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Mango chow for Mrs Abe

By Cecily Asson Sunday, July 27 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Gobin and Parbatie Soondarlal at their Circular Drive, Springvale, Claxton Bay home. ...
Gobin and Parbatie Soondarlal at their Circular Drive, Springvale, Claxton Bay home. ...

A bowl of mango chow.

That’s what housewife Parbatie Soondarlal, 64, will prepare today for Mrs Akie Abe, wife of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, when she visits the modest home perched on a hill at Circular Drive Springvale, Claxton Bay.

Soondarlal, in an interview with Sunday Newsday yesterday, said she considers herself the luckiest woman in this sleepy village where she has lived all her life. A grandmother of seven, she was chosen to receive a special visit from Mrs Abe. She said yesterday all she was asked by the organisers of the visit to do was to prepare a bowl of mango chow for Mrs Abe.

The Abes are arriving in Trinidad and Tobago at 3pm today for two days as part of an 11-day Latin American tour. TT and Japan are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year.

Yesterday, Soondarlal was busy overseeing a workman putting the final touches to the flower garden at the entrance to her home. Workmen were filling potholes and sprucing up the hedges along the route that leads to her home.

The excited woman said:

“I really feel honoured to be chosen to meet the wife of the Prime Minister of Japan. It is a blessing and this may never happen to me in life again.”

Springvale is a small area located just off the Solomon Hochoy Highway near the Forres Park flyover.

The excitement all started two weeks ago for Soondarlal when principal of the Springvale Hindu School Indar Bhagwandeen told her that her home had been chosen for a visit from Mrs Abe. She said: “I said yes, and from there organisers came and paid a site visit. They checked every room in my house and did what they had to do and they were satisfied with my surroundings.”

Some of Soondarlal neighbours have been invited over for the special occasion tomorrow. A heavy security detail is expected to accompany the Prime Minister’s wife and Soondarlal said she is ready for it all. Everything is in place, including the outfit that she will wear for the visit. She said her children who live abroad were also excited and she promised to send pictures of this once in a lifetime moment.

The visit, she said, might only last about 15 minutes but for her, it would be a lifetime. Sadly though Soondarlal’s husband, Gobin, 76, will not be able to appreciate the special moment in their lives. For the past two years he has been bedridden following a massive stroke. Today, said Soondarlal, she will specially remember her grandson Aaron Maharaj who died four years ago at the age of 11. On September 11, 2010, Maharaj died as a result of deadly bacterial infection, encephalitis (an acute inflammation in the brain). He was a Standard Four pupil at the Springvale Hindu School.

“I know he is an angel and will be looking down on me,” Soondarlal smiled.

The Official visit of Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, to Trinidad and Tobago (TT) begins at 3 pm tomorrow when he and his wife, Akie Abe, arrive at Piarco International Airport.

TT and Japan are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year, but Abe’s two-day visit is actually part of an 11-day Latin American tour which will see the Japanese leader also making stops in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

The main purpose of Abe’s tour is to promote economic relations between his country and Latin America.

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