Bahama Tales - Nassau

Most of our years in the Bahamas we lived on Cat Island, but for one year we lived in Nassau, the capital. My mother was a RN, but needed some midwifry training at the hospital there.

Nassau was the big city to us. There were fish markets and a strawmarket near the docks. The police directed traffic with fancy uniforms and white gloves. I remember a book store, more like my-dream-come-true store!

We lived in house with a big wrap-around porch, but only two bedrooms. My parents had one and my brothers had the other. I had the whole attic to myself. It was nice sometimes, but I remember a scary night during a thunderstorm.

My father taught at Kingway Academy, a Christian school nearby. That was the second time I went to school. My teacher's name was Mrs. Nunez. She taught 2nd and 3rd grades together. We wore white shirts and blue skirts. I can still smell the odor of my leather bookbag I used. Valery was one of my friends. I was accused of telling someone the answer to a test question and sent out in the hallway. (I wasn't telling her the answer! I was just pointing to a funny picture.) At one chapel time, I committed my life to the Lord and "signed" my name on the blackboard.

We played a game called Punchinello every recess. The players stood in a circle, with one in the middle. We chanted this song:

"What do you know, Punchinello, funny fellow?
What do you know, Punchinello, funny you?"

The one in the middle would do an action,
(like hopping on one foot)
Then we'd sing:

"We can do it too, Punchinello, funny fellow..."

and all hop on one foot
or whatever she was doing.
Then we'd sing:

"Who do you choose, Punchinello, funny fellow..."

and the one in the middle would close her eyes and spin around until the end of the song. Whomever she was pointing to would be next in the middle. It seems silly now, but we loved it and played it everyday.

I got to see Queen Elizabeth. The whole city was decorated with lights for the occasion. All the schools gathered at the rugby stadium. I was excited because I was in the front, near the boundary rope. When the queen's car drove into the stadium, I almost got trampled by the push against the rope. My mother got to shake her hand at the hospital.

We had a nanny while my mother was at the hospital, Alma Bains. She cleaned and cooked and played with us children. I remember her singing and teaching me to snap my fingers.

As usual, I couldn't begin to tell everything.
~playing Hide n' Seek with Daddy
~playing with the pop-gun, cap guns
~flying a kite in the park
~the cemetary with the tombs above ground
~getting my first Bible for learning verses in SS
~reading "The Raggedy Man"

Next week, I'll tell about living in the clinic


Dee Yoder said...

o interesting to read about your childhood, Vonnie. I love the rhythm of the game you children played. Very British sounding!

Vonnie said...

Thanks, Dee. It was a very British society. We even used shillings and ha'pennies.


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