Salt Cay

This week has been busy. The museum hosted a trustee’s meeting, a private party at which H. E. the Governor and wife were present, the Olympics started, and we stopped watching LOST.

I feel like that list should be longer.

Today was a really great follow up to all that working. This is the great trade off of the National Museum. Lots of work, but the pay off is big.

I have a list of things I want to do on my visit to the TCI this time around. Seeing a ray was on it. (check)
So is swimming with a turtle. (still looking)
Swimming with a whale is on more of a wish list.

At the private party last week we got a generous offer from the hosting couple to accompany them on a visit to Salt Cay. Bingo! Seeing one of the other islands is also on my list. I’m excited to cross it off so early in my trip – now I can devise something to take it’s place.

Since there was an actual purpose of the trip, we first toured the White House. This house has stood on Salt Cay for nearly 200 years and is the symbol of the Harriot family on Salt Cay. The family, we learned, came to the Bahamas around 1600 as farmers and ended up as captains carrying salt off Salt Cay (the Cay was the true heart of the Turks and Caicos salt industry). Eventually, they invested more and more in the salt industry until they were one of the main companies (or perhaps THE company) in the country.

The White House sustained some heavy damage in Hurricane Ike in 2008 so our hosts were surveying the work done since their last visit. It was also a sort of family reunion. If you want anything done on these islands, there is no contractor to hire, so it’s perpetual do-it-yourself. The uncle and cousin team toured us around and showed us the trials and successes. The house as it stands is pictured here, a shadow of its former glory, but still persisting and sturdy.

Next on the schedule was lunch. We went to See their blog here: http://experience-it–island-thyme.blogspot.com/ They have a very strange tradition of serving a blend of rums soaked in a bottle with wolve’s testes. It didn’t taste so bad. After a shot of this concoction it is mandatory that you howl. Like a wolf. The things I do for this Museum.

Apparently, you also get inducted to the Salt Cay family after completing the famous ritual. I did get a few appreciative nods from the locals and a lot of jokes about becoming a zoo keeper – which is the title you attain after 3 more shots. I held firm to my newest rule of life: only one animal sound per day. But I did demand to see the bottles. This is the cobra.

I didn’t go for the extra 3 shots that wins you a Zoo Keeper t-shirt. The Haitian Donkey is bootleg moonshine with … donkey parts? I stopped asking questions at this point, my curiosity was satisfied and I didn’t want to think about what I’d just ingested.

I was pretty proud of my howl though. One day, if I have the proper devilish company (KB!), I might go for the zoo. Always leave a little something for the next trip.

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