It has been a life-long dream to experience The Bahamas and we recently received the opportunity to visit this Paradise. My family and I travelled to The Bahamas from Sydney, Australia (however we are of Maori descent, the ethnic people of New Zealand) and stayed at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.

Despite the Atlantis being known for its "touristy" traits, I generally like to experience countires in their true form. Its food, Its culture, Its way of life, Its good, Its bad but most of importantly...Its People. As soon as I discovered the People 2 People programme, I immediately jumped at the opportunity and walked away with life-long friends.

I registered my interest via a form on the bahamas.com website and was contacted by a P2P representative who put me in contact with Layne Lightfoot but we named her Mumma even before we met her. Mumma contacted us via email and we organised a day to meet. We did not expect anything from our Host Family but were hoping for a nice long conversation and maybe some suggestions on where to get good local food, little did we know that Mumma had been in the Kitchen that day cooking up the most beautiful Feast.

Mumma and her husband (Papi) collected us from our Hotel (all 9 of us), we insisted that we taxi but she had arranged for her daughters (Ciji and Mica) to meet us after work). On our way to Mummas brother house we stopped at the Liquor store to collect some local beer and rum and continued to Mummas Brothers House (Uncle Dwayne) where we spent the evening with more family and friends laughing, eating, dancing and enjoying each other’s company.

Mumma made us Macaroni n Cheese, Potato Salad, Rice n Peas, Marinated Chicken, Steak etc. After eating so much takeaway, we were so grateful for a home-cooked meal. We left feeling so blessed to have met such beautiful, selfless people.

The following day Mica and Ciji collected us from our hotel once they finished work and took us out for a scrumptious meal at Oh Andros at the Fish Fry. We then met up with Mumma at her Spot to have a chat over a nice cold Kalik (Bahamian Beer). We then changed outfits and hung out at the Fish Fry with Uncle Dwayne who then took us to his club he owns, Da Balcony. Ya’ll be silly to go to Nassau and not spend a night at Da Balcony.

After a fun night of dancing, we sadly headed back to the Hotel to get ready for our early morning flight.

Overall, This is a wonderful programme and we are truly grateful to have met such genuine, loving family who we admire. We have made life-long friends are already planning to return to visit our family. Hopefully we can host them in either Australia or New Zealand so we can re-pay the favour. The Bahamas is beautiful but its people are better.

He aha te mea nui o te ao He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people