I recently visited the island of the Bahamas for the first ever IAAF World Relays and I walked away in love with this little island paradise. Jamaican born and bred, I love my island home, but I have much appreciation for the Bahamas. It is quite a country, I was extremely impressed and definitely will be returning for the relays next year.
The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an island country consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean; north of Cuba and Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti); northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands; southeast of the U.S. state of Florida and east of the Florida Keys. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. Currently, Afro-Bahamians are the largest ethnic group in the Bahamas, accounting for some 85% of the country's population. The rest of the population is made up of Haitians and White-Bahamians. The Bahamas has an estimated population of 382,825, of which 25.9% are under 14, 67.2% 15 through 64, and 6.9% over 65.
Okay so here is the top ten things I love about the Bahama Island:
1. The country is breathtakingly beautiful, with beaches lining one side of the island.
2. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada). Bahamas is one of the most prosperous countries in the West Indies, relying on tourism to generate most of its economic activity. Talk about a government that puts the country first, just reflecting on the bullshit government we have in Jamaica. But I digress, back to the topic at hand.
3. The Bahamian dollar is one for one with the US dollars. In Bahamas the US currency is used along side the Bahamian dollar.
4. Bahamian women a beautiful, though a little too made up for my taste with most women having their eyebrows sculpted to perfection, I still appreciate the numerous black women I saw all around me. I did not see any woman/man experimenting with bleaching creams either.
5. The country was amazingly clean, something we Jamaicans need to improve on. These people took great pride in their country. I have never been to a country this clean. The streets, the beaches, public restrooms - every bit of the island was spotless.
6. The people were pleasant and respectful, I had a pleasant encounter with everyone that I met in this country. I do not know if this is based mainly on the fact that the country's economy is based largely on tourism. I read that Bahamians are hostile to Jamaicans, but this was not my experience with the people. They were warm and friendly. Many Jamaican live in the Bahamas as well, they seem to love it there.
7. The average Bahamian is very knowledgeable about the country. I was pleasantly surprised, the average taxi man, maid, bar tender etc knew quite a lot about their country and is able to carry on an intelligent conversation about its history, government, economy etc. I would love to see the day the average Jamaican takes this much interest in the inner workings of our government, our history, our culture and our economy. We have come along way, but we have some ways to go.
8. The Bahamian airport is relatively new and very nicely maintained and clean. When I landed in the Bahamas, I thought I was still in the US.
9. The Bahamian stadium also relatively new is quite large, clean and extremely well maintained. It amazed me that as soon as i walked out the bathroom stall, the attendant walked in right after me to clean up, I do not think I have ever seen that in any stadium in the world and i have been to quite a few.
10. Last but certainly not least, the Bahamian Conk Salad is to die for. "Lawks, mi luv it bad", the peppers with the conk and the fruit mixed all in one. We dined on this salad every night.
My dear dear Bahamas, unno wi definitely si dis gal next year, Big Up Unno Self