With our stomachs full we decided to explore the right hand side of the Fair before leaving. This area was designated to traders and vendors of handiwork, clothing, and health items. Everything looked wonderful and I wished I had walked with more money. Some even took Mastercard/Visa, but alas I had walked solely with camera and cash in hand.
Next was the National Archives exhibition on Slavery in Trinidad. This really was magnificently done.
Opening with enlargements of classified ads for slaves, it left all silent in its wake.
It is still hard for me to imagine a time when one could just head to a newspaper looking to buy
Overcome with emotion, it was a no-brainer to then head over to the head booth of the day’s organizers and make a donation before heading to the car.
We reached home not a moment to soon. The sky had turned black prematurely as train, thunder and lightning all competed at full force. Glad to be safe and dry I toasted some of my newly purchased Cassava Bake. Devoured with just a smattering of butter and hot cocoa, it was the perfect ending to an extremely damp but emotionally rewarding day.
All in all I would give the African Food Fair a solid B. This may surprise some who may think that my overall feelings were negative. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am well aware that the Emancipation Support Committee is a non-profit organization and that volunteers are a large part of the force that makes these events a reality. As a result all of my expectations are ultimately framed and qualified by that reality.
My main concerns as I mentioned in the first installment of this series were
1) How prohibitive would costs be on-site due to free admission?
2) How African would the offerings be?
On the former I was pleasantly surprised. Although I ‘only’ walked with a $100 TT I was able to enjoy almost everything that I wanted to. Got myself a full lunch, snack, sweets and treats, and my take-home bake. Had I had more on me I know that I would have bought more. So in that sense I definitely feel that the value of the event far superseded the investment made on my part
On the second concern, that was more of a mixed bag. I would have liked to have seen more Continental African fare however, as with everything in life, that requires interested individuals who could fulfill this desire. For all I know the Emancipation Support Committee did try to contact or enroll people who had the necessary experience/expertise, and for any number of reasons they didn’t come through. As a result I do not judge the final mix of offerings too harshly. And, as previously mentioned the kentumere was a fabulous discovery that my palate is still extremely thankful for!
I am definitely curious about what the event will hold next year and hope that the weather will be a -lot- better! My hopes for that one will be:
• More Continental African food
• More personable vendors (I know this is next to impossible to enforce/screen but seriously it was a turn off)
• More plate options
• More unified food/seating arrangement
• More DJ Braithwaite (he’s a musical gem!)
See you in 2011!