Well that was an experience! Going into the homestay, I did not have too many preconceived ideas because we had been encouraged so many times that we most likely would not experience what we thought we would. I figured I would probably stay with a middle class family that lived in many of the smaller, one story homes we have been seeing. I also figured we would be placed in a home with grown children because those were the types of families that had been described to us. Boy was I wrong! We showed up Friday night at Weymss Bight Primary School to help our host mom paste for Junkanoo, which involved lots of glue and tissue paper. By the time our fingers were covered in paste and we were starving, we made our way back to their house to find two younger kids ages 6 and 9, eagerly awaiting our arrival. When we were ready for bed, we were shown to the kids’ room where Pendrey and I shared a queen bed that was situated at the foot of the kid’s bunk bed. We were not quite prepared for having a grand slumber party, but quickly adjusted. The night was not complete without it’s comedic relief though because as the rest of the group has learned, I sleep talk and I often yell choice words during the night. Worrying that I may have a bit of a slip up in the night, Pendrey and I came up with a foolproof plan to help avoid any possible disasters. Luckily, those plans were never needed.
The next day we woke up to a breakfast of grits and corn beef (a Bahamian special called fire engine). Afterwards, we accompanied the kids to their computer class and baseball practice, which was a neat experience to see what their Saturdays usually consist of. That evening, we went back to the primary school to help with more Junkanoo costumes, but ended up wrangling the kids of the parents that were helping paste. Sunday was a slow day. Pendrey and I spent the morning sleeping in and playing with the kids until we were picked up for Jay and Janet.
Overall, this experience was eye-opening and I was glad that I took the time to make sure I took advantage of all the opportunities the host family presented to us. Coming back to the Island School, I felt like I had a well-rounded experience and now had a better idea of what life is like outside the campus and for the people we interact with and teach on a daily basis.