So here we are at the very end of April and I bring you all the latest news in Eleuthera. Firstly there is a whole new batch of vaccines here on Island – the vaccinations are being carried out at the clinics at Rock Sound, Palmetto Point, Spanish Wells and at the John Wesley Methodist Church in Bluff. You can register on line at https//vax.gov.bs Anyone over 18 years of age can get vaccinated and onsite appointments are also available.
I know that not everybody is keen to get the vaccination – but as I have said before, we certainly are and I personally look forward to getting our second vaccination at the beginning of June.
The government here made an announcement that from May 1st international travelers will be exempt from needing a Covid 19 test as long as they are fully vaccinated and have passed the 2 week immunity period. The test will obviously be needed for people who have not met those criteria – but this is a way forward and will hopefully encourage more people to choose the vaccination option. Steps that make it easier for visitors to come here on vacation of course are more than welcome.
Plenty of people are beginning to return to the island – but it will take a while before the hospitality industry recovers fully from the impact of the last year…..
Other local news which is more than welcome for Bahamians is that a passport office is opening right here in the Administrator’s Office on May 1st. This will save people here a lot of money as at the moment the only way to renew a Bahamian passport is to fly to Nassau and get it done there. Up to now that entails a Covid 19 test, the cost of the airfare and accommodation overnight at least in Nassau. And very often it is not just one member of a family who needs to do that ….. Bob and I are going to the opening of the office on Friday – so I will report back next week….
Other news but not welcome at all is that RBC is closing it’s branch here in Governors Harbour on May 27th. Obviously on-line banking will still be available but there is a need for people to sometimes visit the branch. The branch in Spanish Wells closed down some time ago so the only remaining branch will be in Harbour Island which is not a viable option for many people. The ATM at First Caribbean Bank here in Governors Harbour will be available for RBC customers to use their cards to withdraw money – but the impact of closing the branch will reach far and wide.
I feel for the staff as well – some of whom have worked at the branch for more than 20 years. They were given the option of being transferred to Harbour Island but obviously only a couple of the younger members of staff will be taking this option. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their service over the 15 years that we have banked with them. Dealing with the general public can be very stressful and on numerous occasions I have seen customers vent their frustration because the funds they were expecting were not showing in their account or another hiccup has happened. A real don’t shoot the messenger scenario ! Anyway – I’m sure you will join me in wishing them all the best for the future – nothing remains constant and forever in life – not even having a branch of your bank where you live it would appear !
Other local news is that the lovely Bahama Hand Prints is open again – so do pop in to find something good to take home with you. It is situated at the bottom of the ‘up hill ‘ right across the road from our office.
Personal news is that progress at Sprawling Towers is coming on a treat. I stood with Bob for around half an hour the other day and was laughing in awe at the fitness and agility of some of the young men working for us – vaulting six foot walls – landing like a cat and sprinting off to fetch another wheelbarrow full of cement and running up a slope with it ! It is a real joy to see but goodness it makes you realize that the years have gone by and personally we will never have those levels of fitness and strength again !
Rudge has an unsupervised run out around six o’clock most mornings – and he usually comes back within 5 – 10 minutes – but occasionally good smells and discarded food get the better of him and I start to get concerned. The other morning this happened so I did what I usually do and got in my car to drive down the road to find him – he always seems to come when he hears the car . As I turned into the turning for Sprawling Towers I saw the most glorious huge firy red sun rising – it will be the view that we get from our bedroom when we live there – it was such a joyous and heart lifting sight that I totally forgot to be cross with him for staying out too long and instead was grateful that he was the reason I saw it ! Sorry – no picture as I didn’t take my phone with me …..
A huge thank you to all of you who have contributed to both the Educators for Eleuthera Fund and also the Buccaneer Scholarship Fund – it all makes a difference to lives here and so many people are so very grateful for what you are contributing.