Gwen Gets to Work

The President of Trinidad and Tobago

June 01, 2020 Gwen / Her Excellency Season 1 Episode 8
Gwen Gets to Work
The President of Trinidad and Tobago
Chapters
Gwen Gets to Work
The President of Trinidad and Tobago
Jun 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 8
Gwen / Her Excellency

A Very Important Guest in this week's episode! Her Excellency, Paula-Mae Weekes, is the 6th and current President of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's first female Head of State since Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain in 1962.

It was a dream to get the chance to speak to her, as you will hear in this special, and rather unusual, episode of Gwen Gets To Work.

You can read the transcript of her maiden speech on the T&T Government Website. It is very inspiring.

I am a 7yr old. My name is Gwen Rose. I wanted to do this podcast so all the girls, boys and me could learn about what adults do all day. Visit our website for past episodes and to find out what's coming soon: https://gwengetstowork.com/

Produced by Enigma Records: https://enigmarecords.co.uk/

Support the show (https://www.gofundme.com/f/gwen-gets-to-work/)

Show Notes Transcript

A Very Important Guest in this week's episode! Her Excellency, Paula-Mae Weekes, is the 6th and current President of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's first female Head of State since Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain in 1962.

It was a dream to get the chance to speak to her, as you will hear in this special, and rather unusual, episode of Gwen Gets To Work.

You can read the transcript of her maiden speech on the T&T Government Website. It is very inspiring.

I am a 7yr old. My name is Gwen Rose. I wanted to do this podcast so all the girls, boys and me could learn about what adults do all day. Visit our website for past episodes and to find out what's coming soon: https://gwengetstowork.com/

Produced by Enigma Records: https://enigmarecords.co.uk/

Support the show (https://www.gofundme.com/f/gwen-gets-to-work/)

Gwen :

Have you ever been asked? What do you want to be when you grow up? Gwen Gets To Work I like talking to people. And they like talking back to me. Well, that's what I think. One day I asked my mum, what, how do I know what I want to be when I grow up? My mum said, if I interview people about, like their jobs and things like that well, I will find out and like, all the people who are listening. Um, you will find out too, if you don't know. Let's get to work! You can find transcripts of this and all my previous episodes by visiting GwenGetsToWork.com. Make sure you visit the site.

Gwen's Mum :

As I put went to bed we read one of her favourite books, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. She fell asleep and dreamed about a smart, powerful woman. A woman at the head of a country. A woman flags waved, for trumpets sounded for, and who had a truly important job to do.

Clip :

[...]

Gwen's Mum :

The sound you hear is the drums from a president's inaugural address. Paula-Mae Weekes, the first elected female Head of State for Trinidad and Tobago, is about to be signed in as President. Gwen dreamed she was there, looking up at the stage, listening.

Clip :

[...] [...]

Gwen's Mum :

She wondered, did the President dream of this moment when she was a little girl? How did she come to be here on this stage? Did she have fun at work? Did she ever get to dance? nd Gwen dreamed that she might one day be able to ask the President in person. Well, she did get to meet the President of Trinidad and Tobago, in lockdown, online, and she asked Her Excellency, all of her questions. Gwen's dream came true, but with it the nightmare of a technical failure. The most fun and interesting parts of their conversation were not recorded. Only a small rushed moment at the end was captured. The conversation made an impression though, and before we listen to the short recording, Gwen recollects some of what was missed.

Gwen :

So, before she became President, just before, she was a Judge. Before that, I think she was a Barrister.

Gwen's Mum :

You said when you became President, did you have to move house or can you live at home?

Gwen :

She said she, um, got offered to live in the office. But she didn't accept it because she wanted to stay home with her mummy because she loved it. Um, I asked her if she had ever been in a helicopter. She said no, but she has been in one of these small aeroplanes, but it stinks...

Clip :

[...]

Gwen :

...apparently.

Gwen's Mum :

Did she say that?!

Gwen :

I think so. It was very hot. Stinky or sticky. We also asked her if people were ever mean to her and she said yes, on the internet, or online.

Gwen's Mum :

What do you think about that?

Gwen :

Mean. Well, very mean.

Gwen's Mum :

Because she's brilliant, isn't she?

Gwen :

Yeah. I wondered what her Excellency's favourite part about her job was. And she said, um, she said that she got to take around children of her of her age. Um, well I mean of my age and skowthem around, well to meet the President basically. I asked Her Excellency if she ever danced at work, which is quite a cheeky question. And she said yes, but when nobody's watching.

Gwen's Mum :

Do you think she's probably quite good at dancing?

Gwen :

Yeah. Mummy, didn't she say she likes ballroom dancing?

Gwen's Mum :

Yeah!

Gwen :

And she also said that before the lockdown started, um, she started doing ballgown.... ballgown lessons, dancing ballgown lessons. I mean ballgown dancing lessons.

Gwen's Mum :

Ballroom darling.

Gwen :

Oh, haha. I asked HEr Excellency, is being President a bit like being the Queen and she said, um it's basically like being Queen, but there's a little difference. The first answer to that is that the Queen is born Queen, and Her Excellency is voted and elected. Second one is that the Queen is born to be Queen for her whole life. And the President, the gets to be President for five years.

Clip :

[And now, our feature presentation]

Gwen :

Um. Your Excellency we are honoured to have you on my podcast and thank you for joining us here.

Her Excellency :

Thank you for inviting me, i'm pleased to be with you.

Gwen :

We have a quick fire round is that a good way to warm up? Are you okay for it?

Her Excellency :

Yes! Let's go.

Gwen :

Doubles or roti?

Her Excellency :

Roti please.

Gwen :

High heels or bare feet?

Her Excellency :

High heels, all the time.

Gwen :

Christmas breakfast or New Year's dinner

Her Excellency :

Oh we have wonderful Christmas breakfasts in Trinidad, so I choose Christmas breakfast.

Gwen :

Pen or pencil?

Her Excellency :

Pen.

Gwen :

Countryside or seaside?

Her Excellency :

Seaside. This is an island and we have beautiful beaches. So I love the seaside.

Gwen :

What was, so what did Your Excellency want to be hen you were a little girl? And, what was your favourite subject when you were at school?

Her Excellency :

Well, I wanted to be a linguist, because I wanted to learn and speak many different languages. And of course English language is my favourite subject. I was really good at that.

Gwen :

Mine too.

Her Excellency :

Oh, good. I'm horrible at maths though.

Gwen :

I'm not that very good. Did you think one day you be The President?

Her Excellency :

No, not for one moment did I even think about it. So when I was asked, it was really quite a surprise to me.

Gwen :

How did it feel when you were made President, and all of those loud guns went off and everybody was singing and was listening to you? Oh, it was a great experience. It was absolutely awesome. The guns were extremely loud. I had been warned that it would be noisy. And I loved when we all sang together, so it was great. What do you normally do all day at work?

Her Excellency :

Okay, so when I come in, the first thing I do is check with the head of our public service and the staff to see what formal work needs to be done because sometimes things come in late in the evening, or very early in the morning. And so I might have some instruments that need to be signed off on. So there are things that I must make sure as soon as I come in, they are ready because sometimes they are for the Senate at 10 o'clock in the morning. And I will usually come in around nine. After I look at correspondence because we have lots and lots of letters every day. And so we have to see who is writing, which ones I will answer myself and which ones other members of staff will answer. So when I settle the correspondence - and we can have 30 to 40 pieces of one morning - then I go and speak with members of my staff to see where they are in their work, what they need for me, what I need from them. Then I go back to my office, and I do some work that I need to do. Sometimes I have things to research and then I would have lunch and in the afternoon I do the round all over again.

Gwen :

That sounds very tiring. We better let you get on with it then.

Her Excellency :

All right then. Nice meeting you!

Gwen :

Thank you very much.

Her Excellency :

Bye Gwen, and bye Gwen's Mummy.

Gwen's Mum :

Bye bye. It's been an honour, thank you Your Excellency.

Her Excellency :

It's a different thing to do the start the morning and I quite enjoyed it, thank you

Gwen's Mum :

Very much our pleasure.

Clip :

[...]

Gwen's Mum :

In next week's episode, Gwen comes back fighting fit to talk to an MMA Fighter and Personal Trainer about what she does all day, at work. Transcribed by https://otter.ai