This was my last full week, and last weekend, in the Bahamas. My brother Paul took a vacation from work to come down to the island and visit me, and we had a ton of fun. On Friday night, all of the interns and some of the managers at the Institute went to a trivia night at the Marina, a resort near our campus. It was organized by two of the interns and was actually very impressive. Everyone was organized into groups of 4 or 5 (Paul and I were put on separate teams, since we basically have the exact same wealth of knowledge), and there were 6 categories. Each category had 9 questions, and I can’t believe I didn’t get some of them! The names of Ron Weasley’s parents? How could I forget? Molly Weasley, MOLLY! After trivia night, and since my brother was staying in a townhouse in the Marina for the weekend, we had a small after party that included dancing all night and jumping into the shark-filled ocean. Maybe not the smartest idea, but definitely a night to remember!
On Saturday, Paul and I took a trip down island. We rented a car from a man named Friendly Bob, who was not really all that friendly, and left around 10:30 a.m. Our first stop was to Rock Sound, the largest settlement on the southern half of the island. We visited the famous Ocean Hole. Paul absolutely refused to jump in, but luckily there was a ladder. We saw schools of large fish that didn’t seem to be afraid of us at all, and even a handful of reflective blue angelfish. We walked around the hole and found signs describing its origin and the history of the island and of Rock Sound, which used to be named “Wreck Sound” due to the large number of shipwrecks that littered the water near the settlement. I was surprised to learn that Columbus actually landed in the Bahamas; was it not he who landed in New England? Or was it Florida? Guess I didn’t listen all that well in history class! While in Rock Sound we stopped at a small gift store called The Blue Seahorse, and we both got delicious smoothies and a handmade painting. (I also splurged on a bit of jewelry). After Rock Sound we traveled north to Club Med beach, which was detailed in the same post as the Blue Hole. It is an abandoned 1970’s resort, and it’s clear just from looking at what remains that Club Med was the place to be at the time. It also boasts a beautiful secluded beach that I could spend hours on if I had the time. After Club Med we ate lunch at a restaurant called 1648, which is apparently the year that the Bahamas were colonized. It was swanky, with one of those pools that juts right up to the edge of the resort and then disappears in to the ocean below. We decided we would save money on lunch and order just water, which ended up being a bottle of Evian costing $9 USD. CRAZY! Doesn’t the Bahamas have tap water? I had the blackened grouper sandwich and Paul the lobster roll – both were absolutely delicious. I’m not usually the biggest seafood fan but this was by far the best fish sandwich I’ve ever had.
After lunch we continued north to another gift shop called Island Made, where Paul bought a shirt with the Kalik logo (a Bahamian beer) and I got a few small gifts for people back home. After Island Made was the Glass Window Bridge, which brings together the Atlantic and the Caribbean over a narrow strip of land – and by narrow, I mean nothing more than a few rocks and a two-lane highway. It is amazing to stand there and compare the difference between the dark, stormy waters of the Atlantic and the turquoise, serene waters of the Caribbean. I didn’t mind having already seen it – I got a strong sense that a view like that just doesn’t get old. We then turned around and decided to head back home, but not before stopping at a sign that read “Deli and Bakery, open from 10a.m – until”. Not a typo, that’s really what it said! What time is “until”? We didn’t know either, but it was still open! It wasn’t much more than someone’s house that we walked into, and we each got a piece of pineapple upside-down cake, and a piece of blueberry cheesecake to share; both were delicious. I said that I imagine that is what America was like in the 1950’s – that you could just walk into someone’s house and would leave with a piece of something delicious and a feeling that you had just been a part of a play about real life that maybe wouldn’t have made Broadway, but was fun for everyone involved. That’s sort of how I’ve felt about the entirety of being here, like it isn’t actually real but that everyone is agreeing to pretend that it is. And while I’ve had an absolute blast here, and learned so much and gained a new perspective on myself and on everything around me, I think I am ready to go home. I’m ready to go back to doing the things I like to do: going out to eat whenever I want, watching movies with my friends, sleeping in, playing with dogs on the quad, late-night trips to Kams and later-night trips to Burrito King. I’m excited to get back to campus and begin my Junior year, and I can’t believe in only 5 days I will be on a plane home. I will always remember my time here in the Bahamas, and it’s something that I hope will continue to affect me the way it has. I hope that, unlike my tan, the smile lines don’t fade from my place and that this place doesn’t fade from my heart. I hope that the people here aren’t soon lost from memory and that the amazing things I’ve done aren’t easily forgotten. This weekend was a great way to wrap up a stellar summer, and I feel so blessed to have had this experience. Until next time, Eleuthera! #ACESAbroad