Category Archives: Trinidad and Tobago
I hate it when I would post more than once in a day just so the next day I often won’t post anything. Today is one of those angst days where my expectation for the day was not achievable. However, I wanted to actually wanted to share the appreciation of the friends that actually made my life more cherishable. I admit, there are things about me that I do not share in public, but if you were one of my close friends you already know all there is to me. I was never the popular or outspoken kids in school, I’m exactly the opposite. I was picked on for a majority of my life and ironically I am doing much better than any of those jerks. I can always brag how every time I confront them in person today after years of torment, you can see their perception of me changed. I have a college degree and traveled to many places and they never even considered college. Long story short, I am doing much better than them and the tables has turned, but I actually forgave them. I won’t forget their actions, but I have become a stronger person because I dealt with their jeers for years. However, I am a stronger person today because of my friends since High School. I won’t name names, but hopefully they know who they are.
I am grateful for the my high school friends who fixed my first guitar from scratch, sat with me to figure out which college I should attend, edited my essays, always looked out for me, gave me first dibs to read stories before anyone else, forcing me to ride Nitro twice in a row, and had so many referrals of solutions to my problems. I am grateful for my college friends who helped me rejuvenate my African awareness, helped me to focus studying when my ADHD acts up sometimes, taught me to be a somewhat better dancer, endless conversations at my room, memorable ladies night out in Hartford, and random fun things to do at night (Blowing a South African Vuvuzuela at the middle of the night), comfort me when someone close to me passed away (especially the risk of getting pushed by me, considering her fragile size), good home-cooked food when I was saving 90%-95% of my summer earnings on my Canon 60D camera with 18-135mm lenses and other accessories. It was really hard to go work without breakfast at times. I did not forget my Trinidad and Tobago friends. You guys are the window to my world too! I can stress the endless amount of fun I had. I never forget the fun days at the beach, taking me out to video shoots, eating doubles with me, helping me with my groceries (some groceries more important than others), helping me throw the best curfew parties Milner Hall ever had, taught me how to enjoy life when I am always uptight, and countless advice to in obtaining better videography and photography. Without all of you guys, my life would totally suck and perhaps will not at all complete! I love you all!
P.S. Trinidad was the place where I discovered my photography skills last year, please check out my pics I took of the country (especially my friends who never saw my work before):
P.S.S. I also want to thank the friends I made in Los Angeles, California as well. I didn’t want all of the lovely words I said about my high school and college friends to get jumbled up in paragraphs. Thanks so much for all you have done for me in my time in Los Angeles. Movie times with a Kindle Fire, watching animations with me such as the Legend of Korra, helping me look my best when we go out, meeting Van Vicker and sending a pic/autograph to my mom, car trips to places in Cali I needed to be, SEO training, videography tips, cooking amazing Cameroonian dishes to make my mom jealous and lastly dealing with all the times I am out of focus. I am really grateful for everything and hopefully I be back in the Cali scene, ASAP!
This is my second day at WordPress and I definitely love the site’s interactive ability. I am proud to present myself as Chioma Ozuzu versus any of those previous nicknames I called myself. WordPress is still relatively new to me, but I would love to take at least one post a week or more to talk about past experiences from my previous blogger account. At least every Thursday, I will do a Memory Lane post, a post dedicated to an experience I finally get to reveal instead of just pictures becoming lost at my website. I will post the link to the album of the site at the end. This post is dedicated to the National Stickfighting Competition 2011 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Port of Spain, March, 2011:
“It was quite a rough crowd of people, perhaps the roughest since my time in Trinidad. The audience appeared to be as tough as the stick fighters themselves. They will quite upset if someone blocks their view and/or photographers with built in flashes. I was told that a year before, someone flashed a picture of a stick fighter that was about to win a match until the flash entered his eyes. His opponent attacking him, leaving him blind in one eye. Getting in a fight outside the United States was clearly the last thing on my agenda. To secure better pictures for the album, I moved out of the top bleachers I took pictures from and maneuvered my way around the dangerous crowd in order to get as close to the ring as possible. Luckily for me, I have my official carnival pass to grant me access into the ring on me. But much to my chagrin, I am a lot closer to danger than standing on the bleachers with the crowd pushing against me.
I met up with a petite-sized Trinidadian woman and older photographers I met from Panorama Semi-Finals. I was relieved in seeing them again. It was difficult trying to get to close to the stage as possible because you never know how intense the stick fighters compete as the fights were as dangerous as I expected. I got hit in the back of the head by a flying boui (stick) as the launched into the crowd. (A boui is the staff used by stickmen to compete with each other) The cameraman sitting right next to me got a lot more damage when his Canon external flash was completely smashed and was bleeding from his forehead. I guess I could say that he took a “boui” for me. The bright side from the event was the Moko Jumbie (stilts walker or dancer) kids coming out to perform during the halftime show. Later on, I met an Indo-Trinidadian man who encouraged me to take pictures at the International Soca Monarch the next day. The odds to this idea were quite slim (5,000 to 1 chance). His advice was the coolest thing I ever done.
I tried to get as many good pictures I could, despite lack of lighting in the arena, basic 18-55mm lenses, no use of flash, and the quick motion of the stick fighters. I guess that the Trinidadian photographers are absolutely right of needing to upgrade my still-picture camera if I ever wanted to be a more serious photographer. Or figure out which camera setting would get me the results that I wanted to see. I have pictures from the event posted on my website. Enjoy.
Link to the National Stick Fighting Competition of Trinidad and Tobago in 2011: