Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves pose with Vincentians in Taiwan after a dinner and address last April. Gonsalves said he wore an orthopaedic stocking during the flight to Taiwan because of n injury.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Flying on an airplane for 14 hours non-stop with an injured leg is not a very comfortable experience.

And to cope with the flight from the United States to Taiwan last April, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves wore a tight orthopaedic stocking.

He made the disclosure in Parliament on Friday as he quoted the International Monetary Fund as saying this year “growth is expected to get a boost from construction at the airport, donor-financed projects that were approved following the natural disasters and from the opening of two new universities”.

Taiwan contributed US$2 million to the nation’s recovery after flash floods in north-eastern St. Vincent last April.

“Remember when I was going Taiwan they (the opposition) said I shouldn’t go. And I walk back with US$2 million to fix the Basin Hole Bridge in addition to existing money,” Gonsalves said.

“So what’s so bad if I take a few days off and go and talk to the President and the Foreign Minister and walk back with US$2 million and promises of some additional monies to fix up the bridge up there and to put in some additional river defences,” he further said.

“They said that there is a disaster where I am going. But I went, I was present on the disaster. In fact, I was up there with my walking stick. My foot was injured. I travelled with the injury.

“You think it’s easy to travel 14 hours and because of the injury to my foot – I don’t want to say this – I wore a tight orthopaedic stocking so that I would be able to endure the flight,” said Gonsalves, 66.