Bahamas gears up for Miss Universe on Aug 23

Associated Press
Aug 18, 2009 at 02:16pm IST

Bahamas: Miss Universe contestants have descended on the Bahamas and official activities for the 58th Miss Universe pageant are underway in the Bahamas. Contestants from 85 countries have been arriving on in Nassau since August 2.

The Bahamas have celebrated the event with a special week of activities introducing the contestants to the people, culture and geography of the country. The contestants will compete for the crown on August 23.

The capital of the islands-nation lies just 55 miles off the east coast of Florida and all observers have agreed that the Bahamas is the perfect host for the competition.

WHO'S THE PRETTIEST: Miss Germany Martina Lee, Miss India Ekta Chowdhry and Miss Thailand Chutima Durongdej pose for a picture in Bahamas.

"Just because the people of the Bahamas are so warm and welcoming and hospitable and they take so much pride in their country and their culture and traditions are so rich and you come here and you totally feel you are at home," said Miss USA, Kirsten Dalton.

"I found the Bahamian people to have their own thing going on. They're warm, they're welcoming, they've bent over backwards for us to make us feel welcome," says Miss Great Britain, Clair Cooper.

"I think the Miss Universe competition chose The Bahamas, because it's paradise. It's perfect here. It's a perfect opportunity for Diana Mendosa to pass on her crown - beautiful place with amazing people," agreed Miss Canada Mariana Valente.

Miss Namibia, Happy Ntelamo, said she was finding the weather a little too warm, but loved it all the same.

"In my country right now, it's cold, we're having our winter, so when I got off the plane I felt this warm breeze over me, I'm like 'Yes I'm home', but now I'm thinking 'Am I home?' because it gets too hot, but it's beautiful."

"I love these people, very friendly. All the time they are smiling, oh my God, I love these people, I love the beaches, I love the pictures, I love everything here, so I'm having a great time, so thank you Bahamas for all your support and for being really friendly people," added Miss Dominican Republic, Ada Aimee De la Cruz.

The contestants will compete for the crown in a contest to be televised live August 23.

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