The Beacon has recently welcomed a new reporter. Fresh out of college at the University of Vermont and hailing from California, Joey Waldinger is beginning to settle in to his new life and daily routine. However, there are still times, such as when he happened upon Rogues Bay just as the sun began to set, that he cannot believe he lives in such a beautiful place. To be sure, the differences between his new home and the cities where has previously lived are substantial, and at first the change was a bit disorienting. It took a while before he figured out when and where he would be able to easily hitch a ride across the island, and he at first was not entirely comfortable striking up conversations with strangers on the street, as residents so naturally seem to do. He forgot to bring a rain jacket when the clouds threatened to turn dark. Soon enough, however, he began catching rides easily, and realised that friendliness should be applied whenever possible, which he thinks should be standard in all parts of the world. Though he was caught in a sudden downpour this past weekend, he sought cover from the sea grape leaves nearby. Officially a general assignment reporter, he cares deeply about the environment and is specifically interested in how various communities adapt to changes in climate and ecology. As he becomes more familiar with the territory, the newest Beaconite hopes to focus on this subject. He knows there is much about the territory he has yet to learn, many things he has yet to do, and many places he has yet to see, but he is excited for all that lies ahead, and to report on whatever he might find.
While in Lima, Peru covering the Pan American Games this month, a Beaconite thought the weather would be warm and sunny. But Lima was just the opposite. The weather was overcast the entire time with temperatures in the mid 60s. The sun rarely peeked through the dense clouds that hung over the city, which felt wet and dreary. However, Lima, which is below the equator on the Pacific Ocean, is considered the world’s third largest desert city, after Karachi, Pakistan and Cairo, Egypt. The Beaconite brought appropriate clothing, but the weather surprised some Virgin Islands athletes, who requested a heater at their accommodations.
Beaconites are accustomed to receiving schwag bags at press conferences. Usually, the bags contain inexpensive items of little use and serve more as advertising than anything else. But during the 18th Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, a Beaconite was surprised to find condoms in his swag bag. And he wasn’t alone: It appeared that everyone else received prophylactics as well. With an influx of journalists and athletes from the Caribbean, North and South America, maybe the condoms were a proactive measure to curb the spread of disease. According to the Ministry of Health in Peru, about 50,000 people are in treatment for HIV in the country, with some of the largest numbers in Lima. However, maybe the games’ mascot is to blame. Milco is based on cuchimilcos clay statues from the Chancay culture, which symbolise good fortune and fertility. Although the Beaconite did not put the condoms to use, he is happy to report there will be no baby Milcos in the near future.