knock the mangos out with sticks.

We spent an hour knocking down mangos so that we could make chow with them when we got back. After collecting the mangos, we journeyed back through the forest and spotted a caiman. It was around five feet long and Kolbo tried to jump on the ferocious animal, but like a cheetah, it quickly scurried into the water.

We then arrived back at the headquarters and walked up to greet everyone with many battle scars and muddy faces, the group had mistaken us for tribal jungle men. However, we were welcomed with loving arms from Charles, Zander, Reece, Lucas, Chad, and J-Rod (the second group). Many people jumped in Anton’s pool to feel refreshed from the 85 degree heat.

After swimming, several guys got ready to head to the second church service at 6 p.m. When we got to there, the congregation was much larger than the first with around 50 people in attendance. The music was decent, but not as good as the first service. However, there was a great message and a good atmosphere in the church.

After the service we went outside and waited for our ride, the maxi taxi. While we were waiting, all the guys and myself were trying to get some coconuts down from the trees. We collected 12 coconuts before being picked up by Marcus (the maxi taxi driver).

When we got back to the castle, we cut the coconuts and had a grand time drinking the coconut juice with the squad.

After Charles ate all the coconut jelly (he loved that stuff), we played a card game, “Chase the Ace.” Several people had many consequences after losing the game. Sorry, what happens in Trinidad stays in Trinidad. After playing several games, the group was tired and eventually went to bed around 12:30 a.m. The first and second day for many members of the trip was a success and an encouragement for the rest of the trip.

Sincerely,

The Lipscomb University Soccer Team