adventure, exploring, K.G. Bethlehem, life, literature, Uncategorized, US Virgin Islands, writer, writing

On Location Series #9 US Virgin Islands (part III)

The continuing journey around the island was enjoyable. As you can see from the first set of pictures, the location of St. Thomas was again, vastly beautiful. We ate lunch at the top of a resort overlooking the bay. The name of the resort escapes me but I spoke on it from the last entry. The voyage up top by the lift that overlooks the Coastal Bay. That was where I tasted the famous “Bushwacker” drink in which I can say with confidence that their island rum was the center of it. It was strong and I am glad I didn’t drive. My stamina was strong for drinking hard liquor but who would want to chance driving eh? 

Not me.

The rest of the pictures took this journey to St. Johns Island. St. Johns is an island were businesses, major franchises were non-existent. This island had very few grocery stores, I only counted two and they were half the size of your local CVS or Walgreens. The children on the island go to school on St. Thomas and another thing to note—close to half of the island is owned by the National Park Service of the United States. You will see more of my adventure in another part of this series.

This day, in particular, it was Labor Day and we were the front center of its annual parade. We saw young children participating, performing their routine and doing a marvelous job in my opinion. We saw other inhabits of the island showcasing their own respective enthusiasm. It ended at a local fair where local vendors who sold jewellery, food and other items unique to the island. A car show was present along with the 80s’ R&B playing in the background. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos are shot videos of the car show. I was awaiting our food and the preparation took too long for my liking. 

Overall it was very insightful, viewing the residents’ interactions amongst themselves. Several times being called a Yankee due to living on the mainland. I somewhat felt like an outsider but other respects I didn’t. They spoke to me as my brothers and sisters back home do. I saw a majority of the townsfolks, on St. Johns and St. Thomas who looks like me and it felt relaxing that I didn’t have to act differently. I didn’t have to reserve myself among non-black due to the stereotypical notion of a violent black man from the system of white supremacy. I hope this system of racism will be destroyed one day as the old guard are dying off from old age and some would hope from influences. 

Any note, I have enjoyed the stay and will venture more into the US Virgin Islands.

adventure, exploring, friends, history, K.G. Bethlehem, life, literature, nature, Uncategorized, US Virgin Islands, writer, writing

On Location Series #9—US Virgin Islands (part 1)

My journey to the US Virgin Islands was a welcoming event for me.  It has been almost 10 years since I actually had a real vacation and I savor every minute of it. The beauty of the land, the clear waters stretching out to the Atlantic.  The personal vibe I felt strongly from the kinship of my island folks.  Exceptionally appealing is the variety that I used in describing it.

Now, the trek started off not so perfect or better yet—normally that I would desire.  The trip was detoured due to weather, but in reality, something was amiss with the plan as we attempted to fly into San Juan Puerto Rico.  We were soon diverted to Aguadilla Puerto Rico, waited for nearly an hour before being charter bused to San Juan.  We all arrived, yes all of the passengers on the plane close to 2 hours later at San Juan airport.  For the passengers whose final destination was San Juan, they were finally happy with discounted future flights by the company.  I and a few others who had other connecting flights were given tickets to fly out to our destination tomorrow morning with mines leaving at 11:30 am to St. Thomas.  We were all given free rooms at the airport hotel along with a dinner voucher and eventually settle in for the night.

The following day I happily boarded the plan and the 35-minute flight to St. Thomas begun.  I landed, greeted by a late friend’s mother, Mrs. Lynch and the vacation at last begun.  I stayed, for free at a 1-bedroom condo and the view from the window was crazy stunning.  My deck faced the bay that led out to the ocean.  I saw, in a distance, St. Johns Island and in a greater distance, the British Virgin Islands.  My G-d!

Mrs. Lynch and my good friend De’nee gave me an amazing tour during my 10 days stay in the islands.  The first part I went to Mountain Top which reportedly served the best banana daiquiris.  They were really good and I really don’t favor fruit alcoholic beverages.  I saw a great deal of the island from the Mountaintop and it just—really I don’t have any good words to describe it so just see it for yourself…

This is the actual spot Sir Francis Drake would sit at, surveying all who came into the bay.

I must also add, Hurricane Maria affected the islands of Puerto Rico and the US Virgins Islands.  Mainstream media did not do the best job in reporting on the small towns in Puerto Rico that were greatly affected by the natural phenomenon and less reporting for the Virgin Islands.  USVI is still recovering, many houses and other buildings still have a tarp on top due to not having a roof.  Schools were destroyed as the government were in a hurry in placing modules as suitable replacements until their original buildings could be fixed and in some instance, rebuild.  USVI and PR are part of the United States.

 

Yes, they are part of the United States.

This is part one of the On Location Series #9.  Look out for the next one in a week or less and thank you for stopping by.  Please, have a coffee on me and if you are inclined to, smoke a cigar as well.