From James Sarles & Lyndah Wells
Freeport, Grand Bahama- Over this past year, Taste of Grand Bahama introduced itself to the virtual world and on the 8th of March 2009, we published our first post.
Taste of GB was far from created that day. It was a vision James had had, numerous years before, and stemmed from his marketing days and love of this Island, Grand Bahama. To date, this year we have posted 292 articles and received numerous comments and ratings, THANK YOU!.
We have all heard stories of Freeport, actually, Grand Bahama and in particular, The West End in it's hey days.
When Stars like Frank Sinatra, recluses like Howard Hughes and past US Presidents Like Richard Nixon, choose to fly over for a decadent weekend of entertainment, Bonefishing or simply to recoup in the penthouse of ones own hotel.
Grand Bahama was a world of opportunity and vibrant happenings, day to day & week to week.
Today Grand Bahama offers something else to a different demographic of people, Second home ownership for those who are wealthy enough to own second, third or fourth homes scattered around the world. But it is also home to a new generation of Grand Bahamians. When I first arrived here in Freeport, It was my first time visiting the Caribbean, I came as a young but relatively well traveled 24yr old girl.
I arrived at FPO International airport at 8pm with 2 other girlfriends. We we here simply, for some R&R and a lot of fun.
The Evening was already too dark to decipher the Island clearly, the only real noteworthy event was that there were far fewer cars on the road than in my home town of London.
We checked into Xanadu Hotel, but with all the excitement we could hardly sleep and therefore stayed up talking on the balcony till the sun came up.
And this was when,I fell in love With this Island.
As the sun rose gently over the horizon there seemed to linger in the air, a misty blue haze, that shrouded even some of the boats that were docked down seven stories below our balcony. The three of us sat on the balcony and an unusual but peaceful aura enveloped us.
To this day I remember the surprise within myself as I started to cry, It was something so beautiful, so unexplained and so unexpected, that it made me, a tough girl from Lagos, Nigeria, who had grown up with 3 older brothers in London, cry like when my father used to leave home for business trips.
But I'll never forget that day and so slowly Grand Bahama took over my heart and won me, and here I am almost 10 years later, married and living here in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The beauty of Life here for me and a lot of my friends and maybe even you, is that unlike a lot of people who visit or maybe even live here, I truly find this land a one of opportunity, I grew up hard and maybe even a little privileged, but I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Make or Break has been my silent motto since I can hardly remember, Sink or swim. So we make it or we break it, We develop new ideas, new businesses, new plans, and when those that seek some sort of outwardly assistance- for use of a better word- I think, Do it yourself, Don't wait, don't listen to the negativity, Do IT YOURSELF!
And so with the end of 2009 in our sites, I look around our beautiful Island and I smile because I finally see people Doing it For Themselves.,
New businesses opening all around the Island , but not only that, Entrepreneurs that are finally listening to the cry that visitors and resident have been shouting for decades. Treat us like you would like to be treated, customer service! Gives us variety!
Thompson's Deli, Sawyers Food Market, Antoni's Pizza, Italian Specialty store, Magnolia cafe, 196, M15, Basheva Eve designer couture, the reopened Pier One, The Bahamas Weekly, 99/1 catering, Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation, LYTS & other that I haven't mentioned.
I came here as a student, I returned as graduate, I thought I'd never find a job- so I created one, a niche market all of my own- I sell what inherently cannot be bought or retained from another- I sell what only my eye sees, what my heart feels, some people like it, some don't, but that's not a problem- there will always be admirers and there will always be those that don't see your vision.
I would like to thank all those that have encouraged & supported me, have taught & have guided me.
I thank God that he put me on a path that led me here, I didn't see it at the time but He in His infinite wisdom led me here. And so I want to say to all of you that have visited this site since Day One, 8th March 2009, and those who might be reading this blog for the first time because Google accidentally led you here.
Happy New Year, Wishing you ALL the best life can offer in 2010, Remember sometimes things may seem unclear and life may seem to take you to roads unpaved & seemingly risky. But God always has a purpose for our Lives, and if we acknowledge him and let him, Untold opportunities, love & laughter will ultimately follow. BRING IT!!!!!