We had an incredible opportunity to stay with a Bahamian couple, Bernie and TJ Sweeting in the Greencastle settlement located approximately 20 minutes north of the Island School. Greencastle is one of the smallest settlements on the island, and almost everyone is related to one another. Bernie works at the Island School in the main office and TJ works as a feelance musician playing for private parties around the island. I was excited when I learned that he played and came to know that he has an extensive musical background with an impressive set list. TJ also owns a bar on their property. Bernedette is very involved with her church and stays in close contact with her children, who are studying in Nassau and the Unitied States.
Bernie took us out to tour the settlement, which gave us the opportunity to learn how connected they really are and how the living conditions affect their daily life. At one spot (Gales Hole) we got to see a massive underground tunnel where people go to hide from hurricanes and other natural disasters. TJ took us to see Ocean Hole, a massive salt water pond that is is fed underground by the ocean, where we tempted sea life with wonder bread, which was followed by our own tasty lunch experience. Over the course of the weekend, we ate like KINGS. Meals included Souse, which was a tasty chicken dumpling soup in a citrus broth. Sunday we had a powerful experience with Burnedette at her Evangelical Church. Every 3rd Sunday, the women of the Church run the service. It was a 3-hour service of extremely spirited music, dance, and praising Jesus. We had a great time and it was a very unique experience. After Church we had a feast, including baked chicken (special recipe), baked macaroni and cheese, 2 types of coleslaw, and a caldron of rice and beans washed down with the sweetest juice in the world. To top it off, for dessert we had chocolate ice cream!
We had a very relaxing weekend (Nick got to see the 49ers game) and also had great conversations, learning a ton about the government, politics, health services and small settlement gossip.
Don and Nick