I can now say I have truly experienced the Bahamian culture. This past weekend we were split into pairs and each matched with a family to stay with Friday through Sunday. Miranda and I were a part of the Carey family, which included Betty-Linn and Roddy, and their daughter Traliyah. Their grandson, Tramesio, was also there for a part of the weekend, and he was quite adorable. The Carey’s home is located in Tarpum Bay right across the street from the dock and beach. Tarpum Bay is absolutely gorgeous, with a very serene and peaceful vibe. To say I was excited as we pulled up to the two story blue house with porches overlooking the ocean would be an understatement.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Careys. As soon as we arrived, Betty welcomed us both with open arms. To start the night off, she ordered us cheeseburgers for dinner, which were amazing! Traliyah then gave us the run down on how to play Xbox Kinect. She proceeded to school us in darts, tennis and dancing. We had a lot of fun and laughs while we played. After warming up to us, Tramesio joined in on the fun and was such a doll. Once we were worn out from dancing around the living room, we ended the night with a Disney Channel movie and some T.V. Saturday morning we were able to sleep in a little before eating cereal for breakfast. Betty-Linn was so gracious and made sure we felt welcome. After breakfast, I went out for a brief morning run along the water. The views were amazing and so refreshing and peaceful. Once I got back, we hung out for a while then went to the park for the local dog show. It was a lot of fun interacting with the people of the community and playing basketball with some of the local kids. They had a barbecue during the dog show and we were able to try some of the traditional Bahamian conch fritters and baked macaroni and cheese (so delicious!). Once things at the park started winding down, Miranda and I set out to explore Tarpum Bay in search of some ice cream. We eventually made our way back to the house to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. I was able to enjoy some time reading and napping, which was also nice. Later in the evening, Betty cooked us some lasagna and we helped Traliyah with her science project. We watched some more T.V. and played some card games to finish off the night.
Sunday morning we woke up to find a very busy Betty already preparing the food for a traditional Sunday dinner. After having breakfast and reading some more of my book, we all put on our Sunday best and headed out to one of the local churches. I really enjoyed attending church with Traliyah and Betty . We were immediately welcomed by everyone and embraced in hugs during the greeting portion of the service. We were able to watch Traliyah participate in a beautiful dance and were able to sing along to some traditional hymns and worship songs. The sermon itself was very different from anything I had ever listened to, not so much because of the content, but rather the delivery. Everything the pastor said was delivered with so much passion and enthusiasm. I couldn’t help but be captivated. After church we returned home to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. The Sunday dinner was a feast to say the least (and according to Betty this was nothing compared to Thanksgiving or Christmas meals). Our meal consisted of ribs and chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, corn, peas and rice (Bahamian style beans and rice), yams, fried plantains, coleslaw and Coke. After stuffing ourselves full of delicious food and relaxing some more, it was time to say our goodbyes. I was definitely sad to go and will miss the Careys very much, but I plan on keeping in touch with Traliyah (and already have) on Facebook.
Overall, this was truly a great experience for me. Even if it wasn’t a weekend full of activities (partially due to the fact that Betty thought it was too cold…which it was in the mid-70s with some wind), I really enjoyed being immersed in the culture and experiencing an average day in the life of a Bahamian. I am so thankful for each and every experience I’ve had on this trip so far and I plan on savoring every moment we have left before we head home.