I made it! Just under 24 hours of traveling and I’m FINALLY here. Phew! Traveling here is a bit exhausting only because there are very few flights in and out of Georgetown. Therefore, my layover in Miami was a dreadful 7 hours long. Spending 7 hours in the land of too-tight mens jeans and slicked back hair is enough to make me want to stab myself in the eye. I often wonder if I’m even in America.
While waiting for my flight out of Miami, I heard a lady behind me talking on the phone about the Exuma Foundation. I reached out to this foundation a few months ago to see if there were any volunteer opportunities available while I am here. Thought I would at least help out a bit while enjoying the sun, sand, and clear blue waters. I never heard back from them so I reached out again 2 days ago. The President, Chris Kettel, emailed back and told me to stop by anytime. Suhweet!!! So when she mentioned Exuma Foundation, it piqued my interest and I wanted to ask her what she knew but MAN do I hate talking to random people I don’t know. What the hell! If there is anything that traveling alone teaches you, it is AT LEAST a two things: 1. You have to be resourceful. 2. You have to step outside of your comfort zone.
So I did both. WAY outside my comfort zone. I said, “Excuse me, but I heard you mention Exuma Foundation, do you work there?” And she explained she was with Starve Poverty, a US based non-profit of missionaries that help with a variety of needs on the island. I told her about my Chris Kettel email and she smiled from ear to ear and said “come on over here and talk to us”. I chatted with Susan and Ron for about an hour before we had to board the plane. We shared stories and the purpose of our trip and so forth and Ron asked how I was getting to my vacation rental. I explained there were plenty of taxis outside and I would just hop in one of those. Kindly, Ron said he would take me. The Exuma Foundation truck is already sitting at the airport and he was going the same direction anyway. How nice is that!?!? If I were British, I would say I was so “chuffed” but not sure what the American equivalent is of that. Winning!!! Taxis here are NOT cheap. And any money that I can save here and there is obviously a big win.
If you’ve never been to the Georgetown Airport (GGT), let me explain a few things. It is a room. A room that only has half of the linoleum tiles in place, plywood in other areas, no art, no music, a one stall bathroom, and barely any A/C. You wait in a short line to get through Bahamian Customs and then go to baggage claim. Rather, you don’t GO to baggage claim, it’s in the same room. I would have taken a picture if they would have let me but because Customs is literally 5 feet from “baggage claim” (yes it even has a sign), you can’t photograph anything. I get a kick out of the look on the faces of newly arrived passengers faces when they see it. They have a look of worry that is absolutely hysterical. They’ve spent all this money on this “tropical paradise” only to arrive in what looks like a 100 year old dilapidated office building. I can only imagine what they must be thinking. The actual island is no paradise people. There aren’t coconut palms and manicured gardens everywhere. The island is mostly just low brush and sand. Many homes and buildings are only half built or falling down, cars are from the 80s and 90s, and the side roads off the one main road called Queens Highway are in terrible condition. What makes Exuma the most magical place ever, is the water and the Cays. More on that later….
I grab my bags and meet up with Ron and Susan again and wouldn’t you know the truck is parked 20 feet from the front door of said airport room. Ron knows exactly where I’m staying as well as the owner of the home so he was able to drive me right to the front door. What a neat happenstance that was and I’m so grateful for his offer. I will be meeting up with them next week to help where I can.
I have to go meet with Dallas and Tamara Knowles from Out Island Explorers now to get my kayak but I will write about Rosemary, the grocery store, the Halcyon rental, and my kayak adventure later today. Here are some pics for your enjoyment in the meantime…