By: Geordie Moss
Well it’s been just over two weeks since myself and Luke touched down in Nassau, and what an experience it has been thus far – I’m still expecting to wake up in my bed in Ottawa only to realize this was all a dream!
Upon arrival, we were picked up by our supervisor (Romell) and co-worker (Drumeco) and treated to a delicious authentic Caribbean lunch at one of their favourite lunch spots – the Cricket Club. We were then taken on a short tour of the city, only to be cut short in order to make a meeting with the World Rugby Federation at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium – the facility playing host to the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2017 Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games as well as the host for all the Track & Field events. Needless to say we were thrown into the fire right away!
In terms of our roles here, myself and Luke’s official titles are Games Family Relationship Managers for the 2017 Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG). So far, our work has mainly consisted of data management for the CYG Organizing Committee (OC). There are 70 countries participating in the Games, and each country has been sent a Team Size Calculator (TSC) in which they have been asked to fill out by January 15th. The calculator indicates how many athletes and Officials each country intends to send, the gender of each athlete, and the discipline in which they intend to compete in.
We have begun creating multiple Excel documents to note all the countries that have responded, as well as marking down the number of athletes that have confirmed participation in each discipline. We have also been emailing the countries that have either (1) missed the deadline and have not sent their TSC; or (2) sent an incomplete TSC (indicated how many athletes they intend to send but have not indicated the disciplines in which they intend to compete in). We also had the opportunity to sit in on the contract negotiations between the CYG OC and the hotels that will provide accommodation for the athletes and officials, which provided an insightful look into how contracts are negotiated here in the Caribbean!
My biggest learning curve, by far, has been adjusting to ‘island time’. Before heading over to the Bahamas I knew things happened a bit slower than we’re used to here in Canada, but I don’t believe I realized the immense difference between our two cultures. In Canada, we typically think arriving 20-30 minutes later than our proposed time is late, whereas here in Nassau, arriving an hour and a half after your proposed time of arrival is considered ‘early’! It was a bit of a culture shock at the start, but I am slowly starting to adjust to the extended periods of waiting. Views like these makes the waiting a bit easier!
In terms of our living arrangement, Romell has set us up in a very nice apartment that is only minutes away from a secluded beach (which we have named ‘Canada Beach’) and within walking distance of a strip mall that has all of the essentials (i.e. grocery store, restaurants and banks), so life could not be any sweeter! Myself and Luke have been keeping ourselves quite busy on our off days; visiting local shops, trying out the Caribbean cuisine, and of course, checking out all the beaches! Earlier in the week we went out and bought some snorkeling equipment and finally had the opportunity to test them out yesterday, so needless to say we are very excited to visit all the other amazing beaches in the Bahamas!
Until next time!