Monday, April 22, 2013

Memories at Small Hope and Cereal in Trees

Something that I've really enjoyed about interning here is how often people ask me how it is that I ended up in the Bahamas, particularly Small Hope. When I answer 'Actually, I've been here before. I was about four years old the first time I visited,' the expressions on everyone's faces goes into an exciting state of shock and joy. It's pleasant to see so many families come here with their children and when I watch the kids jump around the beach and games room I so often think 'Wow, that was me some time ago...that's pretty wild.' A number of guests have asked me to tell stories about my former experiences and they also ask how much things have changed here. And what's nice to say is that things don't really change all that much around Small Hope, and most of the grounds look just the way they did a year ago, 13 years ago and 17 years ago.
My sister and I c. 1995

Coming back always yields a great amount of nostalgia and when I walk down the line of cabins a lot of memories crop up. This morning when I was walking to breakfast, I glanced over at some of the cabins (cabin 1 and 2) and remembered some moments as I noticed a particular tree whose trunk bears an unusual shape. This tree has a large limb that was cut off  a long time ago, which makes for a pretty comfortable seat and is probably something that goes unnoticed. What's funny is that it was there 13 years ago (a lot longer than 13 years probably) and my older sister and I had quite a bit of fun with it back then. 

Back in the day, Small Hope used to have those small cereal boxes at the breakfast buffet--you know, those ones that are great for roadtrips and have a mixture of children's favorites like Fruit Loops and the not so favorites like Raisin Bran. Well, we had the brilliant idea of taking them from the buffet, along with soda cans from the coolers, and actually sell them to guests. We went to the tree whose funny trunk makes a great stand, and set up shop with a sign, Mardi Gras beads and all sorts of decorative shells. We sat around and waited, waited while shouting at passersby and actually made a profit from selling Small Hope's breakfast supply! Granted, it was marginal and probably 77 cents or something like that, but it was an exciting entrepreneurial endeavor to take on as a 9 year old. It's fun to walk by that tree and think about how cool I felt when I was little to revamp the notion of a lemonade stand and sell packaged goods in a tree. Maybe I'll take Kaliks out there some day and try to sell them to guests when the boss ain't lookin!
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