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The Govs Go Global trip to Trinidad and Tobago is tied to the President’s Emerging Leaders Program, so a lot of us PELP members have been excited about it for a year or more.

For the past three years, the program has taken students to the island nation to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Having heard stories from older PELP students, we were eagerly anticipating the voyage.

We were not, however, so eager to wake up at 2 a.m. Friday, March 7, to get ready and leave Clarksville an hour later.

An upside to this was a 10-hour layover in Miami. While that’s a lot of time to waste, we managed to occupy ourselves; some students hit up the beach, and my group took the metro to explore University of Miami’s campus.

At 72 degrees and breezy, the weather was definitely a nice change from the winter wonderland that was Clarksville last week.

A downside to this schedule was a long, draining day. After taking a 4-hour flight to Port of Spain, Trinidad, getting through customs and hopping buses to our hostel, we had put in a roughly 22-hour day.

So Saturday, we took a bus to the beach and spent all day swimming and eating local food. We saw a lot of the most beautiful views in Trinidad.

Most of the photos here are from those beautiful spots, but rest assured, there’s also a lot of poverty here.

The wide-angle shots of bays were easier to take from the bus, but today, we plan on exploring our neighborhood, so I can show you more of the real Trinidad very soon.