Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Dad/Daughter Day at the Dump

Dad/ Daughter Day at the Dump

Yesterday was a touring day for Kate as Derek is off for Easter weekend. We first introduced Kate to the charm of Speightstown, a mere stone's throw from our home at Mullins Beach. She was able to appreciate the parking arrangement. 
$1 per hour or "part thereof"
A far cry from the rates to which she has grown accustomed in downtown Toronto. 

This was purely a coincidence - but where is Derek's hat?

She is also encouraging her father and his identical twin brother to stop letting their mother dress them.  

A trip to Speightstown would not be complete with at stop at our favourite coffee  house for cappacino.  It is the Orange Street Grocer and the people are lovely.

Unparalleled Cappuccino
The focus of our excursion was Cheapside market for vegetables and spices but what would be complete without another tour of the landfill site at Mangrove Pond in St Andrew Parish in Barbados. As mentioned previously no one visiting the Burnside house can do so without a trip to the dump for a full appreciation for their role in Barbados. This site has evolved over the few years I have been visiting  It was once a big hole. It was then lined with rubber to prevent seepage and now it is an official landfill site. The Tonka trucks come in and waste is disposed.  
Tonka Trucks
Glamorous Yes!   It is actually quite a "site" to be seen. 

Dad/Daughter Bonding
This trip also spurned the age-old question to Derek "what do you do in Barbados"?  This is a question that we are often asked when people find out that Derek's work includes a large part of time spent here on the island.  Up until recently we were at a loss.  We kind of knew what he did, but unfortunately it was not very glamorous.  "So you are building a dump?".  "No" he would say,  my work involves all kinds of "solid waste management".  This was obviously of no help to us, as this was just not going to be the answer we were going to give! So we came up with:

"I am really not sure, but I know that he is involved in ensuring that Barbados continues to have clean drinking water".  It sounded both interesting and altruistic.  

So now the focus of Derek's work down here is shifting.  He gave us the lay man's explanation of the most recent project RJ Burnside is managing.  Very recently an innovative green energy project was proposed by the government of Barbados and passed through cabinet.  The Democratic Labour Party was re-elected in February, when I was here.  At that point all looked good for the moving the project forward.  The contract was awarded to RJ Burnside, this relatively small engineering firm that originated in Orangeville Ontario. 

The plan over the next 4 years is to develop alternative sources of energy to offset the cost of oil, presently imported from Trinidad.  The energy sources include solar, wind and off-gas energy at the Mangrove Pond site. It is also an important site of aLeachate treatment facility to reprocess the  water draining from the landfill site to prevent any negative effects of the landfill site on the ground water table of the island.  So he does actually ensure clean drinking water in Barbados as well.  

We continued our tour of the island with a trip into Bridgetown to market.  With every week's adventure, we always experience at least 2 hours when we become lost on the side roads of the country side.  This happened that day.  

When we finally arrived at the market and the Pelican Craft Centre, we found many craft shops closed and a very poor Karaoke day at Cheapside.  It was hot. It was crowded and we ran like tourists back to our car. 

So I would have to say, for our outing today, the dump was the high point, both literally and figuratively. 

Engineering and Science-based Solutions - R.J. Burnside

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