People/Culture, Travel

That Beach Needs a Raking!

The tourmaline waters and white sandy beaches of New Providence Island, Bahamas—that’s where I was last week having a day by and on the beach. Much of the trip was a bust. Between the unusually cold weather, the (not my style) all-inclusive 70s resort and a Montezuma-esque Revenge bout with something not-good-in-paradise, brought me home early to the opposite phenomena of 90 degree weather happening in San Diego!

BUT, and I use that here to negate the above because there are always brilliant jewels to any journey, if that is the way you choose to view life—right? Right.

I found a sunny spot for the lounge chair which happened to be right next to one of the palapas you reserve for extra money. It was not hard to notice the two resort employees who were beach raking their way from the front of the palapa, dragging the sand up and over a berm, fizzling out near the shoreline. I couldn’t help opening up a conversation with the two of them, about what the heck was going on—it just didn’t make any sense.

Let me start by sharing how amazingly warm, genuine, polite and welcoming I found the people to be on this Caribbean island. Everyone. From the resort employees, taxi drivers to the conch fisherman in Potter’s Cay. These two Bahamian young men were no exception. Lano and Ringo (yes, like the Beatle) were such a rich and unexpected encounter, I might even say a couple rays of sunshine! Especially Ringo.

From my beachside seat we discussed a better way to accomplish their assignment. Which by the way, was ridiculous to begin with! The palapas were now lower than the sand berm, built on a concrete base, and instead of raising the foundation etcetera, the two of them were to move the sand out of the way to expose a view to the shoreline from the lounge chairs. Too complicated to break it down here…let’s just say it wasn’t going to happen that day. Or, last long once they finished. Raking nature. Belly laugh.

Ringo, in red, was very smart and engaging. He took my suggestions to rake the sand away to the sides. We laughed at the absurdity of their work duties. He pointed out his boss behind us and smiled. He asked me what I did for a living, where I was from, what I was doing there in the Bahamas. My turn. I had to inquire about his name, he teased back like he didn’t even know who the Beatles were.

A break in our conversation came when another resortist, a drunk “Trumpublican” stumbled over, grabbed Ringo’s rake, showing him “This is how it’s done—son!” Luckily that didn’t last long, but happened a few more times while I was there. That interruption was sprinkled with some slurred speech about Trump for President which opened up a dialogue about American politics between Ringo and me. Lano, who hadn’t said or done much (raking) asks “How can America allow a man like Donald Trump to even run for President?” I of course have no damn good answer. So I just listen. I find it very enlightening to hear what people from outside our country think about our politics. In return I ask what did they think of President Obama and who they would vote for, if they could, in our upcoming election. Obama—thumbs up. Hillary Clinton would be all right…

It’s 2:45 pm and Ringo, who gets off work at 3:00 pm, says, “My duties have been reassigned!” Another head-scratcher, but not much more than American politics. Ringo sprints off leaving Lano alone with the impossible and daunting task, leaning on his rake.

2 thoughts on “That Beach Needs a Raking!”

  1. Sarah says:

    The feeling I have from your description of engaging with Ringo is really sweet! plus seeing the image of a beach like that is always good for me 🙂

    1. loribrookes says:

      Thanks Sarah! It was such a sweet exchange. One of the many treasures of traveling and musing with people.

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