A Story By Nellie Day - What Types of Houses Do People Live in the Bahamas?

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May 22, 2012

Nellie Day a freelance writer wrote on www.Travels.com about the living styles and conditions of Bahamians. Evidently the story brought about a massive negative reaction from most of the Bahamian public and in their outrage all of them expressed that they felt Day was misinformed and  had been misrepresented. Bahamians then took to the major social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook posting statuses, comments, tweets and photos all in response to Day's article.

Nellie also thinks Dolphin World in the US is actually in The Bahamas.. Click here

 

Here is what she wrote..

"Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the islands of the Bahamas can provide the perfect place to lay your roots and build your dream home--as long as you can afford the price tag that many luxury homes boast. For those who can afford to live the life of luxury, the Bahamas has all the construction, design and real estate services anyone could wish for. For many local Bahamians, however, life is less glamorous. The islands' ample working-class section often inhabits shacks and huts, which can make them vulnerable to hurricanes and constant rebuilding efforts.
Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Bahamian homes are their colorful exteriors. Like the rest of the country, these homes are composed of bright, exotic, energetic blues, yellows and pinks. While some stateside houses get away with pale or neutral shades of these hues, the Bahamas basks in the vibrant shades, ensuring that turquoise blue will always be favorable to powder blue, and fuchsia will always win over blushes.

Straw or Wooden Huts

Even though the Bahamas has the third-highest income, per capita, in the Western Hemisphere, there is great disparity between the island's haves and have-nots. Many Bahamians make their living farming or selling trinkets at the local straw markets. The country's fierce hurricane season can damage these efforts, however, leading to further poverty. For the lower and lower-middle classes, small beach shacks and huts are home. They still maintain their colorful facades, though their insides are typically much more modest in nature. The poorest Bahamians typically create makeshift homes out of straw or wood. These materials are abundant in the Bahamas, both at industrial and retail outlets and along the beach, where straw and wooden debris can usually be found. Some of the poverty-ridden also raid abandoned structures, stripping them of their wooden planks and other viable materials. Unfortunately, even though these materials are in large supply, they do not hold up well. Termites, flooding and strong winds can easily destroy these huts. These huts can pop up almost anywhere, from a secluded beach to a hidden alley to an open space of land. These structures are poorly executed, since they are usually built by the shack's occupants with no professional help.

Brick or Concrete Shacks

Though there is very little middle class in the Bahamas, those who are considered middle class and upper-lower class typically create their homes from brick or concrete, which can withstand hurricanes much better than wood or straw can. These materials can be expensive, and brick is usually cheaper and found in more abundance than concrete. These structures may consist of simply one large room, or the area may be divided by makeshift dividers made from sheets, straw, wooden boards or beaded curtains. Those who have a little more money tend to build their homes out of concrete. They are typically composed of three or four rooms, with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom. Most of these homes are inland and typically reside in boroughs near large cities such as Nassau. Beachfront land is typically too valuable to allow these small concrete structures to be erected.

 

A reply sent to Nellie Day by Graham Thordarson.

"Following is a letter I posted to Ms. Nellie Day's facebook page.

Ms. Day,
I recently read your article concerning homes in The Bahamas and I believe you have done a major disservice to our little nation. I am sorely disappointed that you would call yourself a professional journalist after producing a piece of work this lazy and full of inaccuracies.


The Bahamas has a thriving middle class. Yes, there is poverty, as there is everywhere, but it is by no means as dismal as you describe. There are no great numbers of Bahamians living subsistence lifestyles, scrounging straw and driftwood off the beaches to erect hand built huts in which to live. That is sheer fantasy. Where there are large groupings of poorly constructed "huts" it is generally populated by newly or recently arrived Haitians fleeing their country, which is, in fact, more like what you describe.


Most of our homes are built to construction standards that outstrip many areas in our neighbouring countries, namely Mexico and the United States. Case in point, after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, Florida construction industry officials were sent HERE to see how we constructed our homes, using steel reinforced concrete columns at every corner and walls of concrete blocks (not brick - there are few, if any, brick homes here) and using hurricane clips to secure the roofs. Most are modest to moderately sized, one or two story buildings, with all the modern trappings, including cable or satellite TV, broadband internet, even running water and indoor plumbing!!!
Our political class mainly consists of professionals, businessmen-and-women, doctors and lawyers who do not live in sprawling mansions or stately manors. Those that do are actually very few and many are expatriates who hold high positions in off-shore banks (our second leading industry) which own or lease the properties. They often do not live so well back home. Many others are old money or summer properties with foreign owners who spend a month or two a year in them and sometimes rent them out when they are not here.


Politically, we are part of the Caribbean, but geographically and geologically we are a separate chain of islands atop a limestone shelf to the south and east of Florida. Our history is different from our Caribbean brothers in a few important ways, more closely associated with the closer United States and our former Colonial leaders in Britain. Even our accents and dialects are unique, due to differing and varied cultural influences.


This is a nation with a higher standard of living than most of the Caribbean, with a rich historical and cultural heritage and a proud people. We are generally a friendly, easy-going people, but, as you are by now well aware, we do not take kindly to being misrepresented by people who obviously could not be bothered to take the time to do due diligence in the performance of their own chosen profession.


I think an apology is in order from you and the publisher of your article, and in future, you may consider spending a little more time and doing more extensive research into any topic you choose to address.


Good day to you and good luck.

Links

Follow all the tweets sent to Nellie Day here

Nellie Days facebook page here

Graham Thordarson letter here

source

Following is a letter I posted to Ms. Nellie Day's facebook page.

Ms. Day,
I recently read your article concerning homes in The Bahamas and I believe you have done a major disservice to our little nation. I am sorely disappointed that you would call yourself a professional journalist after producing a piece of work this lazy and full of inaccuracies.
The Bahamas has a thriving middle class. Yes, there is poverty, as there is everywhere, but it is by no means as dismal as you describe. There are no great numbers of Bahamians living subsistence lifestyles, scrounging straw and driftwood off the beaches to erect hand built huts in which to live. That is sheer fantasy. Where there are large groupings of poorly constructed "huts" it is generally populated by newly or recently arrived Haitians fleeing their country, which is, in fact, more like what you describe.
Most of our homes are built to construction standards that outstrip many areas in our neighbouring countries, namely Mexico and the United States. Case in point, after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, Florida construction industry officials were sent HERE to see how we constructed our homes, using steel reinforced concrete columns at every corner and walls of concrete blocks (not brick - there are few, if any, brick homes here) and using hurricane clips to secure the roofs. Most are modest to moderately sized, one or two story buildings, with all the modern trappings, including cable or satellite TV, broadband internet, even running water and indoor plumbing!!!
Our political class mainly consists of professionals, businessmen-and-women, doctors and lawyers who do not live in sprawling mansions or stately manors. Those that do are actually very few and many are expatriates who hold high positions in off-shore banks (our second leading industry) which own or lease the properties. They often do not live so well back home. Many others are old money or summer properties with foreign owners who spend a month or two a year in them and sometimes rent them out when they are not here.
Politically, we are part of the Caribbean, but geographically and geologically we are a separate chain of islands atop a limestone shelf to the south and east of Florida. Our history is different from our Caribbean brothers in a few important ways, more closely associated with the closer United States and our former Colonial leaders in Britain. Even our accents and dialects are unique, due to differing and varied cultural influences.
This is a nation with a higher standard of living than most of the Caribbean, with a rich historical and cultural heritage and a proud people. We are generally a friendly, easy-going people, but, as you are by now well aware, we do not take kindly to being misrepresented by people who obviously could not be bothered to take the time to do due diligence in the performance of their own chosen profession.
I think an apology is in order from you and the publisher of your article, and in future, you may consider spending a little more time and doing more extensive research into any topic you choose to address.
Good day to you and good luck.

News date : 05/22/2012    Category : About Bahamians

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