You have entered a construction zone. This is a work in progress to which I hope you will add commentary, critique, or your own story.

The idea comes from my garden, where in the sunflower, for example, I see growth coming as time passes. It is the type of growth I look for in schools seen here closeup, as if in a fishbowl, in a country of fewer that two million persons.

This work is autobiographical, since my life is entwined with the story of schools in Trinidad, where I was born. But I spent early childhood in Tobago before returning to Trinidad for secondary education. I left the twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago in the south Caribbean for study at the University of Toronto in 1969.

Map showing range of my travel in South America

Enrollment in a four-year course in Latin American Studies allowed me to spend 1971-1972 in study-travel ranging from the islands of Bermuda through Caracas, Venezuela, and as far south as the resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche in southern Argentina. I ended that study tour with indelible memories of places such as Mendoza, Argentina, Punta del Este, Uruguay, Hohenau, Paraguay and beside other unforgettable places in Brazil, the 24,000-acre Instituto Adventista Agro-Industrial do Amazonas (IAAI, Adventist Agro-Industrial Institute, Amazon State) an Adventist school located at kilometre 74 on the Highway from Manaus to Itacoatiara.

That year of travel and study in non-English speaking America left me permanently fascinated by Adventist food and drink production plants and sanitarium/hospitals among other institutions but above all, by Adventist schools, from Skodsborg Fisioterapieskole (Skodsborg School of Physiotherapy) in Skodsborg, Denmark to Sahmyook University in South Korea and others in between, such as Akaki School in Ethiopia. And unavoidably of course, in Adventist-inspired or operated schools and institutions in the Caribbean region.

This autobiographical work unwraps finely meshed personal and institutional histories as it reflects on emergence of schools, not only in my native Trinidad and Tobago, but on schooling in its wider context. To understand my story, you must first meet my grandmother who alerted me to witches’ broom in cocoa trees, an introduction that had nothing to do with magic, one that took place in circumstances outlined in Facing Reality: From Armageddon to Cocoa Beans.