A load of rain dumped on the island before we arrived.

Last summer my husband Walter, myself, and our youngest son, Jason, visited the Bahamas islands of Crooked and Acklins. It was an amazing adventure that we loved, although we were beset by a few challenges. However, overcoming challenges can be quite satisfying, we’ve found.

Every island in the Bahamas has its own unique flavor with wonderful people who embrace strangers with their whole heart, flash beaming smiles, and readily give warm hugs. The people and places keep us returning to these magical islands again and again.

And so, the morning of May 8, 2018 found myself, my aunt Margaret, and Jason at Miami International Airport lugging more luggage than we could easily manage, as we planned to stay an entire month in the Bahamas. We slung our gear on the scales, made our way to the plane, boarded, buckled, and took off on the first of three legs of our journey.

Before we knew it we had arrived in Nassau and after a short wait we soon boarded another plane to San Salvador, Bahamas, along with about 50 students from Minnesota. The last leg of the journey saw us all the way to Long Island, Bahamas. We arrived at the postage stamp sized airport and there I found a man named Mr. T., who was able to provide me with a well used and creaky rental car. We loaded our luggage into the trunk and slung some of it in the backseat with 12-yr-old Jason.

Long Island is about 80 miles long and only 4 miles wide at its broadest point. One main road runs from the north end of the island to the south end. We headed north from Deadman’s Cay (pronounced ‘key’). The day was overcast and a bit rainy here and there, with several large puddles. I had to slow down considerably as I drove through the deeper areas.

Each settlement is marked with a sign. We looked carefully at these signs so as to avoid missing our turn off. We learned that none of the roads are marked with any signage. A few of the settlement names we passed were Burnt Ground, Scrub Hill, Hard Bargain, Salt Pond, Bunches, Deals, Roses, and and Deadman’s Cay. The locals don’t need signs, but we certainly did. When we reached Stella Maris we weren’t sure on which road to turn off. I headed down a small dirt track and ended up having to back up all the way back to the main road. The next pothole riddled road seemed a bit larger so we turned right on that road and began about a 2 hour drive up and down every road we could find. Finally, it was beginning to get dark and aunt Margaret suggested we stop and pray. So we did. And then we set off again. Inspired, Margaret said, “Julie, turn right here.” I turned. Soon she said, “Make another right, here.” I turned right. We were headed to the Stella Maris airport, I could see. I wondered what was going on when she said, “There’s a man coming out of the airport gate. Stop the car.” She got out and went over to talk to the man, telling him we were looking for the White House.

“You mean Emma’s place?” he queried.

“Yes!”

“Does she know you’re coming?”

“Yes, we rented her house.”

The man, Don, led us to her house. We had gone round and round without seeing anyone for two hours and failed to see this one road with one house on it – our rental. We were so relieved and grateful. Margaret later said to me and Jason, “If we had been five minutes earlier or later we would not have met this man who happens to know where Emma’s house is. That was from God!” Jason and I didn’t doubt it.

We dragged our tired bodies and stacks of luggage into the house and  scrounged around for some food to eat. I yawned as I climbed to my room upstairs, ran a bath in the huge white bathtub adorning the middle of the room, added some lavender bubbles, and soaked away the challenges of the day. On to tomorrow!