Homestay, Tarpum Bay (Veronica)

This weekend we were finally able to spend time with a host family. I had been looking forward to this day since the first time we heard we would be doing this. Home stays are the time when you really get to know the culture, traditions and customs of the Bahamian people. Everyone in the group was paired, and I was paired with Hannah. On Friday morning we gathered  for a quick meeting to know who was going where. I had so many questions in mind  that I was planning on asking my family. Unfortunately, our host family turned out to be very small. It was only Brenda, my grandma as I later called her. My time with Brenda was not as busy as I had imagined. That night Brenda cooked us dinner- I had lamb with macaroni and cheese, vegetables, cranberry juice and ice cream for dessert. After dinner we chatted a little with her to get to know each other. She went to bed pretty early (around 7 p.m.) so Hannah and I unpacked our things and watched T.V. Before going to bed I had a nice warm shower, and boy did that feel good. We went to bed early and were planning on sleeping in since Brenda had told us to do so. On Saturday morning we woke up around 9 a.m. and got ready for the day. Brenda was outside canning tomatoes with her brother and sister-in-law. Hannah and I observed, since Brenda didn’t want us to get dirty by helping. She had been up since 3 a.m. canning tomatoes. She made us a typical Bahamian breakfast, which consisted of grits with sausage. After breakfast we headed downtown to watch the dog show in Tarpum Bay. For dinner we had chicken, salad and cranberry juice. Around 6 p.m. we watched a movie (“The Help”) and then went to bed quite a few hours after Brenda had gone to bed. Sunday morning we woke up at 8 a.m. and got all dressed up in our best outfits for church, which started at 11 a.m. For breakfast Brenda mad toast and eggs with tea. I was really excited for church because I had heard great things from friends about the experience. Just as my friends had told me, church was something else! A lot of signing, standing up and sitting down, preaching and even a dance performed by the girls. I really enjoyed the service and the message that the pastor spoke about during his sermon was great too. At church they introduced us to everyone as Brenda’s friends and gave us a nice welcome too. The people here are just too nice! After church we headed home for lunch to eat yet another typical Bahamian Sunday lunch, which consisted of barbeque chicken, beats, potato salad, soda and peaches for dessert. I was full after just eating the chicken! Before it was time to say goodbye Brenda opened up to us a lot more. We talked about her personal life, the Bahamian culture and about Hannah and my future plans as nurses and health educators. While we chatted, Hannah took off Brenda’s old nail polish that was chipping off. I really had a great time with Brenda, and even though I wished we could have stayed longer I really got to learn more about the Bahamian culture. We exchanged contact information to keep in touch and thanked her for opening her home up to us. We gave her a big hug and kiss goodbye. I almost cried tears of happiness!

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