Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Matthew Town, Bahamas

It's mail boat day in Matthew Town. The basin is an ongoing party and everyone is invited. The forklift unloading pallets of supplies is supervised by the Customs official, the dockmaster, and anyone else who has an interest in the cargo. Under the shade of umbrellas Momma sells cold drinks from ice chests and the locals socialize as they wait for their names to be called.
Everything comes on the mailboat: food, supplies, packages from friends and relatives, and even, I imagine, mail. We see bicycles, lumber, dogfood, cement, tires, produce, and appliances coming ashore. After buying two sodas we regretfully leave the action and try to walk down to the Customs office. I say "try" because we get offered a ride from someone almost immediately. When we start to walk back another ride is offered. Later in the day we get yet another ride across town back to the basin. Matthew Town has to be the friendliest town we've ever been in.
Back at the basin, cargo is still being unloaded. The last items come from the cooler box; an old refrigerated truck box that sits permanently on the ferry. As fast as the pallets are unloaded, other forklifts, pickup trucks and human hands carry the cargo away and by 3:00pm the party is over until next week. At 4:00pm the mail boat motors past us headed back to Nassau. The quay is clean and quiet again until next Monday when it will all happen again.
I think we are going to love the Bahamas.

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