The Beacon, like other media outlets, occasionally finds itself embroiled in controversy (the reasons for which are far beyond the scope of this Reporter’s Notebook). When that happens, a Beaconite is frequently surprised by the statements of support she receives from various members of the community, some of whom she would not have suspected are fans of the Beacon. These are people she doesn’t know personally. Some of them are public officers or owners or employees of well-known private businesses who prefer not to, or are even prohibited from, expressing opinions on issues deemed to be controversial. They also aren’t among the vocal commentators on various community Facebook boards, and their opinions would likely otherwise remain unknown except to their close friends and family. The fact that they go out of their way to express their support for the Beacon and its work in-person means a lot, and in this age of clickbait and trolling, it underscores the idea that just because a news article doesn’t have a bunch of incendiary comments underneath it doesn’t mean that people don’t care or don’t have opinions. Their support means a lot and emphasises the idea that the Beacon’s work matters.
A beautiful life
On Sunday, a Beaconite went to Virgin Gorda with friends, rented a car, and drove to The Baths. It was like a playground for her. She enjoyed exploring, climbing rocks and looking into the waters. She walked and swam to remote areas, paying careful attention to sea urchins and prehistoric-looking crustaceans. She dried off on a rock like a seal only to jump back into the water. Her friends spotted a mango tree, filled with fruit. One climbed the tree and tossed mangoes down to her as she tossed them to another woman. “We can make achar with these,” the lady said. The reporter hopes to learn how to make the cultural favorite, which is a complete meal with rice and lentil soup. The reporter was gifted mangoes from a tree that her friend’s mother picked, just because she knew this reporter loves mangoes. A chicken on the beach ate the other half. The reporter was glad to feed two. Three, actually, since she gave the other mango to somebody. The reporter wore a dress gifted to her the night before, when she had the chance to cook a dish for colleagues. She sang and drank and danced at CocoMaya during karaoke, and the deejay played a Bollywood song just for her, the only “Indian.” She was taken home in a taxi, and the taxi driver turned out to be her neighbour from just across the street. People make life beautiful. Nature is also beautiful.
A Beaconite just returned to the Virgin Islands after nearly two weeks stateside and feels absolutely rejuvenated. She attended a wedding for one friend and a bachelorette party for another, spent time in Washington DC, New York City and Philadelphia, and went to way too many happy hours and open bars. Between catching up with friends from high school, college and everywhere in between, she got used to the familiar response whenever someone asks her what she’s been up to. “I’ve actually been living in the British Virgin Islands,” she would say. Cue the raised eyebrows and the look of disbelief. “Doing what?” they ask. “Working as a reporter.” Then they usually say something to the effect of “That’s so cool!” or “How did you get that job?” Anyway between crashing on couches and beds to napping uncomfortably on planes and buses, the reporter is happy to be back on a regular sleep schedule in her own bed.