December 2023
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Trinidad Now! Associates

More Childhood Experiences

My Parents often told me “Better be a Leader than a Follower”
Now when I visit my daughter I sit in her
kitchen and look out at a pond and nature path across from her
back yard. On many nice days, children from the nearby schools
take their nature walk along the way. The little darlings in their
matching outfits walk in groups with a teacher or some adult
monitor. They hop, skip, and jump and seem to be having fun.
This brings me back to my own childhood. One fine day we went
on a school outing to one of the most beautiful places on our
island The Blue Basin Waterfall. The river with many tropical fish
runs through the mountain then falls over a cliff into a clear blue
pool-basin of water where people can bathe in the nice warm
water. Up on the banks there are lots of bamboo trees and the
dry leaves fall and cover the ground like silk and you can sit and
slide down the hill and have much fun all day. Now getting to
this wonderful site is not easy. The roads are narrow with
precipice on both sides and you are afraid to look down. But
when you get there it is pure heaven. On this day we went by
bus and got to the terminal safely. We then had to walk a few
miles to the waterfall. We formed groups with teachers and
monitors and walked along singing and dancing to pass the time.
My group was behind so I suddenly got a bright idea (which I
often had - smile) Why not take a short cut through a small
bushy road instead of the main road and we would get there
first? I really did not know where that road led. But remember
I was no follower. I was not surprised when the others followed
me. After all I was the head of my class at school, although I
was one of the smallest in stature. I felt like I had wings when
leading my classmates, marching along chanting one-two-three-
four, left-right, left-right. I felt elated when we reached a
clearing and saw the others I was RIGHT or was I WRONG. My
teacher - The Nun was very upset with me because they had to
go back to look for us and she would certainly tell my Parents
what I had done. I was very crushed by the scolding but that
did not spoil my day. I told myself that I would enjoy my outing
until I got home. Besides I am not a follower.
When we got back that evening my teacher complained to my
Father that I was very naughty by leading my classmates in a
different direction instead of following behind the others and
that I should be punished. My  Father just looked at me and
frowned. On the way home I sat in the back seat of the car in
silence thinking of my punishment when we got home and my
Mother had her say. To my surprise my Parents did not scold me
but gave each other Hi Fives. They were Happy because they remembered that they always told me to be a “Leader and not a
Follower” GET IT!

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