SANDRA L BLOOD
Formerly a senior member of visa staff of the U.S. Embassy, POS, Trinidad and currently a Quality Assurance Record Review Specialist at OneBlood in Orlando, Fl, USA, Angeli Elizabeth Tiombe Blood-Lewis, touched down on her native T&T soil with her only child, former US Marine, Akini, and celebrated her 70th birthday with loved ones.
In fashion unorthodox to the usual 70th birthday/anniversary celebration do-up as specially requested by the birthday girl, the June-17th party was hosted at the home of her first niece and nephew-in-law: Lisa Blood-Rudd, Manager Platform Financial Controls in the banking industry and Kurtis Rudd, CEO/Principal Consultant; planned and produced by Blood-Rudd and Angeli’s youngest sibling, Michele Blood-Paul, senior legal administrative assistant, as guided by the birthday girl from her Orlando shores.
Passionately called Angie or Abba by her former US Embassy colleagues of four-plus-decades, who stayed connected, the occasion was made to be a most memorable one for her Angeli - aside and apart from her and her son’s personalized “70” t-shirts, dual 70 cake and personalized food and beverage receptacles and decorations. The clique assembled are named here as follows: Debra Dean (then-senior supervisor), Jessica Clarke, Allison Samuel, Alice Borel, Vilma Gordon, Jasmine Allum, Margaret Questel, Margaret Bynoe, and special/spoilt security officer Junior Ross.
Having excused themselves, but also sent greetings and/or gifts were friends: Marva Boothman and Althea Stevens (US Embassy colleagues), Linus Holder, Vanessa Stewart, Christopher and Gail Herbert and cousins: Hayden, Marlene, Pelham and Glenda Goddard and Judith, Justin, Jules, Darion Sobion.
Deliberate surprise guests were US-based cousins, Teresca Goddard-Gilkes and hubby Roger; Andre Goddard, and Canadian-based, former colleague Bynoe. Apart from Angeli’s other siblings Peter, Dawn and Sandra, other guests, in part, comprised of some easily-reachable relatives and long-standing sister/brother-friends: Simone; Claudette, Carol and Linda Goddard, Vincente “Mario” Holt, Charmaine Forde, Donna Cox, Erica Whitehall, Rawlinson “Rawle” Agard and Karen, Colonels Brian H. Paul and Colin Lindsay Mitchell, David Dean, Mickey and Jackie Bynoe, The Prayer Group: Cynthia, Annie and mom Jean, Beryl, and Debbie; Cheryl and Mervyn, Geddes and Jennifer Doyle, Raegan Allum, Erica Whitehall, Keith and Glenda Baldwin, Alban and Sandra Scott, Wayne Rivas, Joanne Biche, Dorian and Tisha Betaudier, Trevor Taylor, and Denise Serrette.
The younger generation in attendance included: Krystin and Kyron Rudd, and Davina, Charmaine and Ricardo, Isaiah; Kwesi and Fayola, Stacya, Chad and Asha, Zalayar and Zaim, Zahryia, and mom Ornella, who dropped in for a few minutes, Nigel and Kaydeen, and Joanna.
Angie-requested music of back-in-time hits was supplied by John Quintino Mejares – husband of Annie – while the younger generation was also catered to, but in very small enjoyable measure, so everyone had their dance-floor moment. They more enjoyed their phones in their make-shift space like a family reunion of sorts, and showed out for eats or drinks, or to check on the elders.
Missing her local cuisine and maintaining the unorthodox vibes, appetizers were in abundance, the entrée was plain bhagi-rice cooked-up or optional, with pigtail and smoked bones; both in coconut milk. Sides and a healthy sumptuous fresh salad balanced it off. Dessert, a wide range of hors d'oeuvres and flowing libation, were also enjoyed.
Everyone witnessed the fun, laughter and theatrics played out among the otherwise serious cake-sticking moment, which was assisted by one of Angie’s nieces, Charmaine (Suelin), following which the cakes were dismantled by the sweet-tooth guests. Akini, and Angie’s first and last siblings, Peter and Michelle, and long-standing family friend, Colin Mitchell, all said a few words and as if plotted in their space, Angie’s nieces, nephews and son marked the occasion in very unique ways – a photo-op below the Happy Birthday banner, and younger-generation-only toasts of shots of libation, as raised by Akini and host, Kurtis, respectively.
The birthday soirée extended through to the wee hours of the next day – Father’s Day – where both Angie and son marked another very special moment. It was the very-first time she celebrated Father’s Day in Trinidad with her son as a father, and the very-first time he celebrated Father’s Day in Trinidad since migrating as a preteen.
In conclusion, Angie returned to the USA sound and safe, and together with her son, extended appreciation to all who made that time in her life a most memorable one as captured by Krystin and Kurtis Rudd.