Earlier this month, a Beaconite stopped by Volunteer Konect’s fair for nonprofit organisations. It was a great opportunity to learn more about organisations she hasn’t heard about much, like Girlguiding BVI. Everyone in the territory knows that it’s been a difficult time for businesses, but nonprofit organisations have met plenty of challenges as well. Drawing volunteers and raising funds are (sometimes seemingly unsurmountable) mountains to climb at the best of times. Social distancing measures were certainly key to slowing the spread of Covid-19, but they also meant that organisations couldn’t host major fundraising events. Or if they did, they would have to aim for the sweet spot of drawing enough attendees to make the fundraiser worthwhile, but not so many that it would violate crowd size rules. Pair that with an increase in demand from families struggling with the financial burdens of the pandemic, dogs unable to fly to adoptive homes as usual, closed schools, and any number of other issues this year. The Virgin Islands’ nonprofits have done an exemplary job of stepping up to these challenges, often quietly behind the scenes. Now that life is ever so gradually returning to something closer to normal, the Beaconite encourages everyone to find some way, big or small, to give back to them.
As a Beaconite walked around Road Town on Monday, the Commission of Inquiry seemed to be everywhere. He heard it being streamed as he entered a coffee shop and he heard it wafting through the air as he walked down the sidewalk. Since Friday, various Facebook groups have been filled with people’s live reactions to the hearings, memes, and considered takes on what this all means for the territory. It is quite astounding to think that a whole society is paying so much attention to the same thing, though it makes sense considering the possible ramifications. The Beaconite is heartened to hear such a vigorous dialogue, and he hopes that the national conversation continues long after the commission is over, no matter the outcome.
The last chance for Virgin Islands residents to get their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been announced: July 31. While government has been clear that time is running out, it has been less clear about what will happen afterward. Sure, vaccinated travellers are now exempt from quarantine, but what about unvaccinated travellers? What about day-to-day life? Businesses are still required to enforce masks and social distancing. Large gatherings are still limited. What are they waiting for? Assuming no other vaccines are coming, on July 31 government will have done all it can do at that point, short of mandating vaccines, to protect the territory and its people, and it cannot control what happens outside VI borders. Covid-19 and all its variants are not going to vanish from the earth for a long time to come, if ever. A Beaconite thinks it is time for a plan to get back to normal. The old normal, not the “new” one.
Mango season is in full bloom right now and a Beaconite couldn’t be happier. Though most markets are selling different kinds of mangoes, she’s gravitated toward a source in Johnsons Ghut. Four for $5 seems like a great deal, especially for the small palm-sized mangoes that are just the right amount for this reporter. She has yet to see what the Saturday morning farmers markets are offering, but she just might swing by this weekend to see who wins the Best Mangoes in the VI Award.
Anyone who has held a conversation with one Beaconite recently will certainly have heard how excited she is for her family to be visiting for the first time since she moved to the Virgin Islands. By the time this Reporter’s Notebook is printed, they’ll be here. Her parents have always encouraged her to pursue her dreams and taken pride in the work she does to keep her community informed, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s been difficult to be separated for so long amid a global crisis. The Beaconite is certainly excited to showcase the territory’s world-renowned beaches and bars, but even more so she can’t wait to share with them the million small reasons she is proud to call this community her home. If any readers see this reporter out and about with a mile-wide smile this week, they’ll know why.