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Relatives of returning T&T oil workers from the Gulf of Mexico wave as the workers leave Piarco International Airport after their arrival yesterday.

Bavita Gopaulchan

“Relieved” is how the forty-nine49 Trinidad and Tobago nationals feel now that they have finally touched home soil from Mexico.

The group of oil workers returned just after 4 pm on Wednesday at the Piarco International Airport, more than three months after being stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. They were all taken to the Kapok Hotel where they will remain in quarantine for 14 days.

Speaking with Guardian Media, Garvin O’Connor, one of the returning nationals indicated that the group was administered COVID-19 tests yesterday morning and they were told they will be informed of the results in approximately 36 hours.

“I am sure no one will test positive because we have been quite careful in Mexico”, O’Connor said during a telephone interview.

Asked how he felt to finally be back home, O’Connor was lost for words. After breathing a sigh of relief, he answered, “It is calming for me now because there is no place like home.”

He added, “I do not know why people leave Trinidad to go anywhere else in the world.”

Having been more than 2,000 miles away from his sons, O’Connor said he wanted to use the time in quarantine to plan the many memories he wants to create with them once he has been given the all-clear to return home.

Also expressing elation was Faria Ramsaroop, the wife of Clarence Ramsaroop who is another returning national.

Guardian Media caught up with Faria, her two daughters and other family members who were all camped in their vehicles outside the Piarco International Airport hours before the group arrived.

“We are happy to be here to see that he is finally home after 104 days,” Faria said.

She said every day that passed she called her husband at least three times daily, each call more emotional than the last.

Holding back tears in her eyes, Faria added, “It was very sad and compelling but the only thing that had us going was prayer and we pray every single day.”

Ramsaroop’s two daughters made banners. The words, “Welcome home daddy” were scripted in pink glitter.

His six-year-old daughter Courtney told us she can hardly wait to play hide and seek with her dad, a game she is more than happy to lose.

The group’s company Artemis Energy Limited is bearing all costs for their accommodation at the Kapok Hotel.

Meanwhile, 29 cruise ship workers who arrived in the country aboard the Carnival Fantasy on June 4, ended their 14-day quarantine at the Tacarigua Racquet Centre yesterday, after two negative tests.