Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

People to People in the Bahamas

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

People to People in the Bahamas

Article excerpt

Q. Our family is planning a vacation in the Bahamas, probably Grand Bahama. We have heard there is a People to People program that would help us meet Bahamians. How can we go about participating?

A. It does sound like a nice way to spend time with some Bahamians.

Grand Bahama has its own program, and the other islands' People to People arrangements are handled from Nassau, mostly for New Providence (Nassau's island) and to a lesser extent in the Out Islands. Here's how it works, according to Hilda Levarity at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in Aventura:

Before leaving, visitors should call or write to the People to People office and indicate they want to participate in the program. "The office then looks for a good match," Levarity said. "Maybe it's mutual professions, like lawyers, doctors or teachers, or a family wants to meet a family with kids about the same age. Maybe they are interested in folklore, music or history; have a mutual religious interest; like to surf; or belong to the same civic clubs."

After the match is made, it's up to the hosts and visitors to set up the meeting, she said. This commonly involves an invitation to the host's home for cocktails or tea and conversation, a good way to learn about the islanders' life and customs. It might include dinner at a restaurant, a visit to an attraction, a family gathering or a religious service. Guests should not expect to be entertained at the hosts' expense.

To sign up for the program, call or write to People to People, Ministry of Tourism, P.O. Box F-40251, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas, (809) 352-8044.

For the rest of the Bahamas, the address is: People to People, Ministry of Tourism, P.O. Box N-3701, Nassau, Bahamas, (809) 326-5371.

For other information about the Bahamas, contact Ministry of Tourism, 19495 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 809, Aventura, Miami, Fla. 33180, (800) 4-BAHAMA.

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