Bahamasair inFlight Magazine - 'The Independence Collectors Edition' Jul-Sep 2023

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Assess Taxes

Revoke a Licence

Suspend VAT Registration

Conduct Searches & Investigations

Temporarily Close Businesses

Publish Names Of Tax Offenders

Garnish Income/Accounts

Seize Goods & Assets

Sell Property



• The department can sell real property if tax is unpaid for 7 months.

• Applies to all real property (commercial, residential, foreign owned vacant land) except Bahamian Owner-Occupied property.

Ref. Real Property Tax Act Section 25A



To recover Value Added Taxes, Business Licence taxes or Real Property Taxes, the department may:

• Garnish amounts due to a taxpayer from a third party; for example an employer, tenant, customer or bank.

• Garnish a third party who has authority from some other person to pay money to the taxpayer; for example an agent.

If the third party fails to comply with a Garnishment notice, that person becomes personally liable for the taxes owed.

Ref. Value Added Tax Act Section 63


To recover Value Added Tax, the department has the power to:

• Seize goods where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the goods comprise a taxable supply or taxable importation, and VAT on the supply or import has not or will not be paid

• Enter any house or premises to seize goods or a vehicle

• Detain the goods or vehicles for 10 working days after seizure or the due date for the VAT

• Sell the goods or vehicles by public auction after the detention period

Ref. Value Added Tax Act Section 67




Bahamians everywhere are in celebration mode throughout 2023 as we mark our 50th year of independence as a sovereign nation.

Welcome to paradise.

Welcome to The Islands of The Bahamas.

We are delighted that you are en route to The Islands of The Bahamas, and equally delighted that you chose to fly with us, Bahamasair, the national flag carrier of The Bahamas. For over 50 years, we have had the pleasure of connecting The Bahamas to the outside world and interconnecting the many island destinations within our extensive archipelago.

Your visit to our islands coincides with a very special time in the life of our nation. Bahamians everywhere are in celebration mode throughout 2023 as we mark our 50th year of independence as a sovereign nation. As a young country, the golden jubilee of our independence holds great significance. It is a time we celebrate our accomplishments and reflect on our national identity and the road ahead as a maturing democracy.

This special golden jubilee edition of Bahamasair’s inflight magazine, Up and Away, offers an exciting, insightful showcase of the people and places of The Bahamas at the 50th anniversary of independence milestone.

In the pages of this edition, you will meet four generations of Bahamians who will explain what it means to be Bahamian. You will be introduced to the delightful creations from a cross section of the country’s top creatives—a wood carver, a straw craft artisan, a ceramic artist, a culinary artist, and performing artists. You will also get the scoop on the backstory behind some of the country’s key landmarks, a favourite Bahamian pastime, and a special fun-filled family attraction on Eleuthera.

The golden jubilee of our independence is a call to celebrate all things authentically Bahamian. Our independence calendar of events is jampacked with festivities and events all year long. We invite you to join in the celebration.

The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation
—Honourable I. Chester Cooper, M.P.
Photo Courtesy of Bahamas Information Services (BIS)
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The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation


As The Bahamas marks 50 years of independence, we reflect on what makes us uniquely and undeniably Bahamian. Forward, Upward, Onward, and Together, we invite you to share in the celebration of our Golden Anniversary.


On July 10, 1973, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas proudly declared its independence from Great Britain and that is what we are now celebrating.

Sit back, relax and enjoy!

It is our pleasure to have you flying with us.

I am honoured to welcome you to The Islands of The Bahamas. To both our tourists and our residents alike, I thank you for choosing our national flag carrier, Bahamasair, for your trip. We are proud to celebrate our 50th year as an independent nation and as our national airline.

We are excited to present you with our 50th Independence Collector’s Edition of our Up and Away magazine! It is truly an exciting time for our country, and the team at Up and Away have brought you the best in Bahamian articles, stories, ideas, and photos that show you who we are as a people, airline, and country!

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas was settled in the ninth century by the Lucayans who had come north from other Caribbean islands. Through subsequent centuries, the islands were governed by the Spanish, British and, for a brief period, America. In 1783, the British solidified its power, and, in 1834, slavery was abolished in the nation. On July 10, 1973, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas proudly declared its independence from Great Britain and that is what we are now celebrating.

There are many opportunities to get in on the festivities! There are 50 events that have been planned to celebrate the Golden Jubilee 50th Independence of The Bahamas. From church services, to parades, to food festivals, we have something for everyone. With so many options to choose from, finding something you love will not be difficult.

Again, I wish to extend a warm welcome home to our residents and an equally warm welcome to our tourists who are here on vacation or on business!

Keep in touch with us on our website and our social media pages for the latest news, updates and tips for this and upcoming trips!

All the very best,

—Chairman Anthony Kikivarakis Sr. Photo Courtesy of Mario Nixon Photography
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Chairman Anthony Kikivarakis Sr.


Welcome To Our Family Islands … Welcome Home!

On July 10, 1973, The Bahamas was born. A sea of Bahamians filled Clifford Park at Fort Charlotte on the island of New Providence. For the final time, the Union Jack, the national flag of the United Kingdom, was lowered from a flagpole. For the first time, the newly minted Bahamian flag was hoisted. In the background, the cheers of prideful people, as fireworks decorated the Bahamian sky. Eyes were set on the Bahamian flag, the embodiment of an independent Bahamas: Black represents the vigour and force of a united people, the triangle pointing towards the body of the flag which represents the enterprise and determination of The Bahamian people to develop and possess the rich resources of sun and sea symbolized by gold and aquamarine.

Since its first issue in 2019, Up and Away magazine has embraced its mission to bring the excellence of the independent archipelagic country of The Bahamas. While nearly invisible on the world map, it has innumerable and humongous accomplishments. We have shared stories from all areas, from the obvious, to those that are off the beaten path and beyond one’s imagination.

As The Bahamas celebrates its 50th birthday, Up and Away magazine will pay special homage to the beauty of an independent Bahamas and explore the base which ties back to its history. In this issue, we will: feature sailing – our national sport; read about the parallels of a pre-independent and an independent Bahamas from four generations of Bahamians; take a walk on Mount Fitzwilliam where you will find Government House; learn how the role of Mount Fitzwilliam compares between two eras; see a different angle of Bahamian culture through the introduction of a wood carver, a straw craft connoisseur and a ceramic artist; and bite into Bahamian cuisine so delicious that you will ditch your diet in a heartbeat just to indulge in the flavours and “shake a leg” to the sounds of Bahamian singers.

Glide over to destinations of the Bahamian flag carrier, Bahamasair, which also happens to share the same birthday as the country. Bahamasair has expanded its routes over the past 50 years. We will visit a few of them. We will travel to the island of Eleuthera to explore Hilltop Farms, then we will head up north to other Bahamasair destinations in Florida and North Carolina.

As the years go by, Up and Away magazine will continue pressing onward to the common loftier goal of bringing The Bahamas to the world through its pages.

With each Bahamasair flight you board, take a copy of each issue as they are released at the beginning of each quarter of the year. Build a collection of them. Kick back, relax and absorb all things Bahamians. In its 50 years of independence, The Bahamas has so many stories to tell. We have so much to share. We have 700 islands and cays that make up our Bahamaland. Do not worry. We will share as many of them as we can – one layer at a time.

…50 years of independence, The Bahamas has so many stories to tell. We have so much to share.”
—Capt. L. Roscoe Dames II, JP, Publisher
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Capt. L. Roscoe Dames
up and away 11 19 Proud to be Bahamian! 26 Where to Play, Eat, and Sleep in Historic Raleigh 31 Bahamas Names Sailing the National Sport 34 I Rise 36 Mix-up like Conch Salad… 38 Divine Design on Long Island 41 The Race from The Bahamas to Antarctica 43 “Must-Try” Florida South Restaurants, From Jupiter to Miami, Florida 48 Off the Beaten Path - Get Away to North Caicos: Ecological, Historical, Agricultural 53 From Nassau to Goa with Love 59 Summer Travel and Child Safety Tips 62 Innovative Solutions For Business Continuity 63 The Formidable Government House 67 Natural Attractions - Central Florida’s Nature Spaces Draw in Visitors 69 The World-Famous Bahamas Straw Market 72 Set on a Hill: Hilltop Farms Hovers Large in North Eleuthera 75 Historical Hidden Gem Museums 78 Havana Art Tour - Where to find art in Havana? 80 Through The Eyes of a Culinary Artist… 82 Author - Living the Passionate Life 84 The Evolution of Guava Duff 86 Performing Artist - Da South Ga Sumtin to Say!! 89 Performing Artist - Bridging Generations through Bahamian Music 91 Ceramic Artist - Cultureware by Gina Luree 93 Endemics: Our “Tru-Tru” Bahamians CONTENTS JULY - SEPTEMBER 2023 ON THE COVER 26 63 69 75 80 84 89 31 Still We Rise 15



PHONE: 242.427.9871



PUBLISHER Capt. L. Roscoe Dames


COPY EDITOR Nasia R. Colebrooke

ART DIRECTOR Lourdes Guerra

BAHAMAS | USA SALES Ivory Global Management Ltd



inFlight Magazine is published quarterly by IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD., for BAHAMASAIR, the National Flag Carrier of The Bahamas. All rights are reserved and reproduction in part or in whole is prohibited without the express written consent of IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD. All opinions expressed in UP and AWAY are solely those of the contributors. Every reasonable care has been taken neither UP and AWAY or its agents accept liability for loss or damage to photographs and material submitted to this magazine. Copyright 2023 by IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD.

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Still We Rise,Bahamaland

The rising sun is a thing of beauty. Each morning, this spectacular event happens anew, signaling the start of a new day. It never fails… and it never looks the same. New hues will appear; rays of light will bounce differently on the landscape; the rain may come; or the morning dew may gently blanket all it touches. This is the mystery and the majesty of the rising sun. So, when Bahamians proudly sing their national anthem and call for each other to “Lift up your head to the rising sun”, it is a sacred call of a nation to see all things new, each and every day.


As The Bahamas commemorates its 50th Independence, it is with this hopefulness of the promise of the rising sun that the people celebrate. When we, as human beings, take the opportunity to break away from the norms of our morning routine and just watch the rising sun, we find new hope and inspiration. We see things differently; we see things more clearly. We gain new insight, and we become inspired. This is the same feeling many Bahamians have as their country’s Golden Independence Anniversary appears on the horizon.

Like any other nation, there are things that need improving; there are things that need to change. But there are also a lot of things going right. With the expectations of another day, there is an opportunity to preserve the things going right, and face the things that need to change with new vigor and resolve. There’s no better time than during the anniversary of Independence to do just that.

The Independence Secretariat of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas seeks to invoke that feeling of exhilaration which comes when one feasts their eyes on the beauty of the rising sun. With each 50th anniversary celebration event planned, the goal is for the people to see the promise of progress in their country; to reach out and touch one another, inspiring one another to march on together; and to feel the thrill of this historic moment in time.

“There are some of us who are excited to celebrate this milestone; they are eagerly waiting on the various events and activities to get involved and celebrate,” said Her Excellency Leslia Miller-Brice, Chair of the Independence Secretariat.

“There are others who are pausing to reflect on the past fifty years to truly appreciate how far we have come - our shared triumphs and trials - and to appreciate our fortitude to push forward. Then there are others anxiously awaiting the next fifty years. There are many conversations about what we do today and its impact on the next fifty years of our country’s development.”

The Independence Secretariat is planning the biggest Independence celebrations to date, since the very first time the Bahamian flag was hoisted and the national

anthem played on July 10, 1973. After more than 300 years of being a colony under British rule, The Bahamas made a peaceful transition to nationhood. Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, formed a government with the support of the Labour Party. Sir Lynden then led The Bahamas to Independence under a new Constitution, with a new national anthem and pledge. On Independence Day, Bahamians stood with heads lifted high as the flagpole on Clifford Park bore a brand new black, gold, and aquamarine flag. They were filled with hope and promise, and that upward stance holds firm as the country turns another major page in history.

From the first 50th anniversary event hosted by the Secretariat, it became clear that Bahamians from all walks of life would come together en masse to celebrate the birth of their nation. The #Roadto50 Race, a nationwide Fun Run, Walk and Roll was held on December 3, 2022.

On January 19, 2023, the Independence Secretariat held the grand unveiling of the Bahamas’ 50th Anniversary of Independence logo. The work of three talented Bahamian graphic artists - Kerstin Pinder, Durelle Williams, and Devante Butler - were chosen out of 300 submissions. The logo is marvelously featured on the cover of this collector’s edition of Up & Away Magazine.

“Our theme - ‘One Nation: Our Legacy, Our Future’, demonstrates our call to appreciate who we are, what we have, and all we should cherish as one nation,” H.E. Miller-Brice explained.

“The calendar of events outline initiatives that celebrate our waters, our land and the importance of protecting them through policy, community engagement and hands-on activities. Mangrove planting, tree planting, backyard farming and other events will solidify our commitment to secure, protect and strengthen our resources.”

The calendar of events can be found at, but throughout this article, you can get a taste of some of the events that have happened, and others still left to come. The 1973 Master Class Lecture Series at the University of The

The Road to 50 team took to the streets to hand out Independence paraphernalia during the first ever 242 Day

Bahamas is ongoing, with the nation’s most prominent leaders sharing some of their intimate thoughts and personal stories of trial and triumph in building The Bahamas. Topics covered included: Breaking Barriers; the Role of the Church; and a Return to Idealism. Some of the brightest minds have been brought together to discuss vital topics and have open discussions on the way forward.

An exciting 242 Day was held on February 24 (24/2) - a nod to the nation’s area code. It served as an opportunity to show national pride and to create a momentum for the upcoming festivities. Bahamians throughout the country came through, the party started and has not stopped since.

“The response has been phenomenal,” H.E. Miller-Brice shared.

“To see Bahamians from the north to the south embracing this moment to celebrate and be a part is heartwarming, and it reminds us to ensure that everyone is included, involved and celebrated.”

Regattas, sailing races throughout The Bahamas, will be bigger and better this year in honor of the Golden Jubilee. The art of boat building and the thrill of the race will be celebrated; while traditional food, crafts and festivities, including Bahamian music concerts will bring each Bahamian Family Island alive. Sailing was officially declared as the national sport of The Bahamas during this year’s National Regatta in Exuma.

Seven-hundred islands and cays spanning more than five thousand square miles of pristine beauty are joining in celebration. There are thousands of miles of salt water flats in the most breathtaking hues of blue and green. The Atlantic Ocean brings an abundance of marine life from the deep blue. Mangrove forests, coppice forests and pine

barrens accentuate the land. Fascinating coral reefs fringe the islands. Pink to powdery white sand christens the sea shore. Limestone karst create mysterious caves and blue holes. The tropical sun covers it all.

The year 2023 has also been deemed the year of Bahamian Theatre. Shakespeare in Paradise, in collaboration with the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts, will present one classic Bahamian play per month throughout the year.

Her Excellency Miller-Brice also serves as Ambassador to CARICOM, and The Bahamas proudly hosted the 44th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of the Caribbean Community, February 15 to 17, 2023. On the heels of this historic meeting, The Bahamas hosted the Oaktree Medical 50th CARIFTA Games, the elite sporting event for the Caribbean community, April 7 to 10.

The Dame Doris Johnson National Women’s Unity March and Concert was held on March 26 in honor of International Women’s Month and International Women’s Day (March 8). Hundreds of women marched together in a beautiful show of solidarity.

The Golden Jubilee Tea Party took place at Government House during the month of April, as well as a Golden Easter Egg Hunt on Government House lawn, much to the delight of scores of little happy hunters. Young students from several islands are also participating in an ongoing National Mangrove Project. In collaboration with Waterkeepers Bahamas, the Road to 50 Committee has commissioned students from across The Bahamas to serve as youth ambassadors for the environment. They are planting essential mangrove trees, and they are learning about the importance of them and other natural resources of The Bahamas.

Her Excellency Leslia Miller-Brice and young artists share a laugh and sport their ‘50’ in front of the Independence mural

Even more youth national and environmental ambassadors were born when the Road to 50 led to the planting of 50 Lignum vitae trees which were planted throughout the country, including at several schools. Government and opposition Parliamentarians interacted with students and assisted in the planting of these national trees on International Arbour Day.

In the month of May, The Bahamas honored the roots of the majority of its population with a special event: the Signing of The Sister City Agreement between Princess Town, Ahanta, Western Ghana and The City of Nassau.

On May 29, historic Bay Street, Nassau came alive with the 50th on Bay Street Festival. Attendees enjoyed live chef demonstrations, artisans, food, beverage and confections. Pedestrians enjoyed this exciting street festival with live performances by bands, acoustic performance, dancers and performance art showcasing Bahamian talent and entertainment. Winners of the National Song and Poetry Competitions were also announced in May.

June’s activities included Independence Boat Light Show; the National Day of Community Service; and the Golden Jubilee Tea Party. A host of other activities are being held during the month of June to keep the momentum building to Independence Day, July 10. They include a National Blood Drive Day; the National Fashion & Art Show; and a Golden Gems celebration just to honor senior citizens.

In true Bahamian fashion, the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations are also occasions to invite guests from all around the world to join in the festivities. Visitors will feel their own spirits renewed when immersed in the vibrant sights, sounds and tastes of The Bahamas.

The 50th anniversary celebrations also include a series of youth empowerment exercises, such as the Generation Next: Young Men’s Empowerment Seminar; the Youth Mental Health Symposium and the inaugural Cultural Youth Conference.

In July, the anniversary month, expect to see the National Float Parade in Nassau; the All-Bahamian Concert: An Evening of Bahamian Music and Entertainment; the Annual Pre-Independence Beat Retreat; the Golden Jubilee Bahamas Games; the National Bahamian Pride Day; the Prime Minister’s Ball; and a series of ecumenical church services. Anniversary highlights also include the Independence State

Reception; the Youth Beat Retreat; and Youth Culture Friday.

The Secretariat will oversee the official Independence Celebrations on Clifford Park, accompanied by the annual Tattoo, People’s Rush and Fireworks Display. Bahamian artists, musicians, and entertainers will put on their best performances. The lineup will highlight the diverse and elite talents of Bahamians from various walks of life. Each act in the lineup will show what months of planning and preparation, and a lifetime of patriotism can produce.

“Grateful” is how H.E. Miller-Brice describes the feeling of leading the charge for the Independence celebrations. It’s the same feeling of appreciation one gets when the morning sun rises and the first ray kisses the face. It’s that thankfulness and hopefulness at the dawning of a new day that can propel her and her astute team to create events that will have an indelible impact on their fellow Bahamians.

“Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis and the Cabinet of The Bahamas have entrusted us to strategize and execute world-class events across The Bahamas,” she said.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and I embrace this process that allows me to work with seasoned professionals - public servants like Permanent Secretary Jack Thompson - and work hand-in-hand with dynamic and creative professionals across The Bahamas and the Bahamian diaspora. It is an opportunity. I don’t take lightly and I look forward to a year of successful events that leave an imprint in the minds and hearts of the Bahamian people in years to come.”

For more information, and to follow all the events hosted by or in conjunction with the Independence Secretariat, visit:, or Celebrate Bahamas on Facebook.

Wife of Prime Minister Davis, Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, Office of the Spouse, shows her national pride during the Dame Doris Johnson National Women’s Unity March
It’s all about family - hundreds gathered for the first annual Jubilee Day

Proud To Be Bahamian!

The emotion of 50 years of independence and sovereignty across the generations

Advantages to being an independent nation means a country can control its economy, manage its natural resources, protect its culture, pick its own government, make its own international relations, and that a people will not be a minority within a larger nation.

On July 10, 2023, The Bahamas officially celebrates 50 years of this freedom and independence, albeit the pomp, circumstance and celebrations take place over the course of the year.

In attaining this milestone, it’s good to look back at the road travelled to get to this juncture of sovereignty – from Christopher Columbus sailing into this archipelagic island-nation chain in the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 – in an expedition backed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain which consequently meant the islands were subject to the rule of the Spanish government.

As history shows, America ruled the Bahamian islands for a brief period after which The Bahamas became an outpost of Great Britain.

After decades of debate and legal transactions, through a series of constitutional and political steps, the islands of The Bahamas were granted self-government by Great Britain in 1964 – and full independence within the Commonwealth on July 10, 1973 – becoming the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

After 300-plus years of being a colony, The Bahamas made the peaceful transition to nationhood – an independent nation from the United Kingdom but an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Bahamas has a parliamentary democracy with political and legal traditions that closely follow those of the United Kingdom.

The Bahamas recognizes the British monarch as its formal head of state. An appointed governor general serves as the king’s representative in The Bahamas.

Since independence, celebrations on the eve of July 10 are traditionally held at Clifford Park, the site where the flag of The Bahamas was officially hoisted on that historic day in 1973.

It must be noted that the colours embodied in the design of the Bahamian flag symbolize the image and aspirations of the people of The Bahamas. The design reflects aspects of the natural environment – sun, sand, and sea – and the economic and social development.

The symbolism of the flag is Black – a strong colour that represents the vigour and force of a united people; the triangle pointing towards the body of the flag represents the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop and possess the rich resources of sun and sea, symbolized by gold and aquamarine, respectively.

Significant dates on the road to independence in the annals show The Bahamas gaining internal self-rule in 1964, a revision of the Bahamian Constitution in 1969 with The Colony of the Bahama Islands becoming the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the premier became the prime minister.

On December 20, 1972, an independence agreement was signed – and on June 26, 1973, the British Parliament enacted the Bahamas Independence Order. The Bahamian flag was raised for the first time on July 10, 1973, as The Bahamas became a sovereign nation, ending 325 years of British rule.

As The Bahamas marks a half-century year of independence, and the pomp and circumstances that are taking place over the course of 2023, being independent means something different across generations from the Bahamian who were born before July 10, 1973, to a Bahamian born in a post-independent era and knows nothing else but the black, aquamarine and gold.

Bahamians have their say on what independence looks and feels like – in their own words…

Andy Knowles Boomers II

At the time of our independence in 1973, when The Bahamas became an independent sovereign nation, I was 21 and training as a swimmer to represent my new country at the 1976 Olympic Games, our first Olympics under our new Bahamian flag. It was an honour to represent The Bahamas then, as it is now. Having been born in the 1950s, I didn’t realize the importance of being able to govern ourselves and make decisions for the betterment of our people, but 50 years later, I see very clearly the significance of us becoming a sovereign country under God. I am so proud that our forefathers laid the foundation on which we should build The Bahamas when they put into the Preamble to our Constitution that “the people of this Family of Islands recognizing that the

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Photographs Courtesy Of Shavaughn Moss and L. Roscoe Dames II Andy Knowles Jerlea Adderley Leandra Kelly

preservation of their freedoms will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-discipline, Loyalty, Unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law”.

God has so richly blessed us and kept us.

We are the most beautiful country in the world, and with our Family of Islands so widely spread out, we know what it means to be family and be community to one another. The Word of God tells us that “righteousness exalts a nation”. May we as a nation continue to allow God to exalt us as we abide together with Christian values.

Jerlea R.L. Adderley Generation Z

To me, independence looks like a celebration of all things Bahamian – black, gold, and aquamarine. It looks like a celebration of people who are proud of life in the 242. Independence looks like flags blowing in the wind with the image of a beautiful golden sun as the backdrop. From the airplanes looking down, it looks like crystal clear blue waters where you can see right through to the bottom of the ocean.

Bahamian independence looks like people dancing to rake ‘n’ scrape music at regattas and at Fish Fry or whenever the music hits them. It looks like the sparkling colours of gigantic costumes and the rhythmic sounds of Junkanoo music parading down Bay Street on Boxing Day morning. It looks like people enjoying the tastes of mouth-watering conch salad, fried fish, and conch fritters with a glass of ice cold Switcha (lemonade).

Independence looks like our Olympians Stevie Gardiner and Shaunae Miller blazing down the track and our NBA stars Buddy Hield and Deandre Ayton hitting three-pointers on the basketball court. And not to leave out our talented artists, independence looks a lot like children like me dancing and singing along to “Loose Me” by Nishie L.S. and mashin’ da roach (a local dance).

It’s a group of people who can have a whole conversation by only looking a certain way, moving our mouths a certain way without one word ever leaving our lips. It’s the way we say bui (boy) or vell muddasick (my goodness).

Independence is the freedom for people to worship at the church of their choice any day of the week. It is people who can stand up for their rights, and the rights of others, and to speak out against injustices. It is the right for all children to receive an education to continue to make The Bahamas the best little country on Earth.

The celebration of the 50th independence of The Bahamas is a great accomplishment. The work and contributions of great leaders of our country of generations past and present will continue to push us upward, onward together as one people, united in love and service.

Simply put, independence is all things 242, all things truly Bahamian.

Leandra L. Kelly Millennials

In the grand scheme of things, and as a whole, independence can be a bold and ambitious idea. When I looked at our country’s history, I realized that becoming an independent state was a brave move and especially justified, in part because of how and why it was evidently necessary. An independent nation, state, or country is one in which its inhabitants or a portion of them exercise self-government and, typically, sovereignty over its territory. Therefore, in essence, independence is a straightforward concept – having complete control over one’s life or circumstances. In 1973, our transition as a people from a dependent nation to one that desired to be self-sufficient and self-governing was largely influenced by a collaborative dream for the betterment of a people.

To me, independence looks like creativity, resilience, determination, passion, drive, purpose, and love of country and fellow man. It means to be brave, to rely on self, to take responsibility for your actions, and to be aware of the consequences. Having the option to control your own life is power, however, it is also a shortcoming. Independence is not the key to happiness, but rather the holder of the key. I believe that being self-sufficient necessitates learning to be adaptable and content with one’s circumstances.

Freedom or independence of any kind is the device that you use to find and keep bliss, yet it isn’t joy itself. The Bahamas as a free and independent nation

is a jewel envied by many small island nations. As I listen the stories of old, told by previous generations, I cannot help but feel an immense sense of pride to be a Bahamian. The struggles of our past have paved the way for a glorious future. The tears shed by those who have gone before us make way to the sound of laughter and the feeling of joy and happiness for generations to come. In the words of the late Timothy Gibson, “As we continue to lift our heads to the rising sun, press onward, we march together to a common loftier goal.”

Independence, what a glorious feeling! May God continue to bless the beautiful islands of this archipelago which we call home, our Bahamaland.

Lededra Marche Gen X

Independence to me, 50 years later, looks like prosperity. I am proud to be born of the Bahamian soil and the fact that we’ve etched our name into countless annals throughout the world over five decades — from education to the arts, sports and even in space — this little country of ours has done pretty well for itself in such a short period.

We have been given the independence to go after those things that we believe in, without fear or favour, and look good doing it – no matter the consequences, no matter the hurdles, no matter the criticisms – and prove that it is possible. The icing on the cake, too, was having the Bahamian flag on our backs and the Bahamian people, the 242 pride, waiting in the wings, cheering in the stands, marching on the front lines, and posted at the finish lines, beaming with pride to celebrate our successes.

And those times when we fell short, we still have the liberty to try again. It’s that level of pride one feels after 50 years that while some things could have been done differently, we did it, and have left a legacy of trailblazers for our children to emulate or take pages from their books and carry the baton with them for the next 50 years and beyond.

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Lededra Marche

Val Maura Boomers I

On that particular night, of course there was grandeur and great expectation. We felt so exhilarated that the Union Jack, the sign of authority by the United Kingdom, was slowly coming down and would disappear and that it would open avenues for prosperity – and for those that did not have, to get. We got independence from Great Britain and had glorious ideas about how we would benefit and prosper.

Independence, though, came at a price.

We went from that surrounding atmosphere and aura of happiness and great expectation of prosperity, but we didn’t realize the amount of hard work that was required. All this anticipated freedom, and self-control required hard work. For the most part, we missed the labour that was an integral part of the independent.

Just like all the other Commonwealth countries that disappeared from the United Kingdom, independence became interdependence, so we’re still struggling, even though we have a different flag.

At 50 years, as we celebrate, we cannot lose sight of the fact that even now, we probably have a lot more to do. I’m looking forward to the next 50 years – and showing the world that we can do it, and we will be an even more successful nation and there will be interdependence and not so much focusing on independence. UA

up and away 21 Now Open! 7 Oak Street Freeport, Grand Bahama BAHDistillingCompany thebahamasdistillingcompany Stop by our distillery in Freeport for tours and tastings of local Bahamian rum. Ask about our products across the islands!
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Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company Limited Celebrates Our 50th Anniversary

When the black, gold and aquamarine is hoisted for the 50th time on Clifford Park this July 10th, it will signify the perseverance and resilience of a people who have, grown, and developed to become the greatest little nation on the planet. Bahamian Brewery celebrates this major milestone in the story of The Bahamas and congratulates everyone who calls these beautiful islands home.

Since launching in 2007, celebrating all things Bahamian remains at the core of who we are and what we do, being 100% Bahamian owned and operated. Our expansion includes Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits retail division, currently with ten outlets throughout the country.

Redefining the beer business in The Bahamas, Bahamian Brewery, over the past fifteen years, has become known for its popular signature products Sands, Sands Light, Sands Pink/Passion Radler, Bush Crack, High Rock, Strong Back Stout, 66 Steps and Triple B Malt. Consumers continue to enjoy the freshness and great taste of our beers, packaged in attractive designs that reflect key aspects of Bahamian culture. From ‘the man in the boat’ to our play on traditional Bahamian events, our packaging remains one of a kind and reflective of who we are as a brand. Our commitment to community fifteen years later remains strong as we give back in ways that everyday Bahamian can feel our impact. From our many campaigns joining in the fight against breast cancer to our continuous support for Hands for Hunger and the Bahamas Humane Society, our dedication to supporting Bahamians remains strong. Through the retail arm (Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits) our campaigns have seen thousands of dollars donated to organizations such as the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, annually, as the company seeks to spread awareness about the disease that affects us all. Sponsorship continues to be a major part of our community initiatives, by providing financial support to major cultural events such as the Family Island regattas. With sloop sailing now being the country’s national sport, it is only fitting that the truly Bahamian beer company gives its backing.

After having been adversely impacted by the passage of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, Bahamian Brewery continues to do its part in creating clean and green business solutions. In keeping with our environmental goals of using more sustainable and environmentally friendly business solutions, Sands Beers have eliminated plastic from our packaging and has expanded our buy-back bottle program from Grand Bahama and New Providence to include Abaco, Eleuthera and Exuma, giving residents on those islands the opportunity to receive cash for each case of Sands beer bottles. Our aim is to spread this program throughout more islands of The Bahamas.

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Signature products, Sixty Six Steps Seasonal Craft Beer, High Rock Lager, Sands Radler Passion and Pink, Sands Beer, Sands Light Beer, Strong Back Stout, Bush Crack Light Beer, Bush Crack Special Beer. Sands 50th Independence commemorative bottle caps Collect six of them for a free beer on Sands!

As our country celebrates 50 years of independence, our products reflect the jubilance of this beautiful moment in our history. This summer, our bottles will recognize The Bahamas’ 50th anniversary and pay homage to our 700 islands, rocks, and cays. Bahamians who collect the 50th anniversary bottle caps will be able to trade them in for free beer.

Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits has also grown to become the largest distributor of beers and spirits in The Bahamas; remaining number one is the goal. We pride ourselves in also being the official distributor of the following brands Bahamians have grown to know and love:

ABInBev: Corona Extra, Modelo Beer, Stella Artois, Budweiser, Bud Light Pernod Ricard: Perrier Jouet Champagne, Jameson Whiskey, Absolut Vodka, Malibu Rum, Beefeater Gin, Chivas Regal Scotch, Martell Cognac, Avion Tequila, Glenlivet Single Malt, Kahlua

Remy Cointreau: Remy Martin Louis X111, Remy Cognac, Mount Gay Rum, Botanist Gin, Cointreau, Bruichladdich Single Malt

Edrington: Macallan Single Malt, Highland Park Single Malt, Glenrothes Single Malt, Brugal Rum, The Famous Grouse

Webbbanks: Tia Maria, Disarrono Amaretto, Molly’s Irish Cream, Tito’s Vodka, Flor de Cane Rum, Casa Noble Tequila, Teremana Tequila

Philip Morris International: Marlboro, L&M

As our country continues to move ‘Forward, Upward, Onward’ together, Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company Limited / Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits continue to take pride in our growth and continued commitment to good business and being a good community partner. Our companies remain a big part of the very fabric of what it means to be Bahamian.

Happy 50th independence, Bahamas! From the company that brought you the truly Bahamian beer.

For more information about Sands, the Bahamian Brewery and Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits, please visits these sites: and UA

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Sands Beer eliminated plastic from its beer packaging and expanded its buy-back bottle program. Official brands distributed by Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits, the Bahamian Brewery’s retail division. Rooftop view from Resorts World, Bimini, Bahamas Photograph Courtesy Of L. Roscoe Dames II

RALEIGH Where to Play, Eat, and Sleep in Historic RALEIGH Where to Play, Eat, and Sleep in Historic

North Carolina is the birthplace of three U.S. presidents, the first airplane flight, and Lexington-style barbecue. The capital city, Raleigh, is a living history lesson wrapped in Southern charm, with elegant Victorian neighbourhoods, centuries-old oak trees, and free world-class museums. Here are a few tips on where to play, eat and sleep in historic Raleigh.


If you have ever wondered what the first airplane looked like, head to North Carolina Museum of History. Soaring high above the lobby is a 1902 replica of the Wright Brothers’ glider that launched them into aviation history with their patented flying machine.

Travel through thousands of years of history in “The Story of North Carolina” exhibit, where visitors can step inside Indian houses, and peek into a pirate’s treasure chest (hint: it is not all gold and rum). With many interactive experiences and a downloadable scavenger hunt, this Smithsonian affiliate museum is fun for all ages. And the best part? Admission is free.

North Carolina State Capitol, with its massive stone columns and copper dome, is one of the best-preserved public buildings built in the Greek revival style. Stand in the centre and look up at the impressive rotunda on the second floor, home to the lavish chambers of lawmakers who held session here until 1963. Take a self-guided tour to learn how history unfolded in these walls, including the struggle of African Americans who moved from enslaved workers maintaining the building to politicians voting from its chambers. Notice the ruts carved into the stone steps from the heavy loads of firewood they carried, across from a plaque commemorating the 13th Amendment which ended slavery.

Located just east of downtown, the Historic Oakwood district is filled with 19th century charm. This 25-block area is Raleigh’s oldest and best-preserved neighbourhood, featuring Italianate, Victorian and French-inspired architecture. The best way to explore these colourful homes is on foot, so you do not miss the leaded windows, turrets, and ornate front porches. These preserved historical homes are truly a highlight of any visit to Raleigh. If you happen to visit during the second full weekend of December, you can join the Historic Oakwood

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Photographs Courtesy Of Kirsten Harrington Raleigh Skyline at Night 1902 Replica of Wright Brothers’ glider Pirate Exhibit at North Carolina History Museum
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Candlelight Tour where a dozen homes are open to the public for docent-led tours. To learn more about Oakwood and download a walking map, visit

Persons Street runs along the western border of Oakwood and makes a great stop for shopping, a Krispy Kreme doughnut (a North Carolina original) or a lovely meal on the rooftop patio of French Bistro Jolie

If you need a break while sightseeing, head to Moore Square. In the heart of downtown, this four-acre park is as old as the city itself. Across the centuries, this urban green space served as a school, church and a staging ground for troops heading into battle during the 1861-1865 Civil War. Now, Moore Square is a vibrant park with expansive lawns, a children’s play area, entertainment, and a weekly market. There is a ping pong table, benches and Square Burger restaurant for a takeout alfresco lunch or dinner. Rest under a shady oak and take in the city skyline.

Starting in 1914, farmers hitched up their horse-drawn carts to bring produce, poultry, seafood, and flowers to the newly opened City Market, next to Moore Square. This commercial hub for fresh food became obsolete in the 1950s as grocery stores joined the scene. Thankfully, in the 1980s, City Market was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and rehabilitation began. Today, the cobblestone streets remain but modern shops and restaurants have infused City Market with new life, making it a top destination in downtown.

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North Carolina State Capitol Clyde Cooper’s BBQ
Home in Historic Oakwood District


There is no shortage of delicious places to eat in Raleigh. Clyde Cooper’s BBQ is one of Raleigh’s longest-running restaurants and a great place to try some Carolina barbecue. Order a chopped barbecue sandwich to get a taste of Clyde’s original style – tangy, smoky, and peppery pork piled high on a bun. You will understand why this family-friendly place has been voted among the top 10 barbecue places in America. Side dishes are half the fun, so order some mac ‘n’ cheese, hush puppies, and collard greens.

Founder Clyde Cooper started this family-owned place in 1938 and served customers faithfully for 50 years until he sold the business to a friend. He was known for his welcoming manner, insisting that people of all colours use the front door together at a time when racial divides were deep. Clyde passed away in 1998 but his memory lives on in photos and memorabilia that hang throughout the restaurant.

Greek immigrant Nick Dombalis opened Mecca Restaurant in 1930 with a mission to serve hearty, comforting food at a good price. Located near the North Carolina State Capitol Building, Mecca has been a popular meeting spot for local politicians, judges, and businessmen. Little has changed over the years, and the red swivel chairs at the counter and wooden booths with electric candles add to the historic charm. All-day breakfast, comfort food like lasagna and a few Greek dishes are served in a casual diner-like setting at a reasonable price. Dombalis would be proud.

For a modern dining experience housed in an historic setting, visit the Transfer Co. Food Hall. Originally home to the Carolina Coach company, this former bus garage has been restored into a community gathering place where people come to socialize over good food and drink. Dine under high beam ceilings surrounded by brick walls containing over 100 years of history. Early risers will be rewarded with coffee and wood-fired bagels from Benchwarmers Bagels. The midday and evening crowd will enjoy a variety of good eats from ham and cheese empanadas from Che Empanadas to bite-sized servings of Indian street food from Chhote’s


What better way to soak up the historic atmosphere of the city than by staying in an 1858 Italianate-style mansion? Heights House Hotel was originally the private residence of influential Raleigh businessman William Montfort Boylan. Montfort Hall, as it was known, had many owners over the years, including the Baptist Church. In 2021, restoration was complete to turn the property into a small luxury hotel, maintaining many original features. With a grand entrance flanked by four Corinthian columns, a rotunda topped by a stained-glass cupola and details such intricate crown moulding and crystal chandeliers, Heights House Hotel is a stunning, unique property.

The hotel is in the historic Boylan Heights neighbourhood, which offers superb views of the downtown skyline from its hillside location. Walk the quiet, treelined streets to see magnificent Craftsman-style bungalows and Victorian homes with wrap-around porches. Stroll to Boulted Bread bakery for a morning pastry and coffee or reserve a table on the patio at Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing to drink in a craft beer and unparalleled views. Rebus Works is tucked just under Boylan Bridge, offering coffee, sundries, and local gifts.

There is so much to see in Raleigh, we have just scratched the surface. Whether you visit the refurbished Warehouse District for hip restaurants and shops housed in century-old industrial buildings, or tour North Carolina Executive Mansion, you are sure to fall in love with Raleigh’s blend of modern hospitality and historic charm. UA

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Heights House Hotel Greek Salad at Mecca Restaurant Transfer Co. Food Hall


Hundreds of Bahamians were elated during this year’s 67th National Family Island Regatta on Exuma this past April when sailing was officially named the national sport of The Bahamas – replacing cricket.

It had been a long time coming, particularly for sloop sailors – most of whom had spent their entire lifetimes building the sport.

The onshore activities held at regattas around the Islands of The Bahamas with tantalizing food and drinks thrill many locals and visitors. However, the main attraction for many lies on the scenic harbour, as scores of sloop sailors in the A, B, C and E categories use their brains and brawn to get to the finish line.

This year was particularly special for sailors as it is the 50th anniversary of independence for The Bahamas.

At the regatta site in Georgetown, Exuma, there were tributes given to long-time sailors such as “Grandmaster” the late Rolly Gray; the late Sir Durward Knowles – the first Olympic champion of sailing; and one of the founders of the National Family Island Regatta the late Linton Rigg, among others.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said naming sailing the national sport was a proud moment.

“Sailing runs in our blood. For many generations, these wooden vessels, forged by Bahamian hands were crucial modes of transport, vital tools to seek

out a living, and a crucial part of island culture. Today, sailing is preserved and celebrated in the institution of regattas – a key cultural and economic catalyst for many of our Family Islands who use the occasion to showcase their own distinctive style and festivities,” he said.

“Regattas offer reconnection, a time for friends and family to come together; and with 18 senior regattas and 17 junior events, the opportunities to celebrate our Bahamian spirit are ample and golden.”

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting also declared his excitement.

“Sailing has defined our history. It is how our ancestors travelled to our beautiful country; it is how the Family Islanders traded goods and services and developed. It has connected us as Bahamians for hundreds of years,” he said.

“Sloop sailing has elevated the entire sport. When the first organized regatta was held at this very scenic harbour, few could have predicted the vital role it would have played in the lives of Bahamians today. Regattas have thrilled Bahamians for over 70 years and all skippers, captains, boat builders and sail makers have become national heroes.”

Co-Chair of the Naming of Sailing as the National Sport Committee and Member of Parliament for Central and South Abaco John Pinder said he believes sailing

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has a bright future. “We are not sons of the soil; we are sons and daughters of the sea. Sailing in The Bahamas has a bright future with knowledge and skills being taught from generation to generation. Sailing will always be a part of us all. The youth are our greatest resource, and we must make it a point to pass down our culture of sailing,” he said.

After the announcement, there was a performance from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force band, followed by a dazzling display of fireworks.

Many spectators and former sailors were excited to hear the news with many agreeing that sailing should have always been the national sport.

“I love sailing,” said Leslie McKenzie, former sailor of the famed boat Tidal Wave. “No matter what island it is on, I will find a way to get to it.”

Freddie Gray, son of Rolly Gray, added, “It makes me feel very good to know that this is happening because we were doing this for so long and now,

we finally get some recognition. It is a good thing for the sailors.”

Greg Cottis, sailor of Ruff Justice, said he understood the British influence behind cricket, but conceded that it was not popular amongst Bahamians.

“I would have thought that (sailing) would have been the national sport since independence,” he said.

“Fifty years is a long time for this to be officially recognized. I have a bit of an English background from my parents, but they became Bahamian citizens. I understand the connection to cricket, but I do not know any Bahamian who plays cricket. So, I do not think it is going to be missed by too many.”

National Family Island Regatta outgoing Commodore Danny Strachan said sailing being named as the national sport is a dream come true.

“I have been calling for sailing to be the national sport for over 25 years. I felt like I was a lone wolf most of the time. But I always had the support of

the government,” he said. “I must thank Prime Minister Davis along with Minister Clay Sweeting and their Cabinet colleagues for making this happy declaration real. It was long talked about but now we celebrate with all sailors and tens of thousands of sailing fans.”

The National Family Island Regatta was a four-day event and the night concerts on Friday and Saturday featured many Bahamian artists such as Blaudy, D-Mac, Geno D, Puzzle, Julien Believe, Nishie L.S., Fanshawn, Mama D, Shine, Lady E and Ebony 242 amongst others.

Charlotte Williams and her husband Michael of Atlanta, Georgia, have been coming to the National Family Island Regatta on Exuma for many years. She said it is a tradition she is hoping to keep.

“We have found friends who have become family here,” she said. “We have brought our children and we always have a great time. We were glad to be a part of history because we understand what sailing means to The Bahamas.” UA

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A Class boats competing A Class Winners the New Legend from Long Island celebrate as they receive their trophy from Prime Minister Philip Davis Captain Emmett Munroe receives an honorary blazer and plaque for his service to the National Family Island Regatta Committee. From left, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting, Prime Minister Philip Davis, Captain Emmett Munroe, Deputy Prime Minister I. Chester Cooper and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation John Pinder Pry riders seek to balance the sloop as they race to the finish line at the 67th National Family Island Regatta Hundreds of Bahamians enjoy music at the night concert at the 67th National Family Island Regatta

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© 2019 IPB



How a Fearless Bahamian Woman ‘Embraced’ the Power of Her Dream

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise.

I am a black ocean, leaping and wide welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise.

Maya Angelou

Imet The Phoenix on Staniel Cay – that mythical, mystical, immortal bird forever resurrecting itself and becoming reborn again and again. The one whom folklore and legend say rose from the ashes, overcame adversity, declared her freedom and independence, and “embraced” her power. Only, she was in human form, and she manifested herself as Nicole Ferguson-Taylor (affectionately known as Nikki) – a pioneer, philanthropist, and persevering spirit, who worked painstakingly and vigilantly to build the beautiful and charming Embrace Resort, which opened in 2011, on Staniel Cay, Exuma, despite insurmountable odds.

I sat down on my birthday with her daughter, Natajia, an articulate, emotionally intelligent young entrepreneur and hotelier, born and raised in Staniel Cay, with two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree, and who has worked in Dubai and China (a “formidable force” herself), at the Embrace Resort, to discuss her mother’s personal journey and the powerfully resilient way she overcame the “doubting Thomases” who thought her dream of owning and operating a resort was too big or too much for a fearless, striving Black woman from Exuma.

Natajia credits her success as part-owner and general manager of Embrace Resort and her academic and professional success to her mother, Nikki, whom she said made many personal sacrifices for her education, and always encouraged her to pursue her dreams and goals – fearlessly and unapologetically.

Nikki was a focused and relentless “go-getter” who started sweeping floors at Staniel Cay Yacht Club, was promoted and became a manager at the yacht club and Sandals (Fowl Cay) and overcame countless rejections from banks and

other lending institutions for decades, even with a rock-solid business plan, to obtain a loan to finance her dream of creating and building a “down-home”, family-oriented, and aesthetically tasteful resort.

She started with one villa, Mayaguana, paying for her “passion project” out of her own pocket, and building the resort, brick by brick, despite the naysayers, which eventually morphed into seven amazing, culturally inspired villas, whose interior design are Nikki’s own creative vision and work, and which are named, designed, and themed after major islands in The Bahamas (A-Andros, B-Bimini, C-Cat Island, E-Eleuthera and E-Exuma, M-Mayaguana and R-Ragged Island).

The Bimini Villa is a particularly special addition to Embrace Resort, as it is a two-bedroom lock-off, complete with interior design and furnishings reflecting the island life of Bimini.

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Embrace Resort Accommodations Natajia and Nicole Ferguson-Taylor Embrace Resort Aerial

A humble, hard-working, deeply spiritual woman, who was inspired by a courageous, inspirational, “praying mother”, Nellie Ferguson, an entrepreneur herself, and who works 12-15 hours a day in her numerous businesses under the 3Ns moniker (which represents three generations of entrepreneurial women – Nellie, Nikki, and Natajia), Nikki’s gifts and talents have truly made room for her.

Her dream of building Embrace Resort was never too big to overcome the detraction and distraction of other people’s limitations or their well-intentioned, but unsolicited advice to quit before she faced personal and financial hardship and ruin.

In a world driven by social media influences, clout-chasing, “likes” and creating “space” superficially and materialistically, I found the “Embrace Experience” to be one of warmth, exceptional service, personal connection, and passion – an authentic oasis of nostalgia, familial bonding, and carefree island-living – in a word – “home”.

The resort’s core values are based on “PEPA” – passion, empathy, premium [service], and authenticity. Values that are certainly demonstrated from the first greeting you receive from the friendly, warm staff at Embrace, the minute you step within its doors.

In the 50th year of our nation’s independence, I asked Natajia what the vision of Nikki Ferguson and Embrace Resort is, 50 years on. She bravely said that its vision is to be “the Sandals of The Bahamas” and to reflect the power and potential of a personal vision when one steps courageously in the direction of their dreams.

Natajia believes that Bahamian women, more than ever, from the growth and development of our nation 50 years since our independence in 1973, have an opportunity to be more resilient, brave, and powerful in pursuing their passions and purpose in building our country to its greatest potential – financially, socially, communally, and spiritually.

She embodies so much of her grandmother’s and mother’s tenacity, strength, and foresight – a generational blessing that is a positively refreshing departure from the “generational curses” that often pervade the Bahamian spiritual vernacular.

The Good Book implores, “Where there is no vision, people perish.” Perishing was never Nikki Ferguson-Taylor’s fear nor her fate, because it was her vision of building Embrace Resort and creating the “Embrace Experience” that has motivated

and inspired her to singlehandedly speak truth to power and overcome insurmountable odds with little resources and a lot of faith!

Like The Phoenix rising from the ashes, Embrace Resort is on the rise! And like a tree planted near water, it shall certainly not be moved. UA

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Embrace Resort Pool
Embrace Resort View


Mix-up like Conch Salad...

Past, Present & Beyond...

Pickled Conch Salad can only be found on the island of Grand Bahama. This variation takes things a step further by adding fresh mango.

The idea of adding fresh pineapple, mango, or even mayonnaise to a bowl of conch salad can either delight or repulse lovers of the simple dish. For many Bahamians, conch salad needs to be simple and in its “original” form – diced conch, mixed with onions, sweet peppers, tomatoes, a bit of sour orange, salt, a little (or a lot) of handmade pepper sauce, and you are good to go.

For decades, Bahamians have harvested conch by hand before expertly knocking the meaty molluscs out of their shells and rubbing them down with salt to clean them. A freshly caught conch is tender and sweet, and the best conch salad is prepared just a few minutes after the conch has left the seawater.

Conch salad can be found almost every and anywhere in The Bahamas – from roadside shacks in small coastal settlements, to fine dining restaurants like Dune. While the decades-old origins of conch salad are debatable, many islands have created their own distinct variations over the years.

New Providence is said to be the birthplace of tropical conch salad, a blend that includes fresh mango, pineapples, and sometimes apples. Many Bimini vendors add in a bit of garlic salt to their mix. Grand Bahama’s Shabbo’s and Sherry’s are the only spots in The Bahamas to find pickled conch salad. And some islands even add in boiled conch or conch “bubbies” (or breasts, excess tough/blackened skin) to their salad.

However, the most controversial conch salad addition is perhaps mayonnaise – a popular Abaco variation.

Chef Garrette Bowe, who is originally from Grand Bahama, is currently an integral part of the Marcus restaurant team. Owner and world-renowned Iron Chef Marcus Samuelsson praises Chef Garrette for sharing the art of conch salad making with him and allowing him to bring the dish to his restaurant’s menu at Baha Mar.

While the talented Chef Garrette is no stranger to creating complex flavours and dishes, she still thinks that there is something special about conch salad and how it connects Bahamians to each other and visitors alike.

“I think that conch salad has become the national spotlight dish of The Bahamas. The evolution and creation of different variations of our humble conch salad has opened doors for Bahamians to stay true to our roots while also giving us more self-expression on the stable dishes that we truly understand.” UA

Conch salad at Marcus restaurant The Artistry in Preparation The Artistry in Preparation
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The Artistry in Preparation at Dune, Ocean Club


The famous British proverb which carries much depth and meaning. At some point in one’s life, we imagine our “dream home”, some with the picket fences, some without, or perhaps even a sprawling estate overlooking dramatic coastlines of ebbing sapphire blue seas. After all, “Home is where the heart is.”

The influence of years-gone-by architecture and the new age of modern building makes way for a breath-taking marriage of concept and design from the foundation to the peak of its rooftop.

As we travel through the majestic islands of The Bahamas, the diversity of architectural design is unmistakably visible.

From the dream homes to the contemporary homes, there are buildings that remind of whence we came. Without history and the brilliance of design geniuses, there would not be the architectural palette to design from.

Seven hundred islands and keys, this island-hopping archipelago boasts its own unique style of buildings, with the British colonial influence being the most prevalent throughout the islands, especially in the government buildings and vintage colonial home styles.

Vibrant clapboard homes are sprinkled across the luscious tropical landscaped neighbourhoods which showcases the vibrant, colourful, happy nature of Bahamians.

Long Island has the most beautiful limestone-erected structures thine eyes have ever seen. Buildings, homes, and churches constructed with limestone was the most popular building method and is still visible throughout The Bahamas today, making way for visiting historical sites, while absorbing the architectural wonder of these designs.

That skinny, long strip of land, dwelling in the southern turquoise seas, Long Island boasts of the most awe-inspiring designs of Catholic Churches.

The churches of the Catholic Diocese on Long Island:

• Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Hamilton’s

• Holy Trinity - Tait’s

• Immaculate Conception – Mortimer’s

• Saint George’s - Buckley’s

• Saint Pius X - The Bight

• Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Dunmore

• Saint Peter and Paul - Clarence Town

• The towers on the church at Saint Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church peeks over the harbour side of Clarence Town.

As you drive into the capital city, heading south, emerging from the hilltop is the stunning view of the “twin churches”. Add this photo bucket list moment to your travel itinerary. Stop by to see this view for yourself.

In 1945, the Catholic Church, Assumption of the Blessed Mary, in Dunmore, was built by Fr. Cornelius Orsendorf.

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“A man’s castle is his home.”
Photographs Courtesy Of Bianca Major
Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary – Dunmore Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary – Dunmore

In 1946, Orsendorf, began building the church in Clarence Town using the plans and sketches designed by Monsignor Jerome John C. Hawes.

The brilliant minds who contributed to the architecture design and building, along with Orsendorf, were Frs. Hawes, La Vierge, Smythers, Mondloch, and Wind.

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” –

The preservation of our heritage reminds us of historical times, “the old ways”. The architectural influence adds character to our community, providing a sense of style, “oneness” with culture, and future continuance.

Greg Schaus has been the historical torchbearer to carry on the preservation of one of the famously constructed Catholic churches on Long Island.

Schaus made Long Island his “home away from home” when he and his wife Julie, and their kids, stumbled across this lovely island of Long Island and just had to make it “home”.

How Long Island came to be Greg & Julie’s “Castle of a Home.”

It all started with an island-hopping adventure and four little kids in tow. The Schauses travelled around The Bahamas, through Abaco and Exuma, but it was just “too many people” for them, so they continued to Cat Island. During their stay on Cat Island, they came across a flyer for Long Island. That was the next spot to visit on the list and boy did Long Island melt their hearts.

Upon their arrival to Deadman’s Cay, Long Island, local hero, Mr. J. B. Carroll, provided the Schauses with a rental car and they were on the move. By the second day of their visit, they had found the site of their dream home, literally. In less than seven days, Julie and Greg Schaus had met with famous local realtor, Mr. Willis Harding, who sealed the property deal and there began the story of, “a man’s castle is his home”.

For more than twenty-five years, the Schauses have called Long Island home and Greg has significantly impacted the way we appreciate our local historical buildings.

Fast forward to October 2015, monster Hurricane Joaquin tore through the southern islands of The Bahamas leaving behind a path of destruction, many without homes, and surrounded by devastation. Whilst many of the local churches were being used as hurricane shelters, Hurricane Joaquin also did tremendous damage to some of the churches.

The small, quaint settlement of Dunmore, home to the Catholic church, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was used as a shelter during Hurricane Joaquin. The church received significant damages after that hurricane passed, leaving Long Island in shambles.

Greg Schaus, with the assistance of the Catholic Diocese and locals, namely, Deacon Patrick Darville, Rodney Major, Jeffery Cartwright and Dekinta “Dog” Roxbury, carried on reconstructive and cosmetic repairs to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church that sits on top of Dunmore’s Hill.

A special dedication service was held in June of 2019 to mark the repairs and special efforts made to preserve the historical church.

When we intertwine the love of design and architecture, creating and erecting walls of masterpieces, it is then that we are unified with divine design. UA

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Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary – Dunmore St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church – Clarence Town
St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church – Clarence Town
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THE RACE from The Bahamas to Antarctica

Over the past 20 years, Charles Johnson has run more than 40 marathons around the globe. The 66-year-old Bahamian runs an average of 108 miles per month or 27 miles per week on the streets of Nassau on the island of New Providence.

From 2015 to 2022, he completed the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM). That accomplishment made Johnson a six-star runner, an elite group on the international landscape.

To reach that status, runners must complete a “series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world – Tokyo Marathon, B.A.A. Boston Marathon, TCS London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon”. According to the AbbottWMM website, there are a total of 429 six-star finishers represented by 48 nationalities. Johnson is one of five Bahamians to be in that number. He and the other four Bahamians are listed on the website’s Hall of Fame.

Even with those accomplishments under his belt, or should we say under his feet, he tells Up and Away that his participation in the Antarctica Marathon & Half Marathon in early 2023, trumped them all.

On March 16, 2023, Johnson joined 139 runners from around the globe to participate, making him the second Bahamian to dare such a thing. Pushing against the elements in sub-zero temperatures, he completed 26.2 miles – the full marathon.

Johnson lives on New Providence, which is 21 miles in length, where the temperature ranges from 80°F to 85°F in the summer. Meanwhile, Antarctica’s annual temperature ranges from about −10°C on the coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior.

“The course is the most challenging course I think one would ever find in a marathon because of the conditions,” said Johnson. “I don’t know if you could ever really train to go run up and down slippery hills. The goal is to finish it. Crossing that finish line is what makes you a winner in that marathon.”

The preparation for a run on the coldest continent in the world was all about improvising. Due to the terrain of the course, he was advised to do endurance training by running as many hills as possible. Here’s the thing – The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and cays. The country’s highest point is Mount Alvernia, which is situated on Cat Island. The distance between New Providence and Cat Island is approximately 138 miles. The best solution for training was running the Eastern and Sir Sidney Poitier Bridges – they connect New Providence to Paradise Island.

According to the website for the Bahamas Bridge Authority, 70 feet is the highest point of each bridge.

For six months, Johnson trained by running four days a week and going to the gym three days a week. After extensive research, he decided that Craft – a clothing line offering winter running gear – would be the best choice for his Arctic journey. The clothing he wore for the marathon consisted of layering, which included: a top and lower under garment, long running tights that were woollen on the inside and waterproof on the outside, a water-resistant long-sleeved shirt, a vest for additional comfort, water-resistant socks, gloves, and woollen head gear to cover his neck and head.

To get to Antarctica, Johnson literally travelled to the end of the world and boarded a ship. The six-star runner flew from The Bahamas to Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the southernmost tip of South America – nicknamed “The End of the World”.

From there, the marathoners boarded the MV Ocean Victory ship and travelled for three days. Along that journey, the group crossed Drake Passage. Drake Passage is said to be “the most powerful convergence of seas” and “one of the most treacherous voyages for ships to make” due to its currents and waves that reach up to 40 feet.

After crossing the passage, the group arrived off the shores of King George Island, Antarctica. Johnson was one of two participants of African descent.

“Leaving the ship to get to the marathon required all passengers to follow strict protocols to get clearance from the expedition team,” Johnson explained. “We had to wear additional clothing on top of our running gear. You had to exit the ship which was approximately one mile away from the shoreline and get onto a Zodiac which is a small rubber boat which transported us to the shore. Then, we walked through ice cold water, so we had to put on waterproof boots, waterproof pants, a waterproof heavy jacket, heavy gloves, and more head covering. Once we got to the shoreline, you had to strip down to your running gear.”

The marathon was quite unique for the experienced runner. A trail was marked out by race coordinators on the morning of the run. There were no permanent structures or spectators along the route, except for about 25 race coordinators and volunteers.

“The course was a four-mile loop which started at the elevation of zero and maxed out at an elevation of approximately 4,000 feet,” said Johnson. “We ran two miles of rolling hills and no flat surfaces. We repeated that loop six times to complete the marathon.”

At one point, Johnson found himself on the wrong side of the trail and in a sticky situation.

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Photographs Courtesy Of Charles Johnson Charles Johnson competing in Antarctica

“Into about three-quarters of the race, with all the cold weather, the rain, the wind, it began to affect my sight to an extent that my vision became blurred, and I could not see the trail clearly to determine as accurately as I should have been able to.”

During his fourth lap, his shoe got stuck in seven inches of mud.

“My foot came out of the shoe and I’m thinking I cannot put my sock into that cold mud,” he said. “I had to find a way to hop. I had to bend down to tie my laces with great difficulty. Fortunately, I was able to do that, but it is very painful to have to bend after four hours of running in the cold.”

There were also instances of slipping and sliding along the way. Johnson said he was able to finish the marathon with no injuries because of pure mindset and prayers.

“I was running against myself,” he said. “It was all about blocking out the weather. I didn’t compare myself to the marathoners around me. I kept reminding myself about my goal – finishing the race.”

He proudly showed Up and Away a photo of him standing in front of the Antarctica Marathon & Half Marathon sign. Around his neck is a medal – the symbol of his success in completing the marathon. In his hands, the Bahamian flag flies in the Arctic winds. On his face, there is a smile of pride, relief, and satisfaction.

Now that Johnson has completed the Antarctica Marathon, he still wants to rack up some more mileage and has set a new goal – to run marathons on all seven continents. He has four down and three to go. He plans to complete the seven by 2024.

In October 2023, he will run a marathon in Cape Town, Africa. Next year, he plans to complete that goal by running in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in June, and Sydney, Australia, in September. From there, he will explore more unique, challenging marathons that will take him across deserts and the Great Wall of China.

He encourages others to participate in marathons locally and abroad.

“It supports a healthier lifestyle,” said the Bahamian international runner. “It’s fun. It’s adventurous. You meet new people. You get to learn about new cultures. The sky’s the limit. Don’t worry about age. Age ain’t nuttin but a number. Just be like Nike and do it – one foot at a time”.

Up and Away says this 66-year-old is the epitome of a new-age Bahamian saying – “242 to da world”. UA

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Charles Johnson proudly displaying his medal and The Bahamian Flag Charles Johnson in Ushuaia, Argentina Antarctica ice on the journey

“Must-Try” South Florida Restaurants, From Jupiter to Miami, Florida

The dining options in South Florida are vast. You will find both fine dining establishments and budget-friendly eats, all with something special to offer. These “must-try” restaurants introduce you to the distinct flavours of international fare, from Peruvian, Cuban, and Middle Eastern to Italian and Asian. You will also find some places to enjoy homestyle American meals. Whatever your choice, all of them will wow you with their deliciousness.

Jupiter, FL - Dune Dog

It sounds crazy but one of the best places to get grilled local fish in South Florida is Dune Dog Cafe. This tiki hut restaurant is located on Alternate A1A. It is the best value in Jupiter. Besides serving a large selection of hot dogs and burgers, they serve seafood, wings, and smoky, saucy baby back ribs. On the seafood side, they serve steamed crabs, lobsters, and clams. They also offer grilled, fried, and blackened shrimp and fish. Grilled fish can be a tricky thing if not done just right, as it can so easily end up dry. Dune Dog has perfected grilling their fish. Try to catch them on one of their special nights, such as Monday which is all-you-can-eat ribs. Tuesday is two complete dinners for the price of one. Thursday is lobster night, a whole Maine lobster with two sides for a “ridiculously low price”. This is an incredibly casual place – you can go straight from the beach to the table. (

West Palm Beach, FL - Nick’s 50’s Diner

Want to try some “true” American food? Head to Nick’s 50’s Diner. This “blast from the past” restaurant has an extensive menu that includes meatloaf and mashed potatoes, country fried steak and roast turkey with dressing, plus a wide range of burgers, sandwiches, and salads. They serve breakfast until 11:30 daily and all day on Saturday and Sunday. With a juke box loaded with 1950’s music, a true “lunch counter”, 1950’s movie posters on all the walls and a nostalgic menu, you will step back in time when you walk into this diner. Located just west of Interstate 95 on Okeechobee Blvd., this homestyle American food restaurant is open daily from 7:00am to 2:00pm and on Sundays from 8:00am to 2:00pm. (

Photographs Courtesy Of Tina Walsh Dune Dog Café – Jupiter, FL Grilled Maui Dune Dog Café – Jupiter, FL Dune Dog Café Jupiter, FL Nick’s 50’s Diner

Delray Beach, FL - Rose’s Daughter

In the Pineapple Arts District of Delray Beach is a gem of an Italian restaurant, Rose’s Daughter. Visitors are treated to hand-crafted, made-from-scratch pizzas, homemade pastas, imported charcuterie, house-made cheeses, and gelatos. A favourite is the spinach dumplings with pecorino cream. It is velvety and slightly salty with the spinach adding a delicious freshness. It is served with a side of their bread, which is baked daily in a wood fired oven. You cannot go wrong with any of their Italian classic dishes prepared with a modern twist. The menu is extensive and diverse. The restaurant has two covered patios and an outdoor bar that are delightful places to enjoy a meal. Rose’s Daughter is open Wednesday to Sunday starting at 4:00pm. They do not take reservations.

Delray Beach, FL - Amar Mediterranean Bistro

Craving the bright and earthy flavours of the Mediterranean? Visit Amar Mediterranean Bistro on Atlantic Ave. in downtown Delray Beach. The owners of the stylish restaurant have Lebanese roots. They offer simply prepared dishes including cold and hot mezze, various grilled meats, kebabs, fresh seafood, and creative homemade desserts. There is something for everyone. At Amar, the plates are meant to be shared. You will want to soak up the aromatic spices and herbs of this Mediterranean cuisine with their handmade pita bread baked in their wood-burning oven. If you are unsure what to order, try the hummus with lamb, the Mediterranean shrimp skillet, or the mixed grill platter for two. Amar is open daily from 4pm to 10pm. (

Oil Dumplings

West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, FL KaPow Noodle Bar

With two locations in South Florida, KaPow Noodle Bar offers contemporary Southeast Asian cuisine in a vibrant, art-adorned space with outdoor and indoor dining. Their vast menu contains dumplings, buns, noodles, small plates, and creative cocktails. Highlights on their menu include red chilli oil dumplings, crispy mushroom bao bun, spicy skirt steak gyoza taco, duck lo mein and a Shinjiro mule made with Japanese vodka. You can find them on Clematis Ave. in West Palm Beach or Mizner Plaza in Boca Raton. (

Lighthouse Point, FL - Cap’s Place

Cap’s Place offers a taste of local history along with fresh seafood. Recognized as a national landmark in Broward County, it is Florida’s oldest restaurant. Starting as a 1920’s casino and rum running speakeasy, this restaurant is on an island off Lighthouse Point and can only be reached by Cap’s motor launch from their parking lot on mainland Florida. Cap’s Place offers casual waterfront dining with fresh native seafood including snapper, cobia, stone crab, and Caribbean lobster. Make sure you save room for their tangy key lime pie. Cap’s Place is located halfway between West Palm Beach and Miami, just north of Fort Lauderdale. The combination of fresh South Florida cuisine and its unique history attracts notables from Al Capone and Winston Churchill to Joe Namath. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday at 5:30pm with the first launch leaving at 5:20. Reservations are recommended. (

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Nick’s 50’s Diner Crispy Mushroom Bao Bun KaPow Noodle Bar KaPow Noodle Bar – West Palm Beach, FL Red Chili KaPow Noodle Bar Cap’s Place - Lighthouse Point, FL Key Lime Pie Cap’s Place Lighthouse Point, FL
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Fort Lauderdale, FL - Southport Raw Bar

Do you like to eat where locals eat? When you visit Fort Lauderdale, do not miss Southport Raw Bar. They have been feeding locals for 50 years from their Cordova Road location. They are open 7:30am to 11:00pm daily serving breakfast, seafood, salads, sandwiches, and hoagies. They offer indoor as well as patio dining overlooking the waterway, with live music seven days a week. One major attraction is the oysters. If you are an oyster lover, you can get them fried, baked or raw on the half shell. They also offer steamed, baked, and fried clams and shrimp. Southport Raw Bar is child-friendly and pet-friendly. You can arrive by boat or car. (

Midtown Miami, FL - Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop

Any foodie visit to Miami must include a Cuban sandwich and Cuban espresso, called Cortadito (a sweet Cuban coffee that’s half espresso and half milk). If you are in Midtown Miami, Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop is the place to try them. Located on the edge of the Wynwood neighbourhood, this is an unassuming little cafe. Enriqueta’s is open from 7:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Saturday serving breakfast and lunch with a distinct Cuban flair. Their menu is extensive, although most people order Cuban sandwiches, pan con bistec especial (a steak sandwich with cheese, tomatoes, onions, and crispy potatoes sticks) or sandwich pollo especial (the chicken version). There is a walk-up takeaway window, where patrons can order anything from the menu to go. Cortadito is only $1.00 from the takeaway window.

Hollywood, FL - Le Tub

Wedged between the intracoastal and A1A in Hollywood FL, Le Tub Saloon has been serving up burgers, hot dogs, and fresh seafood for 32 years. In 2006, GQ magazine named their burger #1 in the United States. Their burgers are made with 13 ounces of top ground sirloin beef. They are made to order and served on a bun with American or Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Add an order of French fries and a cold drink for a complete meal. Enjoy this deliciousness as you watch the boats cruise up and down the intracoastal. Everything is made in house including their chili, salad dressing and key lime pie. Make sure you take time to admire the interesting décor, all created by the owner, where many of the tables have bathtubs as their base. (

Miami, FL - CVI.CHE 105

With five locations including Downtown Miami, South Beach-Lincoln Road, Aventura Mall and Dadeland Mall, CVI.CHE 105 is known for a large selection of fresh ceviche as well as Peruvian dishes. If you are not familiar with Peruvian food, your waiter can make recommendations. Ceviche is the centrepiece of the menu. You will find all types of seafood and citrus combinations in the ceviche. There are many large plates that are easily shareable, as well as rolls, rice dishes and tacus (a fried rice and bean dish). The décor has a stylish, tropical vibe. That tropical vibe carries over into their cocktail offerings. CVI.CHE 105 is open 12pm to 10:30pm daily. Reservations are recommended. ( UA

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Southport Raw Bar – Ft. Lauderdale, FL Le Tub Saloon, Hollywood, FL Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop, Miami, FL CVI.CHE 105, Miami, FL

Off the Beaten Path

Get Away to North Caicos: Ecological, Historical, Agricultural

Photographs Courtesy Of TCI Tourist Board, Turks & Caicos National Trust

There is a new experience taking shape in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), and while the path for this amazing trail which slices through a turquoise ocean is drawing hundreds of city slickers to an entrancing twin island escape, the way never wears thin. North Caicos and Middle Caicos have just gotten a modern cruise port. Islanders are boastfully proud of this maritime advancement which now enhances the arrival appeal to their communities.

You won’t see the mega liners which bring massive numbers of tourists to explore and experience cultures; what you will find is a more boutique centre which rolls out an impressive welcome mat to TCI’s two largest islands.

Ferries make as many as eight 25-minute trips a day. Choose TCI Ferry or My Girl – both casting off from the Walkin Marina – for the best way to journey to the twin islands from Providenciales.

For around $65 per adult and $40 per child (under nine years old), round trip, it is an exhilarating ride which gives uninterrupted views of other small islands, quiet sandy beach coves and unspoiled wetland habitats.

You will need a hat, shades, sunscreen, reusables like bags and bottles for storing your eats, souvenirs, water, and bug spray, maybe even a couple of cans of it. The mosquitoes can pack a punch, so you will need to armour-up to keep them at bay.

Also bring those lost smiles and giggles, an empty tummy – because the food is fantastic – and an insatiable curiosity to fill up on the myriad of experiences the two “greenest” islands roll out over 32 miles; said to be the longest drive in the country.

Once you’re into the new port at Bellfield Landing, you will need to meet the natives. According to Jas Walkin, the new district commissioner of North Caicos, who acquiesced to take us on the tour, this goes beyond the cordial islanders to a famous fella known simply as “The Big Dude”.

Fully loaded, maybe even overloaded, The Big Dude, is a rum cocktail concoction where parental discretion is advised.

Breakfast at Hog Road Restaurant at the port at Bellfield Landing may also be an essential start; it helps you to fuel up on island delicacies prepared using fresh North Caicos produce, before hitting the road in your cool, rental vehicle.

There are at least six car rental options on North Caicos. You can find these online prior to taking off from Provo. Rentals vary in size and prices start at $75 per day. Make sure you collect your map as it uncorks the opportunities for sightseeing with directions on how to get to the very best spots.

The DC or district commissioner, who is the equivalent of being the mayor of the island, recommends that you get started in the past at Wade’s Green Slave Plantation.

It is one of the best preserved and largest slave ruins in the Caribbean. Hid beneath a canopy, it offers a foot tour, guided by the Turks and Caicos National Trust officers who are the guardians of this and other heritage sites.

You will need about an hour here and it’s a mere five-minute drive from the dock.

North Caicos is an anomaly; a far cry from the arid islands more south in the chain, it is considered the farming capital. The greenest of this breadbasket island is the community of Kew, which claims the most rainfall per year. There, you will find the government farm.

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Cottage Pond, Sandy Point, North Caicos

Walkin says you must drop by for a visit and stock up on your fruits and vegetables, especially if you plan to do some cooking in a longer-than-a-day stay. A half-hour at the farm will certainly put you in the mood to wet your whistle and minutes away is Barracuda Bar at Pelican Beach Resort; and better than the drinks is the native food with a cracked conch special that rivals even the best anywhere!

We keep on going and it means a departure from Whitby in North Caicos for a journey to Sandy Point where a natural wonder sits shrouded. Cottage Pond is one of the most photographed spots in North, perfect for a selfie, but be careful when turning your back on the intriguing pond. Legend has it, there are mermaids staring out at you from just beneath the surface and it is bottomless with no one able to tell what happens if you go or fall in.

Flamingo Pond is another natural wonder. There, you can find 60-80 regal Caribbean flamingos fraternizing, especially during the rainy season between May and June.

Photographers, this is where you slip on your zoom lens in order to get a good shot of our pink-feathered natives who prefer to keep their distance.

Flamingo Restaurant nearby opens on weekends and according to Walkin, there is no place better for island cakes and breads and the souses are impeccably delicious. Don’t forget to ask about the peas soup and dough or island crab ‘n’ rice.

Time for shopping and souvenirs and you can find this at Horse Stable Beach Community Centre. You will come across market vendors on site. And new to the area is the romantic botanical park, Casuarina Gardens.

According to the DC, we are going to keep travelling west where Ms. B’s Restaurant offers a more expansive native food menu and specializes in fried and steamed fish, peas ‘n’ grits and boiled fish. It’s a popular dine-in or takeout eatery which also caters functions.

There are chances along the way to make pit stops; Texaco gas station, Auto Box mechanic shop; and at My Dee’s Plaza, there is a Nique’s Mart, grocery, and novelty store; a well-stocked liquor store and even fishing supplies for the

anglers making the twin island journey. Need a charger or battery for your electronic devices? An IT store will get you reconnected.

My Dee’s Restaurant is another palate pleaser, and, on Fridays, the BBQ Night fête draws residents and guests to a terrific mixer in droves; it has now become an anticipated tradition.

In Major Hill is where you find a quaint accommodation, Bed of Roses. Nightly rates are affordable and just beyond the guest residence is the dock. Often, kayaking excursions launch from the area and Walkin says the fishing is unbeatable.

Club Titters, established in the 1980s, is one of the oldest businesses in North Caicos and it sits still in Major Hill. Reopened in 2022, it is famous for dynamite finger foods and is a treasured hangout for the colourful and comical characters of the island.

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Flamingos gather at Flamingo Pond, North Caicos
Wade’s Green Plantation

Gardiner Service Station is there for the refuel and for the curious foodie; and Princess Take Out is there for the juicy burgers and its famous Barbeque Shark.

Cool off at Parrot Ice, a fun photo stop where you get tasty ice cream and hot dogs and enter Bottle Creek or “the creek” where you find Tee’s Grocery, My Dee’s Grocery or the largest market for the twins, Dard’s Grocery, which also has a money transfer service, thanks to NCS and MoneyGram.

You’re again all clear for take-off! Windsor east, still in Bottle Creek, North Caicos is home to the brand-new promenade. Clinging to the picturesque creek, the fabulous stroll unravels along a spread of stalls featuring cultural fare, including authentic island souvenirs and native cuisine.

The best Pastelitos in the country can also be found at the new promenade; a tasty, flaky dough blanketing beef or chicken or cheese and when in season, lobster, are ideal for the road from Jan’s Take Out as you wave goodbye to the impressive island of North Caicos.

The green isle is but one half of an unforgettable breakaway and for those who have an insatiable appetite for the mystical, continue west to Toby Rock. There, you will find a stunningly striking free-to-cross causeway; it’s the gateway to the country’s largest island of Middle Caicos, a quiet beauty with layers of experiences still being unearthed and it’s only a few minutes away. UA

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Wade’s Green Plantation Ruin A lane created by slaves at Wade’s Green Plantation The one-mile North to Middle Caicos Causeway


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University of The Bahamas (UB), today, stands as a beacon for national transformation, but from its inception as the College of The Bahamas (COB) almost 50 years ago, the institution has been a tool for the sustainable development of The Bahamas and increasing this nation’s prosperity and competitiveness.

In a bold testament of exactly how connected the institution is to economic and social vitality, UB’s mission has the direct aim of supporting and driving national development. Over the years, UB has been embracing this paradigm in evolving academic affairs, deliberate strategies to enhance access to tertiary education, and an increased focus on internationalization. Students and university system have benefitted in the process.

In May 2023, almost 600 graduates joined the UB alumni community of more than 22,000, adding to the number of persons with a solid university education who are equipped to fill roles in areas of national need, drive innovation in traditional and emerging sectors, advance the country on the global stage, and give birth to their own businesses. This new era is marked by an intentional pursuit of continual improvement to increase UB’s capacity to deliver on a vital mission that is enshrined in the UB Act, 2016.

When she recently addressed the institution’s role in national development and preparing for a global future, Chair of the Board of Trustees Allyson Maynard-Gibson KC stated that the nation’s forefathers believed that education was essential to achieve individual aspirations and fulfill dynamic national needs and priorities. Higher education is unquestionably a tool for transformation, she asserted, warning that the institution could not afford to rest on its laurels.

“The Bahamas has the highest number of Rhodes Scholars per capita in the world. We have Academy Award and Grammy Award recipients. We have seen achievements in the highest levels in athletics,” she told and audience at UB’s Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre.

“We have made enormous strides in performance in myriad other areas, causing the world to mark the manner of our bearing. Our nation must continue raising our bar so that each of our citizens can achieve her or his full potential.”

The road to progress has incorporated UB expanding in key academic areas. For instance, new graduate degree programmes have been initiated in a wide range of business concentrations and in education. New masters degrees are also being rolled out in nursing, public administration, law, and counselling. The university offers well over 60 academic programmes in both New Providence and Grand Bahama. The vast majority of them are baccalaureate degree offerings including those with a specific focus on small island sustainability, a necessity considering the extraordinary threat of climate change and other crises.

In recent years, the university has had to pivot like the rest of the world, leveraging technology to enhance operational efficiency and extend access to those who were eager for a university education. UB officials have said that they will continue to increase digitalization. In another key area, many partnerships with higher education institutions around the world have been forged to pave the way for student exchanges, faculty and staff engagements and research collaborations.

UB announced in May that it signed its first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a partner institution in Africa – the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. The MoU allows for the development of academic and cultural exchanges, research activities, training, workshops, and staff development collaborations.

Increasing impact in the northern Bahamas, and Grand Bahama in particular, is still a priority. The recently acquired Kipling Complex in downtown Freeport will be transformed into the new UB-North campus,

envisioned as the nucleus for STEM-based academic programmes and to catalyze entrepreneurship and innovation. The existing UB-North facility in East Grand Bahama, severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, is tapped to be a hub for marine and environmental science a focus that is well-placed considering the devastation that severe hurricane have wrought on the island.

Resilience remains the watchword even as reinvention continues to occur. In an editorial that UB President Dr. Erik Rolland wrote, he noted that the demands for upskilling and higher education in general have shifted, mirroring the new expectations of those who are seeking new skills and degrees. He expressed optimism in a message that was future-focused.

“At this juncture, as UB embraces being a progressive academic community, we are building for further excellence through a stringent system of quality assurance and improvements. Developing our human resources and gaining national and international accreditation is a key part of that journey,” Dr. Rolland said.

Such a journey for UB is one that remains inextricably linked with the broader national trek. It is a connection forged at the very inception of the institution when legislation gave birth to the former COB in 1976 and amalgamated the Bahamas Teachers’ College, San Salvador Teachers’ College, C. R. Walker Technical College and the Sixth Form Programme of The Government High School.

By 1978, 30 per cent of college graduates earned associate degrees while 70 per cent received diplomas and certificates. Back then, COB had almost 2,000 students and 130 faculty members. Baccalaureate programmes were offered to students for the first time in 1991.

By the time the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan, From College to University: Building the Nation through Education, was drafted, it reflected a large shift in how the College Council and leaders of the institution viewed the design and importance of the institution. The document articulated strategic goals and a mission aligned with the development of The Bahamas. It also outlined a broad framework to bring about the university which was eventually chartered on 10th November 2016.

The growth that has occurred since then is undeniably. In 2022, bachelor degree awardees comprised 82% of the total 2022 Commencement Class. In 2023, bachelor degree awardees comprised 83% of total graduates. Student enrolment is approximately 4,000, representing 21 nationalities and 36% are first-generation university students. Today, the institution continues to build on a legacy of impact and rich heritage as it stands on the cusp of its golden anniversary in 2024.

Perhaps nowhere is that impact more discernible than in the diversity of distinguished alumni who are serving in national and international roles of influence. A UB alumna is the first woman to serve as the Director General of tourism; the nation’s Deputy Prime Minister is a graduate of UB; a UB graduate is a professor at Yale University. Further, in the legislative branch of government, 44% of the members of the upper and lower chambers call UB their alma mater.

With each deliberate step, UB is not only fulfilling the dream of a hopeful nation, but cultivating the excellence that will respond to pressing challenges and create new opportunities for growth.

“UB is not an annex to the Bahamian story; it is at the heart of it and always will be. Visionary trailblazers paved the way for us to take the baton and position UB to be a catalyst for Bahamians to achieve the limitless potential that will carry us forward, nationally and internationally, to the next 50 years and beyond,” said Maynard-Gibson.

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As a yoga teacher of almost 10 years, a trip to India is expected. A chance to immerse myself in the practice and philosophy that encompasses my life, work, and joy. An opportunity to dig deeper into the history of this ancient union of mind, body, and breath. And it definitely lived in the back of my brain from the inception of my practice. However, after practicing and teaching for almost a decade, it drifted farther and farther away as I focused on building my career. While this time served me well for growing a successful platform, I found myself taking up residence in the doomed comfort zone – mindlessly doing the same thing every day, taking no risks, and basking in all that was already thought to be known and understood, and, all the while, unfortunately, slowly losing my fire and passion. So, something had to be done.

I started this year intending to show up for myself as authentically as possible. My goals were to work on giving myself more grace and learning how to hold space for my growth. One of the most significant elements of this, aside from setting boundaries and learning to say “no”, was to willingly immerse myself in new, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable situations. This journey was undoubtedly rooted in my desire to reawaken my vulnerability, passion and zeal and ultimately resulted in booking a three-week trip to Goa, India. Now, this was more than just any three-week trip. I booked an Ashtanga Yoga-intensive retreat hosted by two of the best Ashtanga teachers in the industry. While Ashtanga wasn’t new to me, it had always been a style of yoga that intrigued me. I practiced it from time to time but would always fall back into my more available styles to seek refuge from the trials and tribulations that came with trying something new – i.e., completely sucking, being confused, and just wanting to give up. This year, though, I was committed to making this my personal style of yoga – something I could work on for myself, not as a teacher but as a student.

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga is a dynamic and athletic form of Hatha yoga, comprising six series or levels with a fixed order of postures. It is rooted in vinyasa, the flowing movements between poses, focusing on energy and breath. While it is a highly physical practice, it promotes mental clarity and inner peace. Commonly noted as one of the

From Nassau to Goa with Love

most challenging styles of yoga to practice, Ashtanga encompasses willpower, failure, consistency, and patience.

With, that being said, this was an intensive three-week journey to come. My trip began with a quick flight from Nassau to Miami, followed by a lengthy eight-hour layover riddled with nerves and excitement. However, I am always grateful for the easy access to international destinations from Nassau or a short hop away in Miami. So, after a hearty lunch and a few impulsive buys (new books and a pair of Apple AirMax Pro headphones), my journey continued from Miami to Doha, Qatar, then on to Goa, India – a total of 20 flying hours.

I landed in Goa around 2am. Almost instantly, I felt a kaleidoscope of butterflies in my stomach. I could not believe I was actually here – I was in India! Arrival was a breeze, and not long after, I was in a taxi to my stay for the night at Bogmallo Beach Resort. The hospitality from landing straight to the hotel lobby was absolutely unmatched. I felt safe, secure, and welcomed. Even though it was pitch-black when I made it to my room, I could hear that the ocean was nearby. So close, I could smell it – salty, crisp, and fresh air. I could barely sleep and probably got in about two hours of rest, and I awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to explore. My first day in Goa began with a beachside brunch at the hotel and moved right into an hour-long taxi ride to my destination for the remainder of the trip – Purple Valley Yoga Centre.

The trek from South to North Goa was filled with eye-opening sights. First and most importantly – cows. So many cows. Big ones, small ones, brown ones, black ones, even white ones – just lots of cows. And this brought me so much joy because I absolutely love cows. The cows roam through the streets independently, stopping traffic to cross the roads, graze in nearby fields, and simply lounging around. The surrounding areas are filled with tall coconut and jackfruit trees planted in this clay-like soil reminiscent of terracotta. The smell of incense, burning wood, and Indian spices consumed the air. We spent quite some time in traffic between the south and north. I have never seen so many types of motorists on a highway: cars, bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, and even donkeys. It was an exhilarating journey. The side streets were filled with fruit and clothing vendors, and kids giggling while they played.

Upon arriving to Purple Valley, I checked into my room and prepared for the coming weeks. The first day was a full-on immersion into the foundation of

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Alexandra Out and About in Goa, India

Ashtanga Yoga. It was complex and challenging and had me second-guessing my choices. But by day four, I noticed changes in my practice – mentally and physically. Finally, I was ready to go all in. We practiced every day except Saturdays, with additional workshops three days weekly. Before going to India, I had fallen into a comfort zone rut – my practice mainly consisted of postures I was familiar with or really good at. I didn’t invite much sweat or risk into my personal practice. And this is why I chose to immerse myself in an Ashtanga-intensive course. I yearned for the discipline and passion I had when I first stepped foot onto my yoga mat. I longed for the vulnerability to make mistakes, move through the unknown, and be totally OK with it.

After the first week, I got into the swing of things – early rising, daily meditation, and yoga practice: discipline. And all the while, still mesmerized by the fact that I was in India. In addition to finding a regimen, I also made connections on and off the mat. Between classes, the friends I made along the way, and I explored restaurants, markets, and nearby towns. North Goa has some of the best culinary experiences I have ever had – boasting cuisines from across the globe. Some of my favourite spots were Gunpowder, internationally recognized as one of Goa’s best restaurants; Fig and Maple, a quaint European fusion cafe; and Black Sheep, an edgy bar spot in Panjim. Panjim has cobblestone streets with colourful villas and Portuguese colonial era buildings. A definite sight to see! The markets were decked out with live music, a plethora of food trucks and tents, and loads of arts and crafts from local vendors. I purchased cardamom, fenugreek seeds, curry powders, and cinnamon. And some of the softest cotton and silkiest silks I’ve ever felt.

The days flew by, and it was time to head home before I knew it. In those three weeks, I shared my practice with so many other beautiful souls, but I also shared laughs, meals, drinks, aches, and pains (from practice!), and, of course, memories.

The intention behind my trip to India was to build discipline and advance my practice, but I came out of it with so much more than that. Ultimately, yoga is a catalyst. It’s a catalyst for connection and transformation on and off your mat. With this practice, it’s essential to be open to grow and to give grace and hold space, and this trip showed me that this applies not only to yourself but also to the soul bonds you create and manifest along the way. I came into this solely focused on myself and my path – how will I build discipline? How am I going to advance my practice? My teaching? But instead, I learned the importance of making connections through friends, experiences, and creating memories. And in turn, that showed me the results of stepping outside my comfort zone, holding space, and giving myself grace.

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? I encourage you to dive deep into the unknown and bask in the vulnerability of doing something for the first time.

Maybe you start here with this foundational sequence of Yoga, Sun Salutation A.

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Bogmallo Beach Resort Alexandra and Colleague Posing Cows in The Streets of Goa, India

Sun Salutation A

1 and 12

1 - Mountain Pose - Tadasana

1. Big toes touch with a slight space between your heels or feet hip width distance.

2. Balance your weight evenly through your feet with widespread toes.

3. Lift the kneecaps, without locking the knees and slightly turn the inner thighs inward.

4. Find a neutral pelvis as you stand tall.

5. Draw your floating ribs slightly in and your shoulders back and down to open your chest.

6. Ears are in line with your shoulders, lift up through the crown of your head.

7. Soften your jaw and forehead.

2 and 11

2 - Upward Salute - Urdhva Hastasana

1. Big toes touch with a slight space between your heels or feet hip width distance.

2. Balance your weight evenly through your feet with widespread toes.

3. Lift the kneecaps, without locking the knees and slightly turn the inner thighs inward.

4. Find a neutral pelvis as you stand tall.

5. Draw your floating ribs slightly in and your shoulders back and down to open your chest.

6. Ears over shoulders, lift up through the crown of your head.

7. Lift your arms up overhead and join your palms.

8. Gaze up towards your thumbs.

3 and 10

3 - Forward Fold - Uttanasana

1. Lift up and out of your pelvis to fold forward.

2. Hinge from your hips and engage your core.

3. Bring a slight micro-bend to your knees and avoid locking out.

4. Shift your weight to the middle of your feet.

5. Bring energy and awareness to your quadriceps.

Modify: Bend your knees more and rest your stomach over the top of thighs if you feel discomfort in your hamstrings.

4 and 9

4 - Halfway Lift - Ardha Uttanasana

1. Fingertips rest on the mat, blocks, or the front of your shins.

2. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and down your back to release tension in your neck. Keep your weight to the center of your feet, toes rooted into the mat.

3. Lengthen through your spine as you gaze down and slightly forward.

Modify: Bend your knees and rest your stomach over your thighs and gaze forward.


5 - Plank - Phalakasana

1. Think of a line of energy that aligns from your head to your hips to your heels.

2. Push back through your heels.

3. Engage your legs as you lift your thighs from your kneecaps.

4. Hug your belly into your spine - do not suck in and hold your breath.

5. Keep your neck long as you reach the crown of your head forward.

6. Spread your fingers and root them into your mat to encourage the upper back to flatten and stretch.

7. Shoulders over wrists or slightly forward.

8. Gaze between the hands or slightly forward.

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Modify: Lower your knees and slightly shift forward to engage your core. FROM NASSAU TO GOA WITH LOVE

6 - Four Limbed Staff Pose - Chaturanga

1. Step back to a plank.

2. Lower halfway and gaze over the tip of the nose or slightly forward.

3. Hug elbows into your sides as you shift forward slightly to find elbows stacked over wrists at 90-degree angles.

4. Draw shoulders away for your ears and spread them wide across your back.

5. Send the crown of your head forward to lengthen your spine.

Modify: Lower your knees and lift your feet as you shift forward and lower down halfway. Hug elbows into the midline and stack elbows over wrists. Gaze forward as you push shoulders back.

8 - Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

1. Step back with your body.

2. Toes point to the front of the mat and heels reach towards the mat.

3. Lift your quadriceps up from your kneecaps.

4. Lengthen your sitting bones to the ceiling.

5. Relax your shoulders down on your back and draw them away from each other to encourage a flat back.

6. Push your palms away from you as you spread wide through rooted fingers.

9 - Halfway Lift - Ardha Uttanasana

1. Fingertips rest on the mat, blocks, or the front of your shins.

2. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and down your back to release tension in your neck. Keep your weight to the center of your feet, toes rooted into the mat.

3. Lengthen through your spine as you gaze down and slightly forward. Modify: Bend your knees and rest your stomach over your thighs and gaze forward.

10 - Forward Fold - Uttanasana

1. Lift up and out of your pelvis to fold forward.

2. Hinge from your hips and engage your core.

3. Bring a slight micro-bend to your knees and avoid locking out.

4. Shift your weight to the middle of your feet.

5. Bring energy and awareness to your quadriceps.

Modify: Bend your knees more and rest your stomach over the top of thighs if you feel discomfort in your hamstrings.

11 - Upward Salute - Urdhva Hastasana

1. Big toes touch with a slight space between your heels or feet hip width distance.

2. Balance your weight evenly through your feet with widespread toes.

3. Lift the kneecaps, without locking the knees and slightly turn the inner thighs inward.

4. Find a neutral pelvis as you stand tall.

5. Draw your floating ribs slightly in and your shoulders back and down to open your chest.

7 - Upward Facing Dog - Urdvha Mukha Svanasana

1. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and lift your legs.

2. Legs stay engaged and active, knees, thighs and hips are off of the floor.

3. Pull shoulder blades towards each other and down your back as you press your heart center forward.

4. Lengthen the lower back and elongate your neck as you extend through the crown of your head.

5. Wrists are stacked underneath your shoulders and fingers rooted into the mat with hands shoulder width.

Modify: Low Cobra. Your legs are to the floor, engage your legs as you press the tops of the feet into your mat. Palms come underneath the shoulders as you lift up pressing forward with your chest and draw shoulders back. Your pelvis stays rooted into the mat. Elbows hug into your sides.

6. Ears over shoulders, lift up thand join your palms.

8. Gaze up towards your thumbs.

12 - Mountain Pose - Tadasana

1. Big toes touch with a slight space between your heels or feet hip width distance.

2. Balance your weight evenly through your feet with widespread toes.

3. Lift the kneecaps, without locking the knees and slightly turn the inner thighs inward.

4. Find a neutral pelvis as you stand tall.

5. Draw your floating ribs slightly in and your shoulders back and down to open your chest.

6. Ears over shoulders, lift up through the crown of your head.

8. Soften your jaw and forehead. UA

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7 8

Bahamas Civil Aviation On Course to a Bright Future.

On behalf of our board members, management, flight safety and security inspectorate, and our entire team at the Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas (CAA-B), I welcome you on board the national flag carrier Bahamasair and wish you a pleasant flight and stay in The Bahamas. I congratulate the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and its citizenry, on its 50th anniversary of independence.

Aviation has soared to new and dizzying heights in the past 50 years. Technical advances and innovations in aviation over this period have led to astonishing growth in commercial and general aviation, air travel around the world which is now more accessible than ever to mankind. Indeed, The Bahamas has experienced substantial growth in its domestic and international commercial and general aviation sectors. The Bahamas is to be congratulated in becoming a regional leader in these sectors.

At present, there are 36 Bahamian-owned commercial air carriers (AOC’s) in operation, and nearly 300 foreign air carriers who collectively provide airlift to, from and/or within The Bahamas to 28 government-owned Aerodromes and nearly as many privately owned Aerodromes. The Bahamas is witnessing an unprecedented influx of commercial aircraft charters and privately owned aircraft transporting persons to the Islands of the Bahamas from all corners of the world as new technologies permit aircraft to fly farther, whilst also being able to operate into and from shorter runways. It is widely reported that The Bahamas is now a world leader in top destinations on the global jet set circuit, and this is clearly evident at fixed base operations at LPIA, North Eleuthera, Marsh Harbour and George Town Exuma Aerodromes.

Civil Aviation in The Bahamas is currently at the nucleus of one of the most exciting eras in the development of a modern Bahamas. The upward trajectory of The Bahamas aviation industry has been fuelled by buoyant foreign investment and increased demand for air travel in the tourism and domestic aviation sectors, which facilitates connectivity by air travel to all of our major islands, a number of our cays, and to remote spots and secluded hideaways on land and sea. Travel by seaplane and helicopter is on the rise, as is recreational aviation such as sky diving and others are being contemplated. Air cargo operations within The Bahamas have also increased dramatically. The Bahamas Government is now a regional partner in commercial space travel alongside the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and SpaceX.

The future looks bright for the aviation industry in The Bahamas. Projects for Aerodrome improvements or redevelopment are planned or already underway. Bahamian air carriers are increasing and modernizing their aircraft fleets. Specialised careers and employment opportunities in the sector have also increased.

In addition to expanding air transport networks, improvements in infrastructure and our national air carrier fleets, which have come a long way in the past 50 years, and are today more competitive, The Bahamas’ civil aviation sector remains a major pillar of support to the national economy, and, by all accounts, will continue to be one during the next 50 years, due to its direct impact on enhancing the country’s competitiveness and connectivity, as well as its critical role in supporting investment, tourism and trade.

Since its operational establishment in or about October 2017, CAA-B has strived to lay a firm foundation for restructuring, efficient regulation and enhancement of

The Bahamas’ civil aviation sector with integrity, vision, ambition and in full support of the national strategies for the sustainable development of The Bahamas.

As the state regulatory authority responsible for ensuring the safe, secure and sustainable development of The Bahamas’ civil aviation industry, in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas Act, 2021 and the Civil Aviation Act, 2021, and in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices, CAA-B is mandated and firmly committed to ensuring that our national and international air travelling public experience a safe, secure and efficient commercial air transportation system whilst in The Bahamas.

Unprecedented growth in air commercial travel will continue to bring unprecedented challenges, and the sustainability of the national and international civil aviation industries should be of concern to all stakeholders. Recent global events caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic struck our industry at its core, but we have bounced back, more resilient, and better prepared for whatever the future may have in store. A defining trait of the global civil aviation industry has been its ability to demonstrate resilience and innovation when faced with unprecedented challenges, which has led the industry to overcome crises and become the indispensable means of air transportation we travel on today, which contributes to global and national economies and now provides a level of connectivity to and within The Bahamas we should all be proud of and continue to enhance.

Aware that future challenges will no doubt come, CAA-B has strategically positioned itself to provide regulatory oversight of The Bahamas civil aviation industry to foster sound and sustainable development in the sector given our strong dependence on national and international civil aviation as the preferred choice of transportation and the critical role it plays in enhancing The Bahamas’ economy and development. In this regard, CAA-B supports sector liberalization and expansion through Air Services Agreements with other ICAO-contracting states. CAA-B appreciates that the interdependent nature of civil aviation involves a collaborative approach with industry stakeholders, which it has adopted. As part of the aviation community, CAA-B is committed to developing and implementing strategies that focus on the reduction of the environmental impact of aviation, and a more sustainable aviation sector as a common goal. CAA-B seeks to enlighten and instil confidence in the travelling public, satisfy industry requirements and update stakeholders on regulatory and other important developments and trends in aviation safety and security.

On behalf of us all at CAA-B, I want to thank all stakeholders for their continued commitment and diligence in ensuring that air travel within The Bahamas remains safe, secure and efficient for the travelling public and will remain so for the next 50 years. CAA-B looks forward to continued engagement and positive stakeholder relationships, as we strive to ensure that The Bahamas remains a world-class leader in the commercial and general aviation air transportation industry. UA

Happy 50th independence Bahamas!

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Travelling through the summer months can be quite hectic, especially when travelling with kids. Your preparations for travel should begin even before you leave the house. This time of year, is peak time for vacation travel and statistics have shown that burglaries usually increase during this season. It is important to ensure that your home is secured and that it appears as if someone is still living there when you are away. Ways you can do this is by asking a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home, ensure that all windows and doors are locked, and store all yard tools and loose equipment. If you live alone or are travelling with your entire household, do not post your travel plans on social media. Last, but not least, it’s also a great idea to have a home security system set up that you can monitor or have an alarm company monitor while you are away.

Remember to pack essentials in your carry-on with items you think you may need, such as hand sanitizers or wipes, band-aids, lotion, floss, and sunscreen. If you are someone who requires a medical alert device, test to make sure it is functioning and with you at all times. Ensure that your travel documents are checked the night before travelling and your luggage is packed and properly labelled.


This time of year, is usually when kids get to spend a lot more of their time outdoors, whether it is swimming in a pool or at the beach, playing at the park, riding a bicycle or spending time at the shopping malls. Remember to always check the weather before leaving the house to ensure that you and your family are wearing appropriate clothing. Wearing sunscreen during this season helps to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun and it’s also helpful to know the UV index, which is the level of UV radiation, if you will be outdoors for long periods during the day. If the UV index is higher than three (3), it is advised to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, wear sun-protective clothing and sunglasses and hats for added protection. For children six months and older, it is recommended to use physical or mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and avoid using chemical sunscreens which may contain more toxic chemicals like oxybenzone or octinoxate. Ideally, children under six months of age should be kept out of the sun or may be kept in the shade and covered with protective clothing and hats.

Staying hydrated is especially important during the hotter summer months, so it is vital to drink lots of water. Pack a refillable water bottle to keep you and the kids well hydrated and this will help to avoid heat-related illnesses. Warning signs of heat exhaustion may present with dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue, confusion, heart palpitations and/or nausea. If you or your child begin to experience any of these symptoms, go indoors immediately, rest in an air-conditioned room or cool, shaded area, drink lots of water and you can also sponge yourself/your child with cool water to help lower your body temperature.


Spending time in the water this time of year can be so much fun, but we must remember key water safety tips when swimming at the beach or in a pool. Firstly, be aware of your surroundings and designate an adult who is not drinking alcohol to be the “water watcher”. Ensure that there are life vests or arm bands available for kids who are not strong swimmers or who are unable to swim and stay in shallow waters. Children should never swim alone or at night. If you have a pool at home, make sure it is locked when not in use and remember to test your pool water regularly to monitor for waterborne diseases, pH changes and chlorine or bromine levels. Anyone with an open wound should refrain from using the pool or wear waterproof bandages. Do not go swimming at the beach if the waves are too rough due to the risk of drowning or if it is very late in the evening when sharks are more likely to feed.


When playing at the park, choose parks with playgrounds that have soft footing and ensure kids stick to age-appropriate equipment. Look for dangers and alert your child to any tripping hazards. It also helps to advise them to avoid any equipment that may be broken on the playground and make sure that they know how to properly use the playground equipment. Wearing the right attire and closed-toe shoes can also assist with preventing injuries. Inspect the area for bugs and other insects and it may also help to apply bug repellent to your child when necessary. It is recommended that children two months of age and older use insect repellent with a DEET concentration of about 10% to 30%.


Helmets and protective gear, such as wrist, elbow, and knee pads, should be worn to prevent and minimize injuries. Children should have adult supervision when riding their bicycle or other mobile equipment and they should be advised to be mindful of obstacles that can cause falls, such as debris, rocks, or potholes. They should also ride facing the same direction of traffic and be reminded to obey all stop signs and traffic lights.


This time of year, is also when we tend to do more shopping and prepare our kids for back to school. Remember to NEVER leave your child/children alone in your vehicle at any time if you must go into a store. It only takes about two (2) minutes for cars to heat up to lethal levels. Travel with your toddlers strapped in their car seat in the middle-backseat facing forward when driving, farthest away from airbags which may deploy in an accident. When in large, crowded malls, it may be best to travel with a push or stroller for your infant or toddler to assist with their mobility as they can get very tired walking. Educate your child/children about “stranger danger” and advise them never to talk to strangers or give out any personal details. Staying vigilant is crucial and remembering these vital points can help us stay safe while enjoying all the fun summer has to offer. Stay safe guys! We are located at #85 Robinson Road, Nassau, Bahamas, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We cater to well and sick visits, COVID-19 Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR testing, IV treatments, minor surgical procedures, and consultations to name a few. We also accept major insurances and National Health Insurance (NHI) to all qualified persons.

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“Love in Action”

Home Construction Project Justice. Compassion. Love.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Bahamas is the national office of the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church incorporated and registered in The Bahamas. We deliver relief and development assistance to individuals, regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, gender, or religious association. By partnering with local and international communities, we implement developmental projects and activities that foster positive sustainable change.

The Love in Action Project has successfully seen the completion of twenty-five housing structures in less than twelve months throughout Great Abaco and has an aim to continue these efforts to aid in the return of families affected by Hurricane Dorian through the loss of their homes. Over 75,000 persons were impacted, and thousands displaced from Abaco alone. Many persons are still displaced, living either in tents, with families, or on other islands. With the continued threat of a hurricane or other natural disaster, permanent storm-resistant and safe shelters for vulnerable community households are urgently needed. We have a growing list of over 100 families awaiting assistance, so it is our hope to provide a stable shelter environment that meets hurricane standards and mitigates future harm and damage.

When you donate towards this project, YOU, too, become a humanitarian in showing love through your actions – be it with your time, monetary donations or in-kind gifts!

Contact details:



Telephone: 1-242-361-ADRA (2372)

Whatsapp: 1-242-812-ADRA (2372)

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INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS For Business Continuity

In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco. The monstrous storm reached Category 5 level according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. In the case of Hurricane Dorian, winds reached 185 miles per hour and sea surges topped 20 feet, making it the strongest hurricane on record to hit The Bahamas and listed among the most powerful tropical systems ever observed in the Atlantic Ocean. The aftermath was pure devastation on so many levels in so many areas of society.

A part of that aftermath was unemployment and business closures. The Bahamian government, at that time, estimated that the cost of infrastructure damage topped over $450 million. For that reason, programs were established to make the process of restarting a business easier, cheaper, and faster. Still, The Bahamas is trying to get a steady footing.

In The Bahamas, the typical natural disasters include hurricanes and, as of late, tornadoes. With the issue of climate change, it is likely for the intensity of these environmental dangers to increase.

What does this mean for businesses? Open Systems Technologies International’s Peter Bridgewater recommends using our cloud-based document management solution called DocuWare, more specifically, the DocuWare Cloud. He said using the DocuWare Cloud will enable continuity for businesses for their important documents.

“Having multiple plans for business documents backup is important,” he told Up and Away magazine. “Many businesses use fireproof cabinets to protect important documents that make their company business documents unprotected and are not resilient to disasters like Dorian. But what if a hurricane washes your cabinets out into the ocean? Or what if a tornado or the continuing effects of climate change [destroy your cabinets]? With those two natural disasters, cabinets would become untraceable because they would be, well... lost and destroyed.”

Open Systems Technologies International (Bahamas) Limited is a company with more than 50 years’ experience, providing IT solutions tailored to each business for more than 20 years in knowledge management. Those solutions include an array of professionally managed services for knowledge/content management, customer journey management, cybersecurity, identity verification, business continuity and disaster recovery.

“DocuWare offers a secure, safe way to store and access your digitized business documents such as contracts, financial records, and employee information. Without these safeguards, the incalculable cost of manual data recovery, business shutdown and competitive and legal exposure can damage organizations permanently,” Bridgewater added.

He noted that a solution such as DocuWare Cloud is imperative for keeping businesses going strong, despite environmental factors, while at the same time, protects against ransomware.

The DocuWare Cloud dedicated data centres are strategically located globally to replicate and store data three times. That means companies will have their data backup in multiple locations. The backup strategy enables the recovery of documents and data that protects your company to literally last forever. How can that not spark your interest?

“DocuWare Cloud reliably guarantees the security, protection, and recoverability of customer data,” the technology company president explained. “It supports customers in their compliance efforts as well as by applying regional data sovereignty protection laws. Data protection through technology design has always been a fundamental principle at DocuWare. DocuWare is also tested regularly and certified by independent third-party institutions.”

In May 2023, Open Systems Technologies International (Bahamas) Limited qualified as a Gold Partner of Kaseya + datto’s Global Partner Program. Kaseya is a “premier provider of unified IT management and security software solutions for cybersecurity along with ransomware data protection”. Datto unified continuity solutions offer innovative cloud backup and data sovereignty for businesses.

Bridgewater said Open Systems Technologies International will continue to invest in technology and keep up with global trends to the benefit of its customers for the ease of doing business.

“Our company is all about helping businesses to be aware of the importance of business continuity and cybersecurity protection of their data from ransomware,” he said. “At the end of the day, our company’s goal is stated in its mission to provide ‘Innovative Technology for a Global Marketplace’.”

For more information, visit UA

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Peter C. Bridgewater, President/CEO DocuWare Cloud For Disaster Recovery

The Formidable Government House

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Photographs Courtesy of Kemuel Stubbs

The 10-acre estate of Mount Fitzwilliam is the official residence of the governor general and comprises the Office of the Governor General. For visitors, it is marvel and a clear indication of British influence still prominent in the architecture of many buildings in Nassau.

Historians recount that Mount Fitzwilliam was named for a former owner – Richard Fitzwilliam – who was governor from 1733 to 1738.

The site was purchased by The Crown in 1800 for £4,000.00.

The mansion has undergone many changes over the years. The original structure was built during the administration of John Halkett who served as governor from 1801 to 1804.

In 1907, the East Wing was added to house the offices (ground floor) and grand ballroom (upstairs). Badly damaged by a hurricane, the East Wing was replaced by a new structure in 1909.

A subsequent hurricane in 1929 also caused substantial damage to the building leading to it once again be rebuilt.

Over the years, the structure was given a new façade, including a carport, as well as improved entry and hallways. It was ready for occupancy by Governor Sir Bede and Lady Clifford in 1932.

Additional quarters in the West Wing (now known as the Windsor Wing) were constructed to accommodate the personal staff of the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VII of Great Britain, and governor of The Bahamas from 1940 to 1944.

During 1964, considerable renovation was carried out, at which time the office accommodation on the ground floor of the East Wing was also remodelled.

In 1977, the roof of the patio on the south side of the building was added to facilitate the accommodation for the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in October of that year.

During the governorship of Sir Orville Turnquest from 1995 to 2001, there were also many renovations and refurbishments carried out.

Though there were many changes, one thing remained – the original, solid, seemingly impenetrable outside walls.

Government House has been known to host many royal figures such as Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip; King Charles III; Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips; Princess Margaret; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Catherine; and Prince Harry amongst others.

Additionally, the mansion has seen the likes of President of the United States John F. Kennedy; Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill; President of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kuanda; President of South Africa Nelson Mandela; and President of Mexico Vincente Fox amongst many others.

With its vast gardens and ample patio space, Government House is also host to many special civic and social events, especially those hosted by the government.

The house comprises a main entrance hall and grand staircase, drawing room, library, dining room, bedroom suite for the governor general, and three main guest suites in the Windsor Wing to accommodate family members and household staff.

Government House also hosts schoolchildren, so that they can learn more about the functions of Bahamian government.

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Government House with Royal Bahamas Defence Force Officers Government House


A must-see attraction at Government House is the Changing of the Guard. It usually takes place every second Saturday of the month. The brief, but delightful 15-minute display features the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, while the Royal Bahamas Defence Force is the actual guard of the mansion. As the new guard comes in, the old guard marches out with the police force.


The governor general has an important role to play in Bahamian society as the representative of the British monarch. While The Bahamas is independent, it remains a Commonwealth of Britain, and practices the conventions of the Westminster system.

The governor general is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister of The Bahamas. He or she, who usually carries the title of sir or dame,

is responsible for appointing ministers of government, judges, and ambassadors, giving royal assent to legislation passed by Parliament and dissolving and issuing writs for election.

In certain circumstances, the governor general also has reserve powers which gives him or her power to appoint a prime minister if an election has resulted in a ‘hung Parliament’; dismiss the prime minister who has lost the confidence of the Parliament; dismiss any minister acting unlawfully; and refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the prime minister.

According to records, there have been 11 serving governors general and four acting governors general. The longest serving governor general, to date, is Sir Orville Turnquest, who served for nearly seven years.

The first governor general was Sir Milo Butler, and the incumbent is Sir Cornelius A. Smith. UA

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Royal Bahamas Defence Force Marching Band
Royal Bahamas Police Force Marching Band


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OPPORTUNITY SERIOUS ENQUIRIES ONLY CONTACT ON BEHALF OF OWNER PROPERTY FOR SALE BY OWNER Amenable to the development of marina facilities Approximately 260 acres 15 minute drive south of Rock Sound Airport Salina (Salt Pond) in the middle of the property 300 feet of waterfront with beach access 242.427.9871 /
of Brent Turnquest
Photographs courtesy

Natural Attractions

Central Florida’s Nature Spaces Draw in Visitors

Some of Orlando’s oldest attractions have nothing to do with roller coasters or 3-D rides. Tranquil lakes, forests, and ponds filled with water lilies are home to hundreds of species of birds, reptiles and mammals that called the area home long before tourists arrived. Head to some of these natural attractions to experience the thrill of the real, wild Florida without the high prices and long lines of theme parks.


Visitors flock to this iconic Florida state park 45 miles north of Orlando for the famous Old Sugar Mill Pancake House. Inside this 100-year-old wooden replica of a sugar mill, guests feast on unlimited “build your own pancakes” which they cook on their own griddle at the table.

The waterside restaurant has stunning views over the springs; do not forget your swimsuit for a post-meal swim. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, snorkels, and paddleboards. With a paved nature trail and plenty of bird watching, you could easily spend the day. Make sure to arrive early, as the park often reaches capacity and visitors will be turned away when the park is full.

Insider Tip: Put your name on the restaurant’s waitlist and take a 50-minute Fountain of Youth boat tour through the park and nearby Lake Woodruff Wildlife Refuge. You will not lose your spot and you will learn more about how the park got its name and the animals that call it home.


A favourite for locals and visitors alike, the clear 72-degree emerald water of Wekiwa Springs is a great way to cool off in the summer. You can swim in the springs, picnic near the shore, or enjoy hiking or biking on nearby trails. Canoe and kayak rentals are available in the park and paddling down the nearby river is a great way to see nature unfold. Turtles swim next to your boat, gators sun themselves on the riverbank and herons are easily spotted fishing for their dinner. There is no better way to get the feel for wild Florida so close to Orlando.

Insider Tip: Rent a canoe and paddle down the river to Wekiva Island for lunch at Without a Paddle Café or a cold drink at the Tooting Otter. Checkout Gallery CERO on this tiny island; just remember to paddle back before the afternoon thunderstorms.


Hop on a bike or stroll along one of Orlando’s most popular urban trails. Stretching 23 miles, this well-maintained pathway winds its way through neighbourhoods, small towns, and green spaces. If you are lucky, you may see a peacock, armadillo, or bobcat on the trail. Take in the scent of blooming citrus trees, and look for banana trees, bamboo, and colourful bougainvillea along the way. The West Orange Trail runs past the Oakland Nature Preserve where you can park the bikes and take a short walk to Lake Apopka.

Shady oaks cover the trail in many places, and you will find playgrounds, restrooms and drinking fountains. Bike rentals are available at several trailheads and Bikes and Blades offers rental bike delivery and guided tours.

Insider Tip: Explore Historic Winter Garden after your ride for ice cream, a cold brew or meal at one of many restaurants. Small boutiques and artisan shops are fun for browsing, too.

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Paddle to Wekiva Island for lunch at Without a Paddle Café Pancakes at De Leon Springs State Park - Old Sugar Mill Pancake House West Orange Trail


This 47-acre urban oasis in Winter Park, just north of downtown Orlando, is perfect if you need a quick nature hit in your day. It is free to visit, so you can pop by for a stroll to see if the Camellias are blooming and admire the orchids in the Legacy Garden. If you plan your visit on a Saturday, you can join a yoga or Tai Chi class in the garden for an extra dose of tranquillity; advanced reservations are required.

Insider Tip: The garden’s pond is a perfect spot for a picnic. Stop at one of Winter Park’s many restaurants or bakeries on your way and grab lunch to go. Croissant Gourmet Bakery is a local favourite.


Located just ten minutes from Disney World, Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve offers a welcoming spot to escape the theme park crowds and experience nature. You will find over three miles of easy hiking trails and elevated boardwalks through native pine forests and over swampy marshland. Listen for owls, visit the butterfly garden, or try your hand at geocaching. Learn more about the gopher tortoise, indigo snake, foxes, and bobcats that live here by visiting Vera Carter Environmental Center. Hike to the end of Osprey Overlook Trail to see the cypress forest and look for native birds.

Insider Tip: Head to Playa Pizza after your nature walk. You can feast on New York Style Pizza and homemade pasta while you watch the nightly fireworks over Magic Kingdom theme park from the restaurant.


Situated on the north shore of Florida’s fourth largest lake, this 11-mile one-way drive is a bird and wildlife watcher’s delight. On any given day, you may see numerous alligators soaking up the sun, osprey flying overhead with their catch, a water moccasin in a murky pool and black anhinga drying their wings. It is home to over 360 species of birds, making it one of the premier birding spots in Florida. Bears, otters, raccoons, armadillos, and coyotes call this area home as well.

Roll down the car window as you slowly cruise this gravel path and listen to songbirds, rustling wind and occasionally the bellowing call of alligators in mating season. Be respectful of wildlife and cautious of hikers and cyclists on the trail. Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is only open Friday to Sunday and major holidays. Allow two to three hours to complete the drive.

Insider Tip: After your drive, head south to Magnolia Park for a shady picnic area, scenic boardwalk, clean restrooms, and a butterfly garden.


Getting out on the lake on a stand-up paddle board is an activity the whole family can do together. No experience is necessary, and patient guides will have you cruising across the lake in no time. They will catch you on camera, so you will have bragging rights after your vacation. This is an alligator-free adventure, but turtles, otters, and birds are common. Afraid you will feel wobbly on your feet? Kayak tours are available if you would prefer to sit and paddle.

Want to make it an epic adventure? Choose the night-time option and hop on a paddle board decked with colourful LEDs that will make the water beneath you glow in brilliant colours as you glide across the lake.

Contact www.epicpaddleadventures to book.

Insider Tip: Add a visit to the nearby Orlando Science Center for a full, fun family day.

Whether you prefer to peddle, paddle, stroll or swim, you will find Orlando’s nature areas offer something for everyone. Experiencing these natural attractions provides a thrill that rivals even the popular award-winning theme parks. UA

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Mead Botanical Gardens Alligator at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive IBIS at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Paddleboard on Lake Ivanhoe

Celestine Eneas is a proud entrepreneur in one of the oldest industries in The Bahamas – straw vending. At 68 years old, she can boast never having worked for anyone other than herself, as she accomplished dreams and goals that she set for herself, and educated her four children from money she made in the Straw Market through the work of her own hands.

James Rolle, 62, recalls his pre-teen market days, helping his uncle, Audley Jones, a woodcarver in the Straw Market, for pocket change – twenty-five cents … on a good day fifty cents – which allowed him to fill his pocket with penny candy from the shop. But the day his uncle did not pay him, Rolle, who said he was between 11 and 12 years old at the time, decided he need to learn to carve for himself.

Two weeks after learning the art form, he sold his first piece for eight dollars.

He has been carving ever since and, like Eneas, has never worked for anyone but himself and has sustained a family through the money he made as a carver in the Straw Market.

A far cry from those early days, he recently sold a carving of the Nassau grouper for $3,600.00.

Both Eneas and Rolle have been working artisans in the Straw Market far longer than The Bahamas has been a sovereign nation.

Eneas’ earliest memories of having worked in the Straw Market she said goes as far back as her preschool years when she was just four years old.

Rolle, on the other hand, said his foray into working in the Straw Market took place one week before Bahamian independence.

The Bahamas celebrates 50 years of independence on July 10th.

And both Eneas and Rolle are proud of the lives they have afforded themselves through their own hard work and industriousness.

They both have also lived the Straw Market experience from its early days through to the 21st century experience of today.

“I remember there were no stalls,” said Eneas as she recalled her early market days. “You tote your work that you didn’t sell that day back home.”

In those early days when many Bahamians could not afford a vehicle, she said they were seen as less than.

“I can remember as a child that people did not think anything of us. They used to call us market donkey.”


‘The Straw Vendor and The Wood Carver’ This is their story.

Eneas hates that hardworking straw vendors were looked down upon.

Rolle, on the other hand, after deciding to learn to carve, not tooting his own horn, said he learnt to be one of the best. He was rewarded for his carving skills with the opportunity to travel with the Ministry of Tourism to represent The Bahamas to showcase his carving talents.

Rolle has visited eighteen of the Continental United States through the years with all his expenses paid; sometimes, up to three states per year. And he even came home with pocket change of up to $2,000.00 after selling his carvings at the end of shows.

In fact, he found carving so lucrative over the years that he gave up on completing his formal education to carve full time.

“At the age of 14, my mother was a waitress, my father worked at [a telecommunications company], and I made more money than both of them.”

He said at the end of his tenth-grade year, with two years left to complete his high school education, he was making so much money, he could not overlook it.

“School was ready to close for the summer. I told the teacher to take a picture of me because that was the last, she was going to see of me – ‘cause I ain’t coming back. I stopped and went into woodcarving fulltime.”

Eneas started out in Rawson Square, which she said was referred to in those days as “The Garden.” With no shelter to be had, vendors set up their wares to sell on cardboard laid out on the ground.

“The rain wet you and the sun dry you,” she recalled.

“It was a road where people could walk and the chain with the little grass, so you made that your stall.”

The straw industry as it is known is said to have begun in the 1920s by a group of industrious women from Fox Hill on the eastern end of the island of New Providence, who sold their wares in the city of Nassau at Rawson Square.

According to Bahamian history, Penelope Phenney, wife of the country’s 15th colonial governor, George Phenney, created a market for Bahamian straw products. But the commercial straw industry waned after the Phenneys returned to England before it was revived in the 1860s.

In the 1920s, vendors began selling their creations to cruise ship guests. Edward, the Duke of Windsor, and his wife Wallis Simpson, it is recorded, realized straw work was a much-needed revenue earner for Bahamians. And in

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The World-Famous Bahamas Straw Market Celestine Eneas

1943, the duke, the then-royal governor of The Bahamas, had sheds and stalls built for vendors in Rawson Square.

Over the decades, two major fires threatened the livelihood of market vendors. The makeshift market was destroyed by fire in 1974. Vendors celebrated when the new Straw Market opened on June 3, 1983; that was eventually destroyed by fire on September 4, 2001, forcing vendors to relocate to the Prince George Wharf to sell their wares.

The Straw Market edifice as it is today reopened on December 16, 2011.

It is there that Eneas and Rolle proudly continue to work for themselves.

“I was able to raise all of my children – all four – from the money I made in the Straw Market,” Eneas proudly stated.

But there was also a time when she succumbed to the weight of the disdain of others and took no pride in working in the Straw Market, which she said was during her formative high school years. She did everything she could to ensure that her school friends never saw her in the facility.

“I used to be ashamed to come to the market. When my friends saw me, I used to run to the Stop ‘n’ Shop (a since closed department store), so they did not see me. Even today if you listen to people … what they say…” she said.

Now older and wiser, she realizes she had nothing to be ashamed of.

“We work for ourselves. We were self-employed – and I choose to work for myself, because I did not want to work for anybody,” she said.

“I am proud to be a Bahamian working in the Straw Market, helping people … being a spokesperson for the people and not just letting people take advantage of the vendors. I go and stand up for them and say we work for ourselves; we do not need to take anything; you want to push anything down our throats.”

Eneas said people just have to take the time to look around the Straw Market to see the good that has come from the hardworking people who take their craft seriously and who have been able to give their children private school educations and university degrees from the money made there.

“We are a proud set of people. Proud to be entrepreneurs, working for ourselves,” she said.

Rolle said he has absolutely no regrets, other than not having learnt woodcarving earlier than he did.

“I will be honest – I am glad I got into woodcarving because I do not have to put up with nonsense from nobody. I put in my own hours, do not have to bring in any sick slip, I pick and go when I want to and how I want to,” he said.

They both say vendors and carvers are people who work hard and hustle to accomplish the Bahamian dream of shelter for their families in the form of a home and education.

She said they also wanted a nice car, but before the vehicle, a home and education were important.

At 68 years old, Eneas said the Straw Market is a viable avenue for Bahamians to make good money and support themselves. She cautions, though, that people wanting to get into the industry should seek to do so for the right reasons – wanting to work for themselves, to help better themselves to provide for their family.

Rolle laments that woodcarving is a dying trade. He has three sons, none of whom want to learn woodcarving. He taught his brother whom he said quit to join law enforcement.

“They say it’s too hard.”

Fifty years of woodcarving later, Rolle knows he is good at what he does, but said a bright spot for him is that there is a fellow carver who started carving two decades after he did, and who he regards as one of the best, because he draws well. He would love to see the art form taught in schools. UA

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James Rolle – Stage 1 Carving The Grouper Stage 2 – Preparing The Grouper Stage 3 – Finishing The Grouper Carved Musicians
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Set on a Hill: Hilltop Farms Hovers Large in North Eleuthera

North Eleuthera has an open secret.

Celebrity sightings are many at Hilltop Farms, an otherworldly dreamscape that is both an animal farm and petting zoo, in Gregory Town, Eleuthera.

Speaking of dreams and fantasies, on any given day, you may find singer, songwriter, guitarist, and “Bahamian son of the soil”, Lenny Kravitz, or his beautiful, multi-talented daughter, actress Zoë Kravitz, trekking up the steep, rocky trail to Hilltop Farms for their week’s supply of organic eggs. And it does not hurt that Hilltop Farms and the Kravitzes are friendly neighbours as well.

Or you may “accidently” bump into Pauletta and Denzel Washington admiring the confident gait of a friendly but flightless emu or extolling the virtues of duck eggs, chicken eggs, and goose eggs as part of a healthy island breakfast of Bahamian fruit, exotic teas, and freshly baked bread.

Originally named, “Red Fork Ranch”, Hilltop Farms started as a personal hobby and “passion project” for then-owner, the late Rudolph Fitzgerald, in 1996.

Starting with a few chickens, ducks, and turkeys, then expanding to include more exotic animals like the Polish chickens, quails, peacocks, and a family of emus, Red Fork Ranch metamorphosized from a small farm which gave out eggs for free to the Gregory Town community, as both a food security mission and neighbourly outreach, to a successful, thriving family-owned business in 2011, known as Hilltop Farms Eleuthera, the brainchild and vision of Rudolph Fitzgerald and his son, Cherokee (named after the many Western films that were Rudolph’s passion).

From 2011, Hilltop Farms has since grown to include poultry farming, egg harvesting, organic fertilizers, Bahamian “bush medicine” (health aids, “sexual enhancers”, other medicinal remedies), and Bahamian beekeeping and honey-making (the expertise and operation of Deandra Fitzgerald, Rudolph’s daughter).

Hilltop Farms also hosts daily tours for local teachers, schoolchildren, and visiting tourists, teaching them about plant and animal care, climate change, and environmental protection, thereby fulfilling its purpose-driven educational mandate which was created and is currently promoted by Rudolph’s wife, Mary Fitzgerald, a former schoolteacher, and the farm’s operations manager.

Described by his son, Cherokee, as an honest, hardworking, and passionate man, Rudolph Fitzgerald was a deeply creative visionary and a natural leader, who, along with his best friend, Philip Bethel Jr., in 1994, explored the entire island of Eleuthera in search of land to create his vision of Hilltop Farms and also finding inspiration for his dream by working with plants and animals with his best friend’s father, Philip Bethel Sr.

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Photographs Courtesy Of Cocomo Collection Hill Top Farms Welcome Sign
‘A city set on a hill cannot be hid.’ The Book of Matthew
Hill Top Farms Emu Hill Top Farms Chickens Hill Top Farms Organic Eggs

The mission of Hilltop Farms has always been one of creating unique educational, environmental, nutritional, and cultural experiences for its clients and visitors, and leaving a sound legacy of hard work, passion, focus, integrity, and a strong sense of community.

Cherokee, his mother, Mary, and sister, Deandra, are intentional and purposeful in continuing Rudolph’s legacy and mission. As a family business, Cherokee notes that Hilltop Farms operates privately without any government assistance or subsidies and faces the same supply chain issues such as a more consistent supply of inexpensive animal feed from government suppliers and a more reliable source of water and electricity, as many farmers on Eleuthera.

Additionally, he believes that more access to Crown land for existing and future farmers is another challenge that needs to be addressed if the country is to continue to encourage farmers to produce more locally grown food for its citizens and create more locally sourced food security programmes, to eliminate an overdependence on foreign import of food supply.

There are many lessons of salt and light that are told through the voices of countless authors and inspired writers of the Gospel throughout history. However, the moral of the city set on a hill in the Book of Matthew is both illuminating and cautionary.

The mountain a hill bears cannot be hidden, which means it can be seen by everyone. Hilltop Farms is that city set high on a hill as a beacon of hope, vision, and the power of a dream.

The fruit of Rudolph Fitzgerald’s labour and the work of his hands have become both blessing and bounty and will continue to be for many who trek that steep, rocky road to an oasis of freedom and passion, in pursuit of discovering the open secret. UA

Bush Medicine Seasonal Produce Produce Chicken & DuckEggs Beehamian Honey School & FAmilyTrips Organic Fertilizer Cleansers & boosters Educational Animal Experience Organic Products & Fertilizer Egg Production 242-335-5244 Local Honey Organic Fertilizer 100%Organic Gregory Town, Eleuthera Gregory Town, Gregory 242-428-4475 PHONE WHATSAPP ( 2 4 2 ) 8 1 7 - 4 6 3 1 i z e n g a b a h a m a s @ o u t l o o k . c o m i z e n g a b a h a m a s . c o m
Hill Top Farms Animals
Hill Top Farms Peacock

Historical Hidden Gem Museums

Tracing the Growth and Development of West Palm Beach

Shipwrecks, trains, hurricanes, “Black Gold” – the search for a better life and tourism all contributed to the development and growth of West Palm Beach. It is a story that has developed over the past three centuries. History lovers can visit these eight small yet intriguing museums to gain insight and knowledge about the historical roots of West Palm Beach. Begin at Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, which gives you an overview of West Palm Beach history. The other museums allow visitors to gain in-depth knowledge on specific factors that contributed to the growth and development of West Palm Beach. Each is a hidden gem and many of these museums are free.


To gain an overview of growth and development of West Pam Beach, start at Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum in downtown West Palm Beach. This museum is in the historic 1916 Courthouse at 300 N Dixie Highway. The restoration of this historic building is a marvel – details are available at the museum. The museum is operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Through interactive galleries, this museum tells the story of the earliest days of inhabitation by Natives Americans and shipwreck survivors through the post-Civil War population influx, the 1920’s land boom, the impact of fertile agriculture fields west of the city around Lake Okeechobee and how tourism drove growth from the beginning of West Palm Beach’s development. This museum is open Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is free.


For more information on how people of African descent arrived and thrived in Palm Beach County, visit Spady Cultural Heritage Museum. It is dedicated to discovering, collecting, and sharing Black history and heritage of Palm Beach County. It is housed in the former house of Solomon David Spady, a prominent African American educator and community leader in Delray Beach from 1922

to 1957. It is a destination for people of all cultures seeking information about Florida’s early Black communities and culture. These populations established themselves during the pre-Civil War period due to immigration from the Caribbean and the post-Civil War period due to the influx of freed slaves from bordering states. The museum galleries artfully exhibit the talents and influences of Palm Beach County African Americans, Caribbean-Americans and Haitian-Americans in medicine, education, and the arts. Located at 170 NW Fifth Avenue in Delray Beach, the museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm. The museum hosts Ride & Remember Trolley Tours and Walking Tours. For more information on these tours, dial 561-279-8883 or email

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Photographs Courtesy Of Tina Walsh Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum Spady Cultural Arts Museum


If you are interested in how the early Native American lived and the impact of agriculture on the growth of Palm Beach County, visit Lawrence E. Will Museum. The museum is located about an hour west of West Palm Beach at 530 Main Street in Belle Glade, FL. This museum brings to life the entire “Glades” experience from the earliest Native Americans to the agricultural prosperity of today. The Glades region, which is centred around the southern rim of Lake Okeechobee, is the entryway to the Florida Everglades and home to fertile soil called “Black Gold”. From early years of community growth to survival and rebuilding after massive hurricanes and pivoting to sugarcane production to developing pro and collegiate football players, Belle Glade has contributed to the financial stability and evolution of the region. The Will Museum has a large collection of prehistoric artifacts from the early Native American settlers, referred to as the “Water People”. The history of agriculture in the area is detailed through a series of displays. Also, there is an exhibit of the aftermath of the 1928 hurricane which killed an estimated 3,000, flooding the area and putting much of the Glades underwater for weeks. The museum is open 10:00am to 2:30pm Monday to Thursday.

for himself and his second wife. Built in 1902, the 100,000 square foot Gilded Age mansion is a monument to the opulent days of the early 1900s in Palm Beach. The museum has an exhibition dedicated to the railroad, including Flagler’s own railway car. Guided and self-guided tours are available for visitors to learn about the early days of Palm Beach and how a shipwreck filled with coconuts was the reason Henry Flagler gave Palm Beach its name. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm. The admission is $26.00.


Creating a railroad that would carry people from as far north as Michigan to South Florida and building several palatial hotels to welcome tourists was the vision of Henry Flagler. These two factors – trains and tourism – were the biggest contributors to the growth and development of West Palm Beach. To explore their impact, visit Henry Morrison Flagler Museum on Palm Beach Island. Also known as Whitehall, this mansion was Henry Flagler’s personal winter residence


If you are interested in the role architecture and tourism played in the growth of Palm Beach County, visit The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum. This museum is owned and operated by the Boca Raton Historical Society. The museum has an entire room devoted to architect Addison Mizner. The Schmidt Museum brings to life the mind of this man who dramatically impacted the architecture of Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach. It includes architectural drawings and images of the architect’s plans for a resort enclave that grew into the town of Boca Raton. The museum also contains informative galleries describing the role of agriculture, Native Americans, and people of African descent in the history of this area. The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum is in the historic Town Hall at 71 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL. This museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10:00am - 4:00pm. The admission price is $12.00 for adults and the first Saturday of each month is free.

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Lawrence E. Will Museum Lawrence E. Will Museum Henry Morrison Flagler Museum Henry Morrison Flagler Museum The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum


Shipwrecks played a major role in how Europeans came to West Palm Beach and the surrounding county. To learn more about their impact, visit Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. This attraction is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the 120-acre federally designated Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area. Climbing tours of the lighthouse are offered daily at 12:00pm and 2:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The Lighthouse is located just off US Highway 1 in Jupiter, Florida, on the north side of the Jupiter Inlet. As of March 13, 2023, the US 1 Bridge will close for replacement. Due to construction, the building is closed for renovations. The admissions and gift shop are located on the east side of the museum parking lot. Admission to the lighthouse is $12.00 for adults with discounts for seniors, veterans, and children. Children must be 48” tall to climb the lighthouse. The lighthouse is open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm.


Just across the Jupiter Inlet in the centre of DuBois Park sits Dubois Pioneer House. Does the daily life of the first European settlers to this area interest you? If so, this is the place to visit. Built in 1898, the DuBois Pioneer Home is one of the last remaining homesteads of its type. It is an example of a self-sufficient south Florida pioneer homestead. Built by the DuBois family, atop a Native American shell midden, this homestead is rich in history and archaeological interest. The midden dates back 6,000 years, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids. The midden is a remnant of one of the last coastal shell mounds in southeast Florida. Discovered at this site are glass beads created in the 1500’s in Murano, Italy. They are believed to be used by Ponce de León to trade with the Native Americans. The Dubois Pioneer Home is open for docent-led tours Tuesdays - Thursdays, 10:00am to 1:00pm. If you are interested in a tour, please email PARK– to confirm the schedule.


Boca Raton was home to a Japanese enclave in the early 1900’s, attracted to the area by agriculture. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is the place to go and learn more about the life and spirit of these Japanese Pioneers. Visitors will discover a century-old link between Japan and South Florida where a group of young Japanese farmers created a community intent on revolutionizing agriculture in Florida. Their history and experiences in South Florida are documented in a fascinating 15-minute, continuously running film. The museum and gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The museum where you can view the film sits in the middle of a serene Japanese garden. Make sure you allot time to enjoy the gardens and have a refreshment in their cafe. Admission is $15.00 with discounts for seniors, children, and active-duty military. UA

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Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum DuBois House Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

HAVANA ART TOUR Where to find art in Havana?

Bahamasair is celebrating a few iconic moments in 2023. It is the 50th anniversary of the airline, which coincides with the nation’s 50th independence anniversary. Also, this year, the airline is celebrating 23 years of flying to Havana, Cuba. That is right, time flies, and so does Bahamasair. A great way to celebrate with The Bahamas’ national flag carrier is to visit the beautiful places and destinations serviced by the airline. Allow me to be your flight attendant for flight UP 211, destination Havana, Cuba. Get ready because today, as soon as you land, I will take you on the art tour that the art lovers would absolutely enjoy. I will call this tour Havana Top Art Picks.

Let us start with Cuban contemporary art. In this visit to Galería Máxima, located in Avenida de Bélgica (Monserrate) esq. off Tejadillo corner, you will be amazed. This gallery is considered to have the best pieces of contemporary Cuban art. The collection allows the gallery to be renowned due to its solid inventory. It is now considered one of the most promising galleries on the island, as visitors and locals highly attend it.

While in the area, you will see a unique black building known as The Merger Art . Located in Avenida de Bélgica (Monserrate) between Empedrado and Tejadillo Sts., and next to Galería Máxima, The Merger Art is a contemporary space created through the collaboration of Cuban artists Alain Pino Hernandez,

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Photographs Courtesy Of Myru Hernandez Galeria Maxima Galeria Manos

Mario Miguel González Fernández, and Niels Molerio Luis. Many of the pieces available are greatly influenced by the present economic, social, and political conditions in Cuba. Creativity is the spirit of this excellent art space. Do you like craft work? Galería Manos is what you are looking for. You can visit Galería Manos, located in 411 Obispo St. off Aguacate and Compostela Sts. This beautiful art space has a variety of handmade souvenirs, such as dolls and masks, and handmade art that vividly depicts the Afro-Cuban culture. Cuba, like many countries in the Western world, has been influenced by African cultures for centuries. Galería Manos has art that can attest to that.

Our fourth stop will be Open Studio Molina. This art gallery is in 114B Villegas St. off O’Reilly and San Juan de Dios Sts. Habana Vieja, known to many as Old Havana. Open Studio is the space where both visitors and locals often visit to meet with young Cuban artist Marcel Molina Martinez, find pieces made by the artist, and talk with the artist about his creation.

Another “hot” art spot is Jorge Gil Estudio Galeria, located on Cuba St. No. 467 off Amargura and Teniente Rey Sts. In this distinctive space, each piece is as unique as its creator, Jorge Gil. While it is puzzling to imagine that a piece of jewellery so delicate and minimalist and at the same time, elegant and beautiful, can be made from hard metal, Jorge Gil affords art lovers the opportunity to see art to its fullest expression, through his work. The excellent treatment and the professionalism of the gallery owner makes visitors feel that it is worth owning the artist’s “original piece.”

We will now visit a space designed to delight art lovers. I present to you Obispo Art Gallery, located in No. 453 esquina Aguacate (corner). The space is a contemporary art gallery with two locations, branded as “OAG.” Obispo Art Gallery, in Havana, Cuba, opened its doors in 1994, with the exclusive representation of Ernesto Villanueva, Cuban-Spanish artist. The second “OAG” is situated in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, and opened to the public tin 2019.

If you are looking for the entire Cuban art experience, I would like to take you to the western end of Havana to visit the one and only La Fábrica de Arte Cubano. This beautiful art gallery and club complex in Havana, Cuba, is known as The Cuban Art Factory La Fábrica’s gallery and stage are sitting in a spacious area inside of what used to be a cooking oil factory and has gained notoriety as one of Havana’s premier nightlife centres and art galas.

As you can see, Cuba is both a treat for art lovers and a dream come true for culture connoisseurs. The nerdy, the gifted, the talented, the famous, and all artists can find a space to showcase what they do.

Spaces like La Fábrica on 26 St. off 11 and 13 Sts., and Galería Ernesto Jesús on Habana St. esquina Peña Pobre (corner), a beautiful colonial architecture, offer artists a space to showcase their masterpieces and have given many creative souls a voice through art.

As this is the end of our art tour, I would like to thank you for coming along. I am sure we will have the opportunity to visit many other great art spaces. The

reality is that art to Cubans is like air to humans. You can spend days just looking at wonderful creations, masterpieces, handcrafted bags, belts and shoes, sculptures, jewellery, paintings and more. There is no limit to creativity.

Now that you know some of the places where art can be purchased in Havana, Cuba, the real question is: Will Bahamasair cargo services to Cuba be in full operation when you are ready to import your art pieces from that nation? I cannot wait for that to happen; meanwhile, how about celebrating on this trip with Bahamasair on the occasion of the airline’s 50th anniversary!

Join me and let us celebrate!!! UA

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Jorge Gil Estudio Galeria Obispo Art Gallery Open Studio Molina

Through The Eyes of a Culinary Artist… Through The Eyes of a Culinary Artist…

In honour of The Bahamas celebrating 50 years of freedom, pride, growth, creativity, evolution, and independence, Chef Emmanuel Gibson was asked to flex his culinary artistry.

The prompt was simple. He was given no rules, no limitations, and no boundaries – the only ask was that he express his patriotism through food and cooking.

Chef Emmanuel is an award-winning culinary veteran who is greatly respected by his peers and diners, alike. Over the years, he rose in the ranks from dishwasher to executive chef, to eventually owning his own restaurant called Mañuelo’s.

Despite his international accolades, Chef Emmanuel is soft-spoken as he skilfully moves around his kitchen while preparing his dishes. Some chefs might have chosen to dive into a bag of tricks or complicated techniques to create their edible works of art, but Chef Emmanuel instead chose the beauty of simple ingredients prepped with a masterful hand.

His first dish, a play on Fish and Chips, utilized produce freshly plucked from Bahamian soil and tended to by hand, as well as a meaty snapper caught by a local fisherman. This was an ode to the Bahamian men and women who sustained themselves from the land and the sea. The humble fried fish was paired with a vibrant assortment of sides – including a crisp salad and tomato salsa – both showing that the humble ingredients that Bahamians have enjoyed for decades are still delicious, powerful, and captivating.

The reimagination of this classic dish is also a fitting choice to represent The Bahamas’ departure from British rule and becoming an independent nation.

For Chef Emmanuel’s second fish, he again looked to the seas and the land, but this time, transformed them into a turbot cake paired with a crisp mango

Turbot Cakes Embracing Change

salsa and bright guacamole. His second offering once again utilized the ingredients of the country while incorporating international influences – a nod to the elevation of the Bahamian chef.

Chef Emmanuel notes that he has seen the growth, passion, and hunger of his fellow chefs over the years. He adds that he is also proud to see the Bahamian culinary community embracing the ingredients handed down to them from their parents and grandparents, and using their world travels and exposure to create something that is new and exciting, while still comforting and uniquely Bahamian. UA

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The Bahamas on a Plate Fish & Chips Reimagined Claiming Independence
Chef Emmanuel
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Living the Passionate Life

When Mavis Darling’s father, Reverend Dr. King S. Darling, was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it deeply impacted the entire Darling family. Reverend Darling was a pillar for so many people who loved, respected, and cherished him, and his illness was a devastating reality for a man who dedicated his life to helping others and nurturing the faith of those around him.

In addition to being a father, a husband, and a leader, he was at his core a man. A man who was loved – a man who had his own hopes and dreams for both him and his family.

Instead of giving into the temptation to succumb to grief due to his illness – a feeling that led Reverend Darling to momentarily question himself and his view of the world – he was able to enjoy life due in great part to the support of his family. They rallied around him and, together, as a unit, they focused on celebrating life.

Her father’s journey also inspired Mavis to become a proponent for Parkinson’s awareness and led her to turn to writing as a creative and therapeutic outlet.

Mavis has written five books, to date, including The Invisible Companion, which chronicles her father’s story.

“We didn’t know very much about Parkinson’s disease. We didn’t know exactly what to expect. We knew he was going through things that nobody else that we knew of experienced in terms of shaking his fingers and legs.”

Initially, Mavis’ father’s illness was thought to be due to age, but the family did not stop until they got a diagnosis. It was a hard reality for Reverend Darling – a man who didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, and did his best to live a “good” life. But his diagnosis led to a decision to live, enjoy life, and to help others to do the same.

The Invisible Companion Cover

According to Mavis, her father and her family’s mantra became, “Just do all the things you always want to do. And that’s been what we’ve been trying to preach with the Parkinson foundation over the years - that people should just live their lives as happy as they can.”

Mavis’ father still wanted to travel and embrace experiences. And while there were persons who didn’t agree with his approach, he preserved.

Over the years, Mavis has continued working to help raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease and provide assistance for those battling the illness in memory of her father. The Kingdor National Parkinson Foundation celebrated its 23rd fundraising ball this past June.

“Our theme for this year is living a passionate life,” Mavis added.

Though she took a short break from storytelling, Mavis returned to writing during the COVID-19 pandemic as an outlet for self-expression. The period of lockdowns and isolation also made Mavis realize that she could enjoy her own company as she embraced getting to know herself better.

“I was never bored a moment during that period because I was always doing one thing after the other.”

It was also during this time that Mavis wrote “The Royal Romance”. She noted that she channelled her personal experiences about love, loss, romance, and relationships into her creative process.

Mavis said that she loves dabbling in various projects and trying new things. She is currently working along with a documentary team, and is excited to keep learning, exploring, and seeing what new adventures await her … including the possibility of adapting one of her books into a film. UA

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Mavis Darling
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Bahamas Past, Present & Beyond... The Evolution of Guava Duff…

Light and fluffy, yet decidedly decadent, a plate of pillowy soft steamed dough drenched in a silky butter rum sauce has long been the unofficial dessert of The Bahamas.

And while the classic “duff” is arguable perfection all on its own, many Bahamian chefs are taking the tried-and-true techniques of the past and reimagining them to create new and innovating plays on fresh guavas, handmade pastry, butter, and rum.

Traditionally, guava duff is made by nestling a blend of ripe guavas into dough before steaming it in a clean pillowcase. The sweet sauce is then made with quality butter and a good rum. Each person has their own unique recipe and variation, but, at its core, guava duff is a simple dessert that can be served at a casual get together or at the end of a special occasion feast.

Variations of guava duff can be found around the country, and several restaurants have introduced seasonal fusion dishes that pay homage to the classic while flexing their creative muscles. The New Duff is known for their unique interpretation of guava duff that has transformed the dish into an international-inspired bao-style steamed bun. The Flying Fish Gastro Pub on Grand Bahama has an ever-rotating dessert menu, but several recent additions have included a guava duff crème brûlée and a warm and comforting guava duff bread pudding. Bootleg Chocolates has also reimaged the dessert into a ganache-infused ice cream sandwich and handmade truffles.

Chef Wayne Moncur, owner of Mudda Freeze, also has a love for blending past and present Bahamian dishes and ingredients with innovative techniques to create uniquely familiar ice cream flavours. The Mudda Freeze menu is constantly changing, but the presence of home-grown ingredients like sugar bananas, sea grapes, pineapples and dillies are frequently featured.

In recent months, Chef Wayne has churned out a rotating menu inclusive of a guava duff brioche toast and guava duff ice cream, both of which played with flavours and textures in unexpected ways.

Chef Moncur noted that the simple dishes, the ones that he first enjoyed as a child, are the ones that inspired his growth as a chef.

“Most chefs aspire to recreate that magical gastronomic experience they got as a kid from their mother, grandmother and aunt ... I got my first guava duff experience as a child from my aunt, the late Persis Cambridge. She was making guava duff the old-time way – steamed in a pillowcase, on a plate, in a pot. As

a little boy, I had never tasted anything like it – with all the lovely imperfections of the cooked dough and a bite of guava seed every so often. This experience is certainly one of the most impactful gastronomic experiences I ever had.”

Chef Wayne added, “I believe that guava duff or guava has to be incorporated in every dessert menu in The Bahamas, in some fashion. As Bahamian chefs and cooks, we have a duty to push our culture through food.” UA

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Photographs Courtesy Of Nikia Wells Mudda Freeze Ice Cream flight which includes seasonal Bahamian-inspired flavours like guava duff Flying Fish’s seasonal guava duff bread pudding Flying Fish’s seasonal guava duff crème brûlée Bootleg Chocolate’s guava duff ice cream sandwich New Duff’s Cafe pays homage to Bahamian culture, past and present
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Da South Ga Sumtin to Say!!

“I gern on a ghost move. Waaay down by Sally-Sue.”

Photographs Courtesy Of LMG Photography

His energy is electric, and his love for Bahamian music and culture is rooted in his upbringing in Matthew Town, Inagua.

This year, Bahamian singer, songwriter, and producer Avvy will celebrate nearly 20 years in the music business. Never one to forget his roots, Avvy’s passion for rake ‘n’ scrape has sustained his lengthy career, and, this year, he is barrelling forward with a new project that demonstrates he has no interest in slowing down.

His latest offering, “Da South Ga Sumtin to Say!!” is a testimony to the evolution of Avvy the artist.

Avvy launched his music career in 2004 on the southernmost island of The Bahamas. The new project was recorded on Inagua, marking a full-circle moment for the entertainer. His album also features a band from his hometown, and, under his mentorship, the young musicians will officially launch their careers and release their first music project this year.

Up and Away sat with Avvy to discuss his long career, recent return to the stage, and exciting new projects.

Up and Away: You’re celebrating almost 20 years in the music business this year. You recorded your first three songs in 2004. What were they? And are they still popular with audiences today?

The first three songs I recorded were “Roach On My Bread”, “Whine Granny Whine” and “Ghost Move”. Are they still popular with audiences? Yes, they are! I can’t leave the stage until I’ve performed every one of those songs; believe me, I’ve tried (laughs). But I’m thankful and I praise God that people still love the music after all these years.

Up and Away: Which one is the most popular song?

Definitely “Ghost Move” was and still is my most popular song. Like I said, I cannot leave the stage without performing that song. But the older generation loved “Whine Granny Whine”, and people still cling to “Roach On My Bread”. It’s a “Bahamian Talk” that never goes away.

Up and Away: You were missing from the music scene for a while. You weren’t performing or releasing any new music. Now that you’re back, audiences are happy to see Avvy on stage again and hear your new music on the radio. Tell us what led to the hiatus.

Well, before the pandemic, I had planned to take three years off to relax and focus on my family. Then, COVID -19 happened, and the industry was shut down for three years, so I ended up chillin’ for six years. I’m thankful for that time off because it helped me to refocus, get centered, and appreciate life outside of music. When I got back into the studio, I was ready to work on new music. When I released the music and returned to the stage, the country was waiting for me to come back.

Up and Away: We definitely agree with you Avvy. We follow you on social media and we can tell by the videos you post from your performances that Bahamians have missed seeing you on stage. The warm reception almost feels like “our little brother” has returned home! We think audiences have an affinity for Avvy. Do you sense that?

Absolutely! The connection I feel from the audience is indescribable. When I started my career 19 years ago, I was young. At that time, I was one of the youngest artists performing rake ‘n’ scrape music. Over the years, the audience has watched me grow and a demographic has grown up with me. When I returned to the stage last year, I felt the love, energy, and positive vibes emulating from the audience at every performance. When I perform at regattas and heritage festivals, I feel at home.

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Avvy – Fun Side

Up and Away: Now that the country is fully open, do you think that Bahamians have a new level of appreciation for our music and culture?

Yes, I do. During the pandemic, I posted a comment on my social media page that said, “When the country opens up, I’m going to be the best Bahamian I can be!” I promised not to miss Junkanoo or a regatta because you don’t miss those things until they are taken away. I think people who probably weren’t that interested in our culture before the pandemic feel the same way I do.

Now that those events are back, I want to do everything I can to add to our culture, to the lives of the Bahamian people, and the growth of our region. That’s what I mean when I say, “I want to be the best Bahamian I can be.”

Up and Away: Anyone in The Bahamas who has heard the name Avvy knows your name is synonymous with the island of Inagua. Tell us about your childhood and what attracted you to rake ‘n’ scrape music.

The community of Inagua is entrenched in what it means to be Bahamian, and a large part of that comes from our music – rake ‘n’ scrape, goombay, and Junkanoo.

I had a wonderful childhood in Matthew Town. My parents were lovely. I was a sharp kid and I loved music. So, growing up I learned to play different instruments and I even played with a band. I always loved music. My father was an excellent musician, and he also had a band.

Rake ‘n’ scrape is my first love! It does something to me that I cannot explain. The first three songs I wrote started as poems (he laughs). I went home to Inagua one summer and I got a summer job. One day, I decided to read my poetry to my co-workers on the bus. They loved my poems and encouraged me to turn them into songs.

That summer, I met Bahamian singer/songwriter/producer/musician Ira Storr. He came to Inagua to perform at the Homecoming Festival, and I read my poems to him. Ira told me if I was serious about recording the songs, I should come and see him. The rest is history.

I represent Inagua so hard because we are the third largest island in The Bahamas with one of the smallest communities. Everybody knows everybody, and the residents have a stake in what comes out of Inagua.

When I launched my music career, my support began in Inagua. Then, I received support from Inaguans living in Grand Bahama. Many people don’t know this, but my music took off in Freeport before it got to Nassau. But my fan base is rooted in Inagua.

Up and Away: Are you still connected to your home and your Inagua roots?

Yes, I am. I’ve done shows, a 5k run; one year I did “ABC – Avvy Brings Carnival” to Inagua, and other initiatives. My new project is a recording studio I recently built and completed in Inagua. I am very proud of that. The band I mentored, Da New Breed Band, are the studio engineers. So, now we have a studio in Inagua where artists can come and record. We are on the launch pad of becoming one of the best studios in the south! The music is evolving. I have a few new artists from Inagua in the pipeline that I’m working with, and new music will be coming from them soon.

Up and Away: Congratulations Avvy! Tell us about the new music and what we can expect from Avvy this year.

My album is ready; however, Da New Breed will release their project before I release mine.

The band and I wrote the songs together for their album. I’m featured on one of the tracks and excited because what you’re going to hear is the music of Inagua. I watched this band grow and the music is one hundred percent Inagua because “da south ga sumtin to say” (he laughs).

I want to contribute to our culture and the growth of the industry.

I have recorded almost 40 songs during my career. This year, I released “Thank God It’s a Holiday” and “Jack Don’t Know How To Act”, and they are getting a lot of radio love. A lot of good things are happening this year.

I’ve never forgotten where I came from because, like I said, da south gat sumtin to say! UA

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Avvy – Serious Side DA SOUTH GA SUMTIN TO SAY!!
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Bridging Generations through Bahamian Music

Sharade Taylor and Sweet Emily

Photographs Courtesy Of Rodger D Photography

Sharade Taylor

“I am building the foundation of my career as a rake ‘n’ scrape artist, stepping into my own ... I want to be in the element that I am supposed to be in.”

When Sharade Taylor created his wish list for 2023, he included the names of seven Bahamian artists he plans to collaborate with this year.

The smooth RnB balladeer recently transitioned to performing rake ‘n’ scrape music and has found his footing in the genre by merging his soulful vocals with the cultural sounds of The Bahamas. Sharade admits that rake ‘n’ scrape music has ignited a fire inside of him, a feeling he has never felt before.

Up and Away: So, what prompted the transition?

“I wanted to be a part of live performances and cultural shows, so I decided to try rake ‘n’ scrape and I love performing it. I grew up in the church, I love gospel and RnB music, and I never thought I would be singing rake ‘n’ scrape but it is fun and energetic. I do not know where I get the energy from; I guess I get it from the music!

“Last year was my first year performing rake ‘n’ scrape, and things went well. So, I started writing and recording because I wanted to fully commit to the genre and enhance the culture with my music. I released my first song, ‘Junkanoo Party,’ and since that time, the momentum has grown.”

The growth of that momentum included his dream to record with Bahamian artists he deeply admired. Sharade and his fiancée crafted a list containing the names of seven artists he considered legends, and he set a goal to record a song with each of them by the end of 2023.

In March, he accomplished the first of his seven goals when he released a duet with Sweet Emily called “They Ain’t Ya Friend.” Sharade first met the “queen of Junkanoo” when he was a little boy.

“I met Sweet Emily when I was eight years old. She came to Grand Bahama to perform at Goombay on the lawn at the Bahama Princess Resort. My dad was a security guard at the hotel, and I told him I wanted to meet the artists. He took me backstage and introduced me to Sweet Emily, (the late) Terez Hepburn, and all the other artists. The following year, I met her again. Every year, I would go to Goombay to watch the artists perform and I would say, ‘This is what I want to do someday.’”

Up and Away: Fast forward to 2023. How did the collaboration with Sweet Emily come about?

“In 2018, I quit my job as a special education teacher. I took a leap of faith and focused on my music career. I was good in the classroom, but I felt like something was missing. So, I started performing in the Port Lucaya Marketplace in Freeport. At that time, I was singing mostly RnB music and I needed some Bahamian music to entertain the residents and guests. I had a tough time finding

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Emily Williams and Sharade Taylor Sharade Taylor

tracks to Bahamian songs. I sent Sweet Emily a message via social media asking if I could purchase some of her performance tracks. She responded and we ended up having a great conversation, she asked me for my number, and the next day, she texted me all of her tracks! Free of charge. Sweet Emily told me that she was sowing a seed into my life. I was so thankful, and we kept in contact ever since that day. When I wrote ‘They Ain’t Ya Friend,’ I felt like the song was missing something. I called Sweet Emily, and I told her I have a song that I wanted her to jump on. I sent her the lyrics and demo, and she said yes! That is how the song came about.”

Up and Away: Now that you have collaborated with Sweet Emily, what is the status report on the wish list?

“My dream is to collaborate with artists I consider legends – Sweet Emily, K.B., Veronica Bishop, and others. I want to do seven singles with each song featuring a legend. This is my way of bridging the gap between new/younger and seasoned/mature artists. I already have one song in the bag (laughs). I have another one in the making and five more to go! And I know I will get them.

Up and Away: What is next for Sharade?

“I am working on new music constantly because I want to push more music out to the public. I am not only working on the seven songs, but I also have a personal project in the works. So, look out for me, Bahamas! I am coming, and I am coming hot!””

Sweet Emily – The Undisputed Queen of Junkanoo

“My mission is to help preserve Bahamian music.”

She has a lengthy career in Bahamian music and a catalogue that has survived decades. The Bahamas’ only “Queen of Junkanoo” Emily “Sweet Emily” Williams has been described as “a forerunner for females in the music industry” in The Bahamas.

Sweet Emily has stood the test of time. Her journey through the music business has taken her over peaks and through valleys. Numerous albums, singles, and memorable collaborations are proof that she is one of the best voices in The Bahamas.

Always candid about her music career, Emily is always willing to share her story with any artist seeking her advice, who hopes to leave an indelible mark on Bahamian music, similar to the one she has already etched in history.

She began performing with bands in the 1980s, released her biggest radio hits in the 1990s, transformed her life in the early 2000s, and shocked Bahamians when she gave her life to God and walked away from cultural and secular music.

In 2019, Emily returned to cultural music and, this time, she was given a new mission and was motivated by a new calling to become an influencer in the music business and a mentor to new, up-and-coming artists.

“I’m passionate about mentoring and working with new artists and I see myself as a bridge between the more seasoned generation and the younger persons who are trying to come into the business, because if we don’t open the door for some of them, some of them will not come through.”

Her recent project with new rake ‘n’ scrape artist Sharade Taylor is evidence of her commitment to her new assignment. She admitted that when she was a new, young artist coming up in the industry, mentors were rare.

Up and Away: What prompts you to want to work with younger, upcoming artists?

“Most of the artists who came up in the music business in The Bahamas when I was young were not fortunate to be mentored by the older more seasoned artists. I do it because it is a privilege and my calling. God sent me back to help those younger artists who want to break into the business. I look at myself as a bridge. I have the power to pull some of these younger artists with me, to steer them down the right path.”

She continued, “Back in the day, if you were lucky to work with a Ronnie Butler, Smokey 007, Dry Bread, or Ezra, you were fortunate. When we were growing up in the industry, many of us never had that kind of opportunity.”

Up and Away: You mentioned opening the door for younger artists to come through. That is a good point, it is not easy to get through the door. How do you think we can fix that?

“I believe we need more opportunities for artists to work consistently throughout The Bahamas. Not just festivals, regattas, and homecomings. Those are good, but we need places where artists like Sharade and others can work consistently.

We had places like that back in the day, we do not have them anymore. A variety of opportunities where everybody can work and be fulfilled is needed. The creative arts industry comprises a multitude of talents and we need to incorporate all creatives. It will require a collaborative effort between public and private entities to accomplish this.”

Up and Away: So, you are mentoring, recording, and still performing. Sweet Emily is going strong after almost 40 years in the music business. The Bahamas is celebrating its 50th year of Independence. Do you think we still have Bahamian pride?

Yes, we do! Bahamians love our music and our culture. However, when you compare our music to other countries in the region, their music has become more popular. The world has changed, and people can access everything on their phones. We need to do a better job of promoting our music and educating our children about Bahamian music and culture. An in-depth education is needed. I visit schools and I ask the children to name a Sweet Emily song, they cannot name one. So, we still have some work to do. But we are a young nation with less than 400,000 people, and we have had major achievements that we should be proud of.

Up and Away: What does the future hold for Sweet Emily?

My passion is helping people, and I will continue to mentor artists. I am mentoring multiple artists now and see myself as a true mentor and a godly example. I would like to have my own entertainment company one day that prepares artists for the music industry, offer training, and assistance navigating their careers. Working towards getting my music into more international markets, I want to win a Grammy someday! I know that God has something more for me to do. UA

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Emily Williams


am taking Bahamian culture throughout the world.”

Inspired by the spirit of Junkanoo and the costumes she saw on Bay Street every year, Gina Luree got the idea to express The Bahamas’ premiere cultural festival on handcrafted ceramics.

Her creativity led to the creation of “Cultureware by Gina Luree”, a line of handmade cups, saucers, and dinnerware sets that depicted scenes from Junkanoo. Bahamians loved the pieces, and Gina was inspired to develop and expand her ceramic line.

She decided to add new designs like shapes and colours inspired by Junkanoo and create a new line of designs inspired by marine life and the islands of The Bahamas.

“When I first started the business, my uncle and a Junkanoo artist created drawings of Junkanoo pieces for me because I wanted to create keepsakes that captured the feeling of Junkanoo. I began designing the images on lampshades, gift bags, and masks. Then, I got the idea to create Junkanoo dinnerware that people can give as gifts, and use every day,” she said.

“I started working with ceramics in 2004, and I opened my first store a few years later. People were excited when they saw my pieces (laughs). It was something different. I was the first person to create Junkanoo dinnerware and Bahamians loved the pieces! People purchased the sets for gifts and decorations, and some shipped the dinnerware to family members living abroad.

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Photographs Courtesy Of Anita C Photography, Tatiana Patton and The Gina Luree Smith Cultureware by Gina Luree Ceramic Mug Cultureware by Gina Luree Junkanoo Inspired Mug

“The reception from the tourists was different because they didn’t understand Junkanoo. My designs included handcrafted cowbell bell handles, sea grape leaves, and Junkanoo headpieces, so I had to explain what the pieces represented.”

She added, “In 2009, the Ministry of Tourism presented my cup and saucer to Miss Bahamas as a gift during the Miss Universe Pageant.”

“I was recently inspired to add new components to the business that defined the company and showcased my artistry. My initial designs depicted actual Junkanoo pieces. The new designs will feature three components – shapes and colours inspired by Junkanoo, the islands of The Bahamas, and our marine life. The Islands of The Bahamas dinnerware was launch in June, and the marine life dinnerware will launch later in the year.”

“There is nothing like our Junkanoo, the Bahama Islands, or our marine life anywhere in the world,” said Gina Luree. “I want my designs to go throughout the world and represent who I am. The company is now a home-based business. The ceramics are available in Nassau at Depre Bahamas on West Bay Street and Down Home on Parliament Street. I can also be contacted directly on my social media pages.” UA

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Cultureware by Gina Luree Andros Island Cultureware by Gina Luree Andros Island Signature Cultureware by Gina Luree Junkanoo Bowl

The Union Jack flew over the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for the last time on Monday, July 9th, 1973. Persons living in The Bahamas, then, an overseas British Territory, were preparing for a momentous occasion: The Bahamas becoming an independent nation. On Tuesday, July 10th, 1973, The Bahamas became the 143rd sovereign state. All people born after 1973 were citizens of a new country.

As The Bahamas celebrates its 50th year of independence, a lot of activities and focus surrounding the momentous occasion will be human-centred. However, many species of animals originally regarded as “native” also received changes to their status since 1973. They were elevated to “endemic” species, the highest honour bestowed to an animal population. Here are some Bahamian animals that were elevated to full species and species that were discovered after 1973.

Endemics: Our “Tru-Tru” Bahamians

Courtesy Of Scott Johnson of Wild Bahamas


The Bahamas is home to six endemic species of birds: The Bahama Swallow, Bahama Oriole, Bahama Warbler, Inagua Woodstar, Bahama Nuthatch, and Bahama Yellowthroat. Of these, four were elevated to full species status within the last 15 years based on in-depth research on their plumage and body characteristics, vocalizations, behaviour, and genetics.

The Endangered Bahama Warbler was once considered a subspecies of the Yellow-throated Warbler until it was officially elevated to full species in 2011. The Endangered Bahama Oriole was considered a subspecies of the Greater Antillean Oriole before it and other members of the Greater Antillean Oriole group (which included the Cuban Oriole, Hispaniola Oriole, and Puerto Rican Oriole) was elevated to full species status in 2010.

The Inagua Woodstar, our only endemic Bahamian hummingbird species, was regarded as a subspecies of the Bahama Woodstar until it was elevated to full species status in 2015.

The critically endangered endemic bird species, Bahama Nuthatch, was once considered a subspecies of the Brown-headed Nuthatch. In 2021, the Bahama Nuthatch became the Bahamas’ sixth endemic bird species based on research focused on differences in their vocalizations compared to Brown-headed Nuthatches. This celebration is bittersweet, however, as the Bahama Nuthatch is believed to be extinct following the tragic events of Hurricane Dorian.


Many species of reptiles have also been elevated to full species status. The Bahamian Boa, one of five species of boas in The Bahamas, was once considered a subspecies of the Hispaniola Boa until its genetics and other aspects of its biology were studied more closely. Based on the new evidence and research, the Bahamian Boa was elevated to full species status in 2013. Since 2013, two other species of boa were found. In 2015, the discovery of the critically endangered Conception Island Boa took the reptile world by storm. This species is the most endangered boa in the world. The Crooked-Acklins Boa was once thought to be a subspecies of the Southern Bahama Boa. New research on this species revealed it to be distinct from the Southern Bahama Boa and, in 2018, it was elevated to full species.

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Bahama Oriole Juvenile Bahama Warbler


Arthropods represent the largest group of animals in The Bahamas. It is not surprising that several species have been discovered in the country and are new to science. In 2013, entomologists discovered a new species of Katydid, endemic to Eleuthera. It was named the Blue-faced Katydid and is currently only found on the grounds of the Leon Levi Native Plant Preserve in Governor’s Harbour. In 2019, entomologists discovered four new species of plume moths, and three new species of hawkmoths in 2022, two of which were endemic to The Bahamas. These discoveries add to our growing list of endemic Bahamian arthropod fauna that include the Bahamian Cicada (what Bahamians call “singers”), the Bahamian Tarantula (also called Grants spider) and the Bahamian Stick Insect.

The Bahamas is home to a diverse array of terrestrial species. Many species, as mentioned in this article, have been declared new species based on thorough research. What is interesting is that all these animals became full species relatively recently, indicating a strong need for more research of our fauna and their unique characteristics. Many cryptic species, whose endemism is hidden in their genetics, are just waiting for the right Bahamian researchers to unlock their secrets. We may love Junkanoo, rake ‘n’ scrape, and conch salad, but nothing is more Bahamian than our endemic wildlife, the “tru-tru” Bahamians. Let’s do everything we can to protect and conserve what’s ours. UA

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Bahamian Boa Bahamian Cicada mating Bahamian Tarantula Bahamian Stick insect

MRS. SHAVAUGHN MOSS is the lifestyles editor at The Nassau Guardian 1844 Ltd., The Bahamas’ oldest newspaper, and has three-plus decades of experience. She currently writes on a wide range of topics. She is known as the country’s premiere “foodie” and has traveled extensively in her culinary quest for the best bites (and some interesting ones as well). Shavaughn studied Mass Communication in the United States, and has done advanced courses in the United Kingdom as well.


MS. TINA WALSH comes from a family of travel lovers and foodies, she has traveled to 53 countries, 47 states in the United States and 5 continents. Her love of cooking started young, in the kitchens of her grandmothers, one Italian, one German. She will travel for food, wine, yoga, natural beauty, sports, visual and performing arts. Her passion for these things includes the people she shares them with. In 2018, she expanded her on-line presence and started a blog.

MS. NIKIA WELLS is an avid traveler with a passion for seeing the world, learning about new cultures, trying unique dishes and raising awareness about the freedoms of solo travel. In 2014, this Grand Bahama native created the PinkSands242 website, which is devoted to spreading her passion for travel, food and new experiences from a Bahamian perspective, while demystifying various elements of world travel. Her writings have been featured on and several other local publications.


is a Writer, Digital Content Creator, Publicist, former Radio Personality, and an advocate for the promotion of Bahamian Music, Art and Culture. She is passionate about Grand Bahama Island and telling stories that highlight the diverse talents of the Bahamian people.


is a three-time Telly Award winning Bahamian/Turks & Caicos journalist who has spent nearly 30 years of her life telling the stories of the people, the places and the plans of the greater Caribbean and beyond.  She is the owner of Magnetic Media—which churns out two TV broadcast productions for regional and international TV audiences, five days a week.  As is her mantra on her TV show, she is living life to the full, she is living in colour.


is a new-age writer, creative and award-winning Journalist who has her finger on the pulse in many areas of interest including mainstream news reporting and production, television/ internet program production and travel, Spanish, leisure and culinary writing—not to mention social media.

MS. KIRSTEN HARRINGTON is an Orlando freelance food and travel writer, chronicling adventures in the US and China. Her work has appeared in WhereTraveler, The Seattle Times, Edible Orlando, The Beijinger, GoNOMAD, World Footprints and numerous other publications. When she’s not writing, you can find her scoping out new adventures, hiking or enjoying a meal with her family.

Visit for more information.

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MS. BIANCA MAJOR is the editor of The Long Island Runner News and is an avid promoter of The “real” Bahamas, its culture and all things Bahamian. Her diversity spans across professional fields such as Publishing, Marketing & Graphics, Social Media Content Creation & Management, Photography, and Marketing. Bianca the “artist”, “foodie” and radio personality has more than two decades of experience and has a passion for writing. Raised between The United States and The Bahamas she has a unique concept of our culture.

MR. TYRONE FITZGERALD is a cultural creative writer, adjunct lecturer, music lover, and visual and performing arts enthusiast. He has been a contributing writer to various business, arts, and lifestyle publications including the Atlanta-based Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine (now The Charleston Compass). A Cambridge Commonwealth and Errol Barrow Memorial Trust Scholar, Tyrone has degrees in economics and law, a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and has pursued advanced studies at Harvard Law School and Harvard School of Education.

PROF. MYRURGIA HERNANDEZ, Doctorate Candidate at Universidad de Baja California, Mexico, is an alumnus of University of Havana, Faculty of Foreign Languages (FLEX according to Spanish Acronyms) Class of 1998. She became an approved Lecturer by the Board of The College of The Bahamas (COB), now University of The Bahamas (UB) in December of 1999. In 2000 (January), Ms. Hernandez joined the Faculty of The School of Communication and Creative Arts as a Spanish Part-Time Lecturer.

is a lover of all things yoga, wellness, and life. Along her yoga journey, she has practiced and studied Power, Baptiste, Hot, Restorative, Rocket, and Vinyasa Flow Yoga. She has completed over 500 hours of yoga teacher training with world-renowned instructors. Her passion for teaching has attracted celebrity clients like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Lawrence.

MS. NASIA R. COLEBOOKE is a copy editor, playwright and writer, who loves to tell the stories of those who often go unheard. She has a blog where she writes film, TV, music and book reviews, and personal pieces. She is also well-versed in public relations and holds a B.A. in English (minor in History) from University of The Bahamas, and is currently pursuing a master’s in journalism.

MR. SCOTT JOHNSON is a Terrestrial Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Scientist. His major fields of interest are Bahamian animals with special focus on reptiles and birds. He studied at the College of The Bahamas before transferring and completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He is a Wildlife Educator, Eco-guide Trainer, Researcher, and has over 15 years of active terrestrial fieldwork experience.


is a Communications Expert, who specializes in travel articles. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Writing and a Masters Degree in Strategic Communications, which includes Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media. She is married and the proud mother of two daughters.

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Hole Point Road Thompson Bay Long Island, The Bahamas Call or WhatsApp: (242) 828-9324
Website: Instagram: @TinysBeachBar



Fifty years of independence is a time for reflection and celebration, and there’s no better place to do this than in the Family Islands. Residents fly free from Nassau in celebration of everything that makes us the true Bahamas—pristine landscapes, gin-clear waters, and the warmth of a familiar smile. Let us take you home.

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pages 96-99


pages 94-96

am taking Bahamian culture throughout the world.”

pages 92-94

PERFORMING ARTIST Bridging Generations through Bahamian Music

pages 90-91

PERFORMING ARTIST Da South Ga Sumtin to Say!!

pages 87-89

Bahamas Past, Present & Beyond... The Evolution of Guava Duff…

pages 85-86

Living the Passionate Life

pages 83-84

Through The Eyes of a Culinary Artist… Through The Eyes of a Culinary Artist…

page 81

HAVANA ART TOUR Where to find art in Havana?

pages 79-80

Historical Hidden Gem Museums

pages 76-78

Set on a Hill: Hilltop Farms Hovers Large in North Eleuthera

pages 73-75


pages 70-72

Natural Attractions Central Florida’s Nature Spaces Draw in Visitors

pages 68-70

The Formidable Government House

pages 64-66

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS For Business Continuity

page 63

“Love in Action” Home Construction Project Justice. Compassion. Love.

page 62


page 61

Bahamas Civil Aviation On Course to a Bright Future.

pages 59-60

Sun Salutation A

pages 56-58

From Nassau to Goa with Love

pages 54-55

Off the Beaten Path Get Away to North Caicos: Ecological, Historical, Agricultural

pages 49-54

“Must-Try” South Florida Restaurants, From Jupiter to Miami, Florida

pages 44-48

THE RACE from The Bahamas to Antarctica

pages 42-43


pages 39-41

Past, Present & Beyond...

page 37

IIRise Rise

pages 35-36


page 34


pages 32-34

RALEIGH Where to Play, Eat, and Sleep in Historic RALEIGH Where to Play, Eat, and Sleep in Historic

pages 27-31

Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company Limited Celebrates Our 50th Anniversary

pages 24-26

Proud To Be Bahamian!

pages 20-23

Still We Rise,Bahamaland

pages 16-19


pages 10, 12-16


page 8


page 6


page 5
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