We woke up extremely early to be at the airport at 4:30am (Trinidad time) to catch our 6:30am flight to Miami. My bag was, of course, overweight (From now on, I'm remembering to pack lighter when leaving my house). I spent my time on the plane reading and talking to a gentleman from Trinidad. Customs in Miami was much easier than I was expecting. A couple of us had really long layovers. Mine was about 9 hours in Miami. So we wanted to leave the airport for a little bit. We took a cab to the nearest Chipotle, which turned out to be quite an adventure. It was so good to have familiar food again. We went back to the airport to wait a little longer. I said goodbye to more friends and ended to the gate with another student to wait for our flight. Finally, it was 7:30pm and time to board the plane. It took 22 hours to get home, but I was so excited to land in Phoenix and be back at home.
On Wednesday, we got to the Tobago House of Assembly, Division of Agriculture too early, so we left to hang out on a beach for a little bit. I looked around, took photos, and collected driftwood while we waited. After two hours, we went back to the center to learn about the processing of cassava into farine. Luckily, my phone was found and we went back to the waterfall to get it. When we got back, the group has already started making farine. It was so cool to watch them make what we had been talking about for the past couple of days. On the way to the hotel, we stopped at Fort King George to take some photos. After we started working on our projects and ate dinner, we walked to Turtle Beach to look for leatherback sea turtles. It seemed like we weren't going to see anything, but then the guide found a nest that still had two baby turtles in it. Two students helped two the little sea turtles get moving again and then they were strong and ready, we took them to the sea. It was so amazing to watch. We started to leave and a female turtle had came up to shore to lay her eggs. We all went back to watch. It was so cool. She started by digging a deep hole in the sand. Then she dropped her ping pong shaped eggs into it. When she was done laying, she compacted sand back on top of it. To confuse predators, she threw sand on herself and walked around the beach before heading back to the ocean. It was so amazing to watch.
We had fun a Thursday. We started the day by creating recipes using cassava flour. We had teams of four and had to create three recipes, one for each of our target markets. It was so crazy trying to cook without a kitchen or the necessary ingredients, but we had fun. After we made our recipes, judges went by and tried each of our products. My team ended up winning all three markets. It was fun. After that, we went to Mount Irving beach to relax a little before going back to the hotel for dinner and to finish our presentations. We were up pretty late working, but we had a solid presentation on our recommendations for the Tobago House of Assembly, Division of Agriculture.
Friday was the day of our big presentation. We worked hard on looking at the processing of farine to come up with our solutions on expanding the process to the industrial scale while maintaining a sustainable system. After our presentation, we said our goodbyes and headed to the airport. The flight from Tobago to Trinidad was the shortest flight I've ever been on. From take off to landing only took about 15 minutes. We went to a different mall to get dinner quickly and then went to Norma's Bed and Breakfast for one more night. It was weird how much like it felt like home being back in the bed I had stayed for two weeks. It was sad to say goodbyes before I went to bed.