Having the opportunity to do a homestay was a very valuable experience. It gave me the opportunity to be completely immersed in the Bahamian culture. I stayed with the Sands family in Rock Sound. Mr. Sands is a co-owner of the Rock Sound market, a real estate agent and is the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Sands is the Principal at Wemyss Bight Primary School. They have two children, Thomas who is 9 years old and Natalia who is six years old.
When I got dropped off at the primary school, we started pasting for the Jr. Junkanoo, and we ended up pasting for almost five hours! The next day we played with the kids and went with them to their computer class and baseball practice. The practice was particularly fun because I got to jump in and play catcher for batting practice. Most of my time during the homestay was spent playing with Natalia and Thomas either playing cards or jumping on the trampoline.
I definitely got to see a different side of Bahamian life. The Sands have a housekeeper, Ms. Cora, which I was not expecting. They were fairly well off and both of the kids have iPads. It was very interesting to see how similar their lifestyle is to some families in the states. I learned a lot about the community here from Mr. Sands. He explained to me that each of the different settlements here have a slightly different culture. When they were trying to develop the South Eleuthera Mission, the communities had to put aside their differences and work together in order to complete the project.
I went into this homestay not really sure what to expect. I enjoyed being able to learn more about their culture by living their lives with them for a few days. One of the funniest parts to me was the affinity Mrs. Sands and her children had from the game Candy Crush! Mrs. Sands ended up playing the game on my phone to beat a level for me that I couldn’t get past…that was hilarious because she was so into it! Although I was intimidated at first because I had never met the people, I ended up learning some really interesting things from them!