At the gas station
A new Beaconite has been busy covering political parties without bias or opinion for the past two weeks. But everywhere she seemed to go throughout town, residents voiced their own strong opinions about the best candidates and speculations of which party will win. As a bystander in the passenger seat, she once overheard a conversation between a gas station attendant and driver. Perhaps, she thought, this is how regular conversations begin in the Virgin Islands, especially around an important election like this one — with political commentary. What the Beaconite was surprised to see was the driver stay quiet about his views, and explain to her that the gas station attendant would know better than him about the political climate, especially the sentiments of residents. Dealing with people from all walks of life and from all parts of the territory, the driver said that the gas station attendant talks to a larger variety of people and has a better scope of the views of residents. Whether this was true or not, the Beaconite was interested to soak in this point of view.
From windsurfing on Friday with an Olympic champion to sailing across Sir Francis Drake Channel to hanging out in the waters off Fallen Jerusalem, all the way to hiking up Bat Cave to enjoy sunset and hanging out in Trellis Bay on the night of the full moon, a new Beaconite has had no shortage of outstanding moments in the Virgin Islands. She is busy enjoying Nature’s Little Secrets. Though she sometimes hears that “it will get old” after a while, she disagrees. “Nature’s Little Secrets,” she suspects, only gets old if those who live here don’t slow down to appreciate what the islands offer — often without charge. She’s heard of the grand days, the days before Irma, and that the island is slowly recovering. But for someone with fresh eyes, she sees lots to be thankful for.
On the road
A Beaconite had the opportunity to try out the territory’s infamous roads in a borrowed car this weekend. After only receiving her driver’s licence two months ago her hands are still sore from her white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, but thankfully the weekend progressed without major incident. She is still baffled at how narrow winding mountain roads are two-way, and how the excessive use of high beams doesn’t lead to more accidents, but her nightmares of accidentally driving off of a cliff have gradually decreased. She is thankful for the kindness of a stranger who helped her navigate out of a particularly rocky spot when she took a wrong turn.
How to vote? You decide.
In recent weeks a Beaconite often has been asked, “Who should I vote for?” As a reporter, it is not her job to tell people this, nor to absolve anyone from doing their duty as an informed citizen. But she does feel a certain responsibility, as someone who has spent a shockingly large amount of time over the past months watching rallies, reading manifestoes, and interviewing candidates, to give some of what she would like to believe are well-reasoned opinions so that voters can make an decision that is informed not by rumours, social media memes or candidate bluster, but by facts. She does this by sharing her observations both on the candidates’ platforms and opinions, and on what she has observed of them on a professional and personal level. She in no way believes that her opinions are the only correct ones, but she humbly believes they are probably a better source of information these days than many other possibilities.