Doing History in Barbados (part 4)

This post was written by James Baker, a student on Will Pettigrew’s undergraduate excursion to Barbados. 


Following a busy of traversing the island plantation to plantation, we enjoyed a deserved chilled morning prior to our outing to the Barbados High Commission. The indigenous bus, loud, tightly packed, driving along the southern coastline has become more and more the norm as we made the trip to the Garrison area to Bridgetown, that we had visited before.


Unfortunately due to unavoidable circumstances, we were unable to visit the High Commission, nor met the Commissioner. However Gilly and Angharag, her colleagues, kindly took us to lunch at a local café, located next to George Washington House, providing us with an afternoon of tasty sandwiches, Bajan lemonade, informative discussions and laughter. They indulged us in describing their roles at the High Commission with how and why it functioned, with most of us keenly interested in how to get a job in with them at the Foreign Office. This was followed by a discussion as to the complexity of bi-lateral partnership within the Caribbean islands, their subsequent relationship with the British Foreign Office and their three part agenda of prosperity, security and development.


Following lunch the group diverged with some of us heading to the beach despite being dressed prepared to visit the High Commission and not necessarily to go swimming, some visiting to Colleton House and others trying to find a Western Union Bank in busy Barbadian rush hour streets.


For those who visited Colleton House the house chef, who takes care of the house when the owner is away, allowed us to explore the several buildings. The ‘great house’ was built in 1640s however had a 70s décor inside (very James Bond!) After exploring the house they were given access to the museum where the owner had a large collection of Papua New Guinea aboriginal art on show.  Following this they were finally able to see where the slaves lived, which we had not been able to see in any of the other plantation houses we visited.  The building was in ruins with a large tree growing through it and was worth the trip up the west coast.


We converged at Oistins for its renowned fish fry, enjoying a wide variety of tasty grub such as red snapper, garlic shrimp, Mahi-Mahi (dorado/ dolphin) and Marlin. With cheap beer and loud soca, we learned why Oistins is such a popular night out for both tourists and locals, but after a late night we are all looking forward to a relaxed day with more time at the beach and souvenir shopping in town.

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