Divided by Water, Together by Culture

It’s that time of the year when individual differences are put aside and we come together as one for the 25th CULTURAMA. This year we were in a different location, away from the lawns of University of Bahamas to the parking lot of the Reef restaurant.

One family

You could hear the loud speakers of each countries’ music echoing towards the passing vehicles. The University of the West Indies is known to host students from all over the Caribbean, and this year there were nine (9) countries on showcase. Collectively these countries represent the UWI CHTM family.

Lifelong bonds

As early as 7 am, you could hear the hustle and bustle of pots and pans as students were preparing meals in the UWI House Restaurant while other students were setting up their designated areas ready to display their country’s culture to other students and the Bahamian people. For most students, they felt a feeling of being home again as they got the chance to prepare most of the popular dishes from their home country.

Trini chefs

The most popular dish requested from the Jamaican team was ackee and saltfish and jerk chicken served with steaming hot fried dumplings and saltfish fritters and ‘Hell a top, Hell a bottom and Hallelujah in the middle’a famous phrase used to describe the Jamaican sweet potato pudding.

Jamaican ackee and saltfish

‘Iz a Bajan ting!!’(Barbados), proudly displayed golden brown flying fish, cheesy macaroni pie, sweet potato pie, fish cakes, bajan bakes and sweet bread. Trinidad and Tobago delights included pholourie, buss-up-shut chicken and roti and a host of preserves such as guava cheese, khurma, sugar cake and benne ball from the Trinidad and Tobago. St.Lucia’s stall had on display cocoa tea and bakes, pemmie, bouillon and green plantain salad. Yum!!!!

St.Lucia Stall

The individual countries also stood strong as the one and only Guyanese student, Josiah Joseph, displayed curry chicken and dhall puri, eggball and bakes and saltfish. Vincentian Karielle Edwards, prepared doughboy and saltfish, duccuna and showcased Captain Bligh XO rum which was too strong for some individuals to handle. Merlyne Marie, who hails from the famous 365 beaches of Antigua prepared spicy pepperpot soup, fungi and bread pudding. St.Kitts and Nevis student Annivea Hutchinson, displayed coconut dumpling, saltfish and spicy plantains.

We had a few moments of dark skies which eventually resulted in rainfall but this in no way dampened the spirits of the students and staff members as they were seen in the streets dancing to the music and promoting to the vehicles passing by which led to increased support. Culturama 2017 was indeed another successful event put on by CHTM students. Cultures were shared, memories were created and I can gladly say: mission accomplished CHTM family!!!

Special shout out to the Lucians who celebrated their Independence Day on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. Happy 38th Independence Day St.Lucia!!!!!!!!!!

Lucian Beauties

By Jodi-Ann Williams, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Photos by Rhodene Marks, Ayisha Elliott, Sakele Watts, Jodi-Ann Williams © 2017

CHTM Cross Country 2017

“Magic!” … “Supreme!” … “Phoenix!” Those were the chants that could be heard on Saturday at daybreak as representatives from each house showed up at Warren to participate in the early morning cross country starting at 7am. Well, it was more like from three houses as representatives from team Ivy League were yet to make an appearance.

As the start time drew near, the teams made a few quick jabs at each other on who was going to win the points and bragging rights for their teams. A few representatives from team Ivy League decided to make their presence known then…

Ivy League

“On your marks!” Everyone was lined off and ready. “Get set!” They were focused and ready to pounce… “GO!!!”

And they’re off…

They were off like a pack of wild hyenas chasing an invisible prey with Josiah Joseph of team Magic leading the way. It had only been a mere five seconds since they began and one participant could be heard shouting “I tired! Oh god me tired!!!”



Cross country at Warren

As they made their way unto Davis Street and headed down to the On the Run gas station, there were those who stopped to catch their breaths as their lives flashed before their eyes – probably wishing they had stayed in their beds that morning. As markers waited on Farrington Road to guide the runners back to Warren, the Yellow Flash of team Magic, Josiah Joseph, could be seen sprinting down the stretch. “MAGIC WOI!!! MAGIC!!!” he shouted as he zoomed passed like a speeding bullet, looking cool and not even breaking a sweat, leaving the other participants to follow his trail of dust as he sprinted onward to victory.

1st Place Winner Josiah Joseph

It was an arms race between Jourdain Lowe of Magic and Supreme Blue’s Keshae Bovell vying for second position, but alas, it was Jourdain who emerged victorious in second place with Keshae settling for third.

Team Magic’s magic was not done yet as Latifah Forde took the fourth position and was the first female to cross the finish line. The other participants came straggling in breathless like they’d been running the full length of Nassau and one participant could be heard saying, “I made it! I almost died but I made it,” as she crossed the finish line breathless. The atmosphere was filled with laughter as Julio Salmon, the star runner of team Phoenix who had been boasting that he would be winning the cross-country event days before, was now making his way to start the race as he had over-slept. He may not have won any points but he sure did win our smiles.

by Renissa Waldron, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Photos by Crystal Alleyne © 2017



CHTM’s Own Caribbean Gems

Every CHTM student was excited for this event as it was the first official social for the semester. The carnival launch party was hosted by the student’s executive body and brought us all together in a rand showcase of CHTM talent. The designer of the costumes, Denroy Wilson, added the finishing touches to all the costumes, the models did their final try-ons, our resident makeup artist slayed all faces and then they were ready to hit the stage at Hard Rock Cafe.

Island Mas By Denroy Wilson

The UWI Island Mas band was ready to launch. The show was scheduled to start at 11 PM but got off to a very very late start, which did not stop the few persons in the venue from enjoying the music being played by the DJ. By midnight the venue was jam packed with little walking space from the stage at one end of the room to the exit. With the huge crowd gathered, it was now time to showcase the costumes.

The two hosts, Jasonta and Ayisha, got on stage to introduce the segment. We weren’t initially accepted by the crowd as they wanted to hear more music and was not too interested in the showcase, however the security got it under control after a short while and our amazing models began the showcase.

Jamaica Tallawah (Alternate)

The first segment was the men’s t-shirt with the winning design from the T-shirt Design Competition held by the student executive last semester. Next came the most anticipated part of the showcase- the females dressed in their brightly coloured costumes with a whole lot of feathers and rhinestones. First, it was the Bajan inspired costumes dubbed Trident Pride, followed by the Jamaican inspired costume called Tallawah and then the St. Lucian, Versicolor and finally the costume inspired by Trinidad and Tobago – Queen of Bacchanal.

Queen of Bacchanal (Alternate Costume)

The showcase was a great success, the designer and the student executive were extremely proud and the students had loads of fun.

by Ayisha Elliott, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017 

Photos by Sakele Watts ©2017

CHTM Staff attends LEAD 2017

CHTM staff member Ms. Christine Rollins had the pleasure of attending the Leadership Excellence and Development Conference (LEAD2017) held in Nashville, Tennessee in February 2017. The conference was streamed live to the Bahamas and facilitated by The University of the West Indies Open Campus.

The Bahamas programme was opened by Dr. Barbara Rodgers Newbold, Country Head – UWI Open Campus Bahamas. Project Liaison officer Jacqueline Ledgister-Bethell (CHTM  alumnus) introduced the conference. The full day event was packed with distinguished speakers who covered a range of topics. Roger Nierenberg, symphony conductor, presented The Music Paradigm. He metaphorically compared an organization to an orchestra highlighting the idea that everyone has their own instrument to play and should be encouraged to play it skillfully.

Immaculee Ilibagiza – Author of ‘Left to Tell’ Photo courtesy of Vie Magazine

Immaculee Ilibagiza, genocide survivor, gave a spellbinding presentation on forgiveness. Dr. Jen Welter, former NFL player and coach for the Arizona Cardinals advised the audience to never allow anyone to tell you what you cannot do. At 5ft. 2 ins. and 130lbs Jen Welter can certainly attest to this as she defied all the odds to play the position of running back and then went on to become the first female coach in the men’s professional football league. Her talk was a testament to the power of determination and perseverance.

Dr. Jen Welter, photo courtesy of LEAD2017

HR.com’s annual conference is designed to inspire corporate leaders and enrich the lives of participants both personally and professionally. The event brings together vice presidents, chief executive officers and other executives and top management and equips them with the tools and insights needed by business and community leaders.

Ms. Christine Rollins, Accounts Dept., CHTM

“Attending LEAD 2017 was an inspiring and eye-opening experience. I gained an understanding of various leadership approaches and strategies that will undoubtedly remain with me for the rest of my life.” ~ Christine Rollins

Cultural Clashes to Cultural Bonding

I never imagined that I would be studying with students from around the Caribbean, countries like Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia. I was so excited when I discovered all the nationalities present at CHTM. I had never heard accents from Barbados, St Lucia, and other Caribbean countries before starting this journey. In fact, if you had given me a map of the Caribbean which was not labeled, I would have had some difficulty identifying each island.  If you have attended the University of The West Indies Center for Hotel and Tourism Management, (UWI, CHTM) it is possible that you had your share of disagreements.

My clash came very early on in the first semester before even stepping foot into a classroom, before I met anyone or knew any of their names.  My encounter started at a famous social spot in Nassau where all of the new students met before the official start of class for meet and greet and a social outing to get the new students accustomed to the island.  During the night, I was socializing and talking to the other students, words were exchanged and the rest was history.  I learnt my lesson very early on to never call a group of Caribbean people “boring” again.  If words could kill, I would be laying in my grave.

I began to learn that the transition for everyone was not easy, from students being home sick to communication barriers, even though each of us spoke English, the accents and slangs made it difficult to understand each other.  From the Jamaican dialect, some of their phases were “How yuh stay” this expression means how are you, and another slang was “Gud Mawnin”, which explains itself, Good Morning.  Barbadians, also referred to as Bajans, say “Wuking up”, which means to dance up or whine your waist with energy.  Another Bajan slang is “Pompasettin”, which means, showing off.  Also, slangs from Trinidad and Tobago are “Just Now”, which means to hold on one second, or “Lime” meaning to hang out or “waz di scene” which means, hey, what are you doing.  The most famous saying that students learnt from The Bahamas is “MuddaSick”.  This slang is used to express amazement, surprise or disappointment.  In fact, it can be used to express any strong feeling or emotion, it is not limited and usually, this phrase is accompanied by the word “well” in front of it.

After several weeks of class, a particular individual reached out to me because of his situation and we instantly clicked.  At this point, the cultures were slowly integrating and even though I was still considered the outcast by a few persons in my class, because of my “boring” remark, my transition started and I was swiftly moving from an outcast to becoming a family member.

Day trip at Clifton Heritage Park, Jaws Beach

During the spring semester of 2016, the bond between myself and the other CHTM students grew and became stronger than ever.  As a matter of fact, the entire student body began bonding with each other, strengthening their relationships which were once strained during the previous semester.  The more time we spent with each other, it was as if we were a tight knitted family, experiencing things like beach trips, partying at events/night clubs and even helping each other with assignments and financial needs, and also being a support system mentally through conversations.

Cabbage Beach, Atlantis Pool – Easter weekend 2016

It was game night February 5, 2017, and for the very first time ever during 2015 – 2017, we experienced second and third-year males all bonding in one setting.  The event which created this was Super Bowl, the most anticipated game of the season.  The showdown was between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.  The game started off without a hitch, rum/liquors were being served around the room namely, Ricardo coconut rum, Tanqueray Gin, and the favorite of the crowd, 12-year-old Eldorado.  Each person had their favorite team to win the game.  I, Mr. Lowe and Sakele Watts were rooting for the Atlanta falcons to win the game and the other guys were cheering for the New England Patriots to win.  Kynann was the one person I was not sure of because he was a flip-flopper rooting for both sides, it was whoever won for him.

Super Bowl night 2017 Patriots vs. Falcons

The first two quarters were a blowout, 0-21 was the score and the Atlanta fans were happy. You could have heard a pin drop in the New England camp.  Then there was the halftime performances, the artist was Lady Gaga.  Someone commented that Lady Gaga was the white Rihanna then a big debate broke out it was hilarious, please watch the video clip inserted in this blog.  After the halftime show was done, the New England Patriots were getting one touchdown after another, they were suddenly tied.  Time would seal the faith for both teams and in the last few seconds, the Patriots scored the winning touchdown.  The opposition fans were disappointed, of course, especially Mr. Lowe who said: “I won’t ever watch American football again”.  That night was definitely a success that each one of us will remember it for the rest of our lives.

By Vernon L. Weech, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Thanks to all the students who shared photos for this post.

CHTM Faculty Contribute to Tourism Publication

On Monday, January 30, 2017, author Angela Cleare (and former Part-time lecturer at CHTM) celebrated the publication of her second book with an official launch held at the British Colonial Hilton.  The occasion was attended by contributors, family and friends and tourism industry experts. Senior Director (Airlift) at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Tyrone Sawyer was Master of Ceremonies.  The Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism (Bahamas) brought remarks and spoke highly of Ms. Cleare’s many years of service to Bahamian tourism and her ongoing dedication to The Bahamas and the industry.

L-R Angela Cleare, Obie Wilchcombe and Elizabeth Mackay

The publication, Business of Tourism in the 21st Century: A Caribbean Approach, is assembled into 24 chapters in nine sections and is aimed at  advanced secondary and undergraduate students of tourism. It gives a comprehensive review of the development and management of tourism in the Bahamas. The inclusion of statistics, case studies and review questions make it an invaluable resource for students and a useful teaching tool for educators.

Case studies and articles were contributed by an impressive list of twenty-three industry experts including Dr. Andrew Spencer (Programme Director – CHTM), Vincent Vanderpool Wallace (former Director General – Bahamas Minister of Tourism), Eleanor Phillips (Director – The Nature Conservancy), Dr. Judith Gobin (Senior Lecturer, UWI St. Augustine and former Chairman of the Board, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad), Stuart Bowe (President, BHTA), Kerry Fountain (Executive Director, Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board), Lynn Gape (Deputy Executive Director, Bahamas National Trust) as well as several other noteworthy experts.

Dr. Andrew Spencer and author Angela Cleare

Ms. Cleare reviewed the project and extended gratitude to all the  contributors, her two editors (Elizabeth Mackay, Lecturer -University of the West Indies and Monique Hepburn, Director – Ministry of Tourism), Mr. Ambrose Fernander (Cover Design), Mr. Baltron Bethel – first Bahamian Director General of Tourism (Foreword), as well as the wonderful and supportive staff at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Statistics.

Copies of the publication were generously presented to contributors,  high school tourism teacher’s in attendance as well as to the young members of the author’s family. Ms. Cleare was particularly thankful for the love and unwavering support of her family and friends who filled the room and expressed their obvious admiration.

Reviews of the book were written by The Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Sir Arthur Foulkes (Former Governor General of The Bahamas), Wendall Jones and Sharon Poitier.

We congratulate Angela on this outstanding achievement and wish her continued success.




Professional Resume Workshop 2017

At the request of students, the 2017 academic year got underway with a two part professional resume workshop. Held on consecutive Fridays, the workshop was attended by 17 students from both second and final year.

Participants covered resume design, layout, structure and wording, and benefitted from both peer review and individual guidance and feedback. At the end of the second session students emerged with professionally designed resumes that effectively communicate their varied abilities and accomplishments.

The workshop was organized and facilitated by business communication and tourism lecturer, Elizabeth Mackay and co-faciliated by Tonya Tobierre (second year) and Jenielle Rhone (third year) – both of whom had previously undergone individual (and extensive) resume reviews.