Here in Hope Town, a quaint little village in the Abacos, I frequently take a morning walk past the tiny red and white schoolhouse overlooking the harbor. The students are mostly richly-bronzed little island boys and girls. The girls in white blouses, red plaid skirts; the boys in navy shorts and white shirts with a navy tie. Away from school they talk island talk: a pidgeon-mix of several dialects not understandable to anyone but native island folk.
I sat and had a Guinness in a local bar on St. Patrick’s Day. I asked a local about the tiny school. Proud, in perfect English with a slight British accent, he informed me the kids win the spelling bee every year for all the Abacos islands. Against much larger schools in much larger towns with fewer native Bahamians.
I think the reason I enjoy this walk so much is due to how happy the children are. I see no squabbling. They say hello and smile at me when I pass. More than a small contentment to an old teacher.