After over 2 weeks of military and law enforcement training for the largest regional training exercise of its kind, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force hosted hundreds of participants of Exercise Tradewinds 2018 from over 20 nations got a few hours to soak in and enjoy the culture of The Bahamas.
With the official closing ceremony for the Exercise taking place earlier in the day at HMBS Coral Harbour, the excited members of security forces from England, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Mexico, the United States and throughout the Caribbean enjoyed the Cultural Show experience at Arawak Cay.
The guests were treated to lively Bahamian music, colorful performances by various entertainers. A Bahamian cultural show script narrated by J. Hepburn. The crowd was entertained by pulsating music by the Rhythm N’ Youth Rake and Scrape Band, and performances by Genesis Junkanoo group, The Bahamas National Youth Choir, and the world famous Royal Bahamas Defence Force Marching Band, whose performance best described as ‘fire.’
The excited men and women also got a chance to experience a taste of the country with a variety of Bahamian foods. The military guests were able to soak into numerous mouth-watering Bahamian cuisine. The mouth-watering menu included conch fritter, conch chowder, scorched conch, crab n’ rice, plantain, guava duff, lemonade, and numerous other Bahamian dishes prepared especially for them.
Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel, who also served as Chief of Defence Staff for the Tradewinds Multinational Task Force, lauded the efforts of Lieutenant Commander Sonia Miller and her team from the Tradewinds Secretariat in organizing the event with the support of the wider Force. Script writer Ms. Patrice Francis, Show Director Ms. Erin Knowles, and Ms. Maltese Davis, who served as Dance Choreographer, were also commended for their outstanding efforts.
The crowd was fully engaged by the lively dancing and singing stage acts with their creative body paintings and bright costumes. However, undoubtedly for many, the food and drinks were the highlight of the event.
The night was geared towards creating a memorable cultural experience for our visitors as The Bahamas bid them farewell. It was an evening that the 20 nation partners would not soon forget, including The Bahamas for being a great host.
(Photos by Marine Seaman Kyle Smith)