Tag Archives: Photographs

Trinidad Panorama 2015


I was very fortunate to be invited to attend the 2015 Panorama in Port of Spain this afternoon, as a guest of iGovTT – and part of the iPOSSE.  Despite the mud, it was an amazingly vibrant and energetic event – that made me feel both very old and very white!  Panorama is the annual steelpan competition in Trinidad and Tobago, and for the semi-finals held in Queen’s Park Savannah in the centre of Port of Spain, there are many side events in a separate location just to the west of the main stands.  Companies and organisations pitch their ‘tents’, and each have their own posses, many replete with T-shirts personalised by people cutting them into all sorts of patterns. The DJs compete with the steelpan bands, booming out the loudest possible music, and as the alcohol levels rise the dancing becomes much more explicit!  I hope that the images below do justice to some of the vibrancy of the event!

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Filed under Caribbean, Music, Photographs

Trinidad’s bird life


I had been to the Asa Wright Centre, high in the Arima valley in Trinidad’s Northern Range, briefly once before in 2011.  It was therefore great to be able to spend some time there yesterday once again, absorbing the atmosphere, and seeing some of the richness of the island’s bird life.  I hope that the pictures below capture some of their beauty, although the tiny humming birds, flitting from one flower to another, are so difficult to capture with a hand-held camera!  If ever you are in Trinidad, this is definitely a place to visit!

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Filed under Caribbean, Photographs, Wildlife

Liming in Tobago…


I guess a short visit to Tobago did not give enough time to enjoy the full sense of liming – that very special occupation of working hard at doing nothing while sharing food, drink and laughter with friends – but it did provide an insight into just what a pleasurable activity that can be!  The island is actually much bigger than it might appear on a map (300 sq kms) , and it was crazy to try to circumnavigate it by car in just one day!  Definitely not liming – although evenings spent with Carib beer and local rum to wash down the fresh fish went some way to make up for the energy spent swimming and walking during the day!

For those who like hidden away, almost empty beaches, the east of Tobago is far preferable to the larger beach resorts on the flat western tip of the island, and the forested slopes of Main Ridge, which was designated as a protected Crown reserve in 1776, provide a rich habitat for the diversity of colourful birds.  Argyle waterfall is also definitely worth a visit – but the unofficial guides at the entrance by the main road are to be avoided.  Visitors should make sure that they go to the main car park and official pathway!  A bit of effort also takes one to some of the beautifully maintained historical sites such as Fort King George and Fort James, and it is definitely worth wandering around the capital Scarborough, with its colourful buildings and murals.

Thanks to all of my friends who persuaded me to visit – at last!  I hope that the following pictures do some justice to the island and its people.

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Filed under Caribbean, Photographs

Pre-Christmas skiing in Kitzbuhel


It is always a risk going skiing before Christmas, but Kitzbuhel usually has snow when many other places do not.  That was certainly the case last week!  As the pictures below illustrate, although the valley was snow free for most of the week, there were enough runs open with good snow to enable us to have some great skiing.  Skiing in bright sunlight above the clouds down in the valley was amazing, and we only lost one day due to the cloud and rain!  It was also just so relaxing walking through the beautiful town in the evenings.  Thanks to Jonathan for making all the arrangements, and to everyone else on the trip who made it such a good week!

 

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An evening walk through Doha’s Souq Waqif


One of the many challenges of attending conferences is that one usually has to spend around 12 hours a day deep underground in cavernous halls, or in dim windowless rooms watching images and words on large screens!  Not only is one left bereft of natural light, but air conditioning is no replacement for the oxygen of fresh air!  So after the main activities of ITU’s Telecom World were over today, I took myself back to Doha’s Souq Waqif just to immerse myself in the smells of spices, shisha and the wonderfully rich oud perfumes, to glimpse the rich colours of the textiles and jewels, to hear the laughter of small children and the squaks of parrots, and just to walk among ‘real’ people far from the robots and aggressive capitalism of many in the ICT and telecommunications sector who were expounding the virtues of the latest technologies at the conference!  Although this souq is a relative modern re-interpretation of the souq that used to be here, it continues in that rich tradition of sounds, smells, tastes and textures that have always dominated markets in the region.  I hope that the pictures below capture something of the reality of this world beyond the virtual!

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Filed under ICT4D, Photographs, Uncategorized

Jenny and Al’s wedding, 20th September 2014


Yesterday was a very special day – Jenny and Al were married at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. All of the hard work and attention to detail that they and so many others put into the preparation paid off enormously.  It was truly a fantastic day, from the practice session and dinner the night before, through the early morning hair, make-up and dressing, to the service itself, the reception, wonderful meal and evening party!  Thanks so much to everyone there who made it a really special day.  Jeremy, Arnold and Kathleen made the service itself very memorable and joyous.  The staff at Emma did a brilliant job with the food.  Ettie made an incredible cake – well, actually three cakes in one!  The musicians and band (The Zoots) were great – and it was so rewarding seeing everyone dancing and enjoying themselves so much!  I hope that the informal pictures below capture something of a truly memorable day.  Thanks to everyone for making it such a very happy celebration.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bowe!

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Grameenphone hosted cultural dinner at CTO’s Annual Forum


One of the very real privileges of being Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation is the opportunity that it has given me to visit so many different countries and people across the Commonwealth.  It is so important that we celebrate our cultural differences and richness, rather than trying to create a single uniform market across the world! The CTO’s Annual Forum is always an occasion when our host countries share something of their culture, usually in the form of dance and music.  Last night was a very special occasion.  Grameenphone, which started with the Village Phone programme to empower the rural women of Bangladesh in 1997, became the first operator to cover 99% of the country’s people with network, and is now  the leading and largest telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh with more than 48.68 million subscribers as of March 2014.  It was such an honour to meet with Vivek Sood, CEO of Grameen phone and his staff, and I hope that the imagery below captures something of the  excitement, beauty and energy of this wonderful evening. Thank you so much to all of the dancers and musicians who shared so much of their culture with us.

 

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Filed under 'phones, Commonwealth, Dance, Photographs