A Beaconite was thrilled this week to see the launch of Reading is Fun Week. This year’s theme is “Read to Empower,” promoting the idea that reading gives authority and confidence to individuals, future generations, and ultimately the nation’s development. The reporter appreciates the suggestion that Deputy Speaker of the House Neville Smith shared at a ground breaking ceremony on Monday: Community members, he suggested, should gift a book to a young reader in celebration of the week. As for her own Turtle Dove Library mini community library project, the reporter is pouring on the coals to launch as soon as possible this month. She was floored when she went to collect book donations from the BVI Red Cross and saw that community members have so compassionately contributed — a bin nearly as tall as her was filled to the brim with books from a variety of genres. From the bottom of her heart, she says thank you. The collection is nearing 200 books, almost all of which have been catalogued and are ready to be organised in the storage facility at the Red Cross. The reporter hopes that with the launch of the mini library, this community will continue to empower young readers and affirm that reading is indeed fun.
Earlier this week, an interviewee told a Beaconite that teaching kids to swim brings her a special kind of joy. Having just a few days earlier spent a day photographing and reporting on a swimming lesson in Virgin Gorda, the Beaconite knew exactly what he meant. Watching kids beam and laugh as they held onto u-shaped tubes and kicked their way over to the swim instructor, it was impossible not smile along with them. It was also touching to see, just over the course of an hour, how much more comfortable the kids became in the water. At the start of the course, one of the instructors would gently hold on to the youngest, least experienced kids as they gained a feel for floating on their backs. By the end of the hour, these same kids were swimming for a few metres without the help of any equipment, although being lightly tossed by the instructor did give them a head start. Nonetheless, to see them gain such confidence over such a short period of time was remarkable.
A Beaconite would like to offer her thanks and respect to the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, the Marine Association of the BVI, and all of the other numerous related private-sector associations, businesses and individuals who have been working tirelessly since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to use their combined years of expertise in their industries to first get people back to work safely and open to tourism safely. She knows what a frustrating and often thankless task it has been. Some of them have complained that they feel their efforts have gone unnoticed by the government, but their efforts have not gone unnoticed by everyone.
A Beaconite is shocked that it’s already the middle of October. It feels to her as though the year has flown by and that she’s been stuck. For the most part, it’s true. Plans to travel around the Caribbean every other month came to a screeching halt, and homesickness also kicked in around the holidays. Though many visitors have been waiting for the reopening of the borders, the reporter wants to know if residents will be able to travel without having to pay a $3,500 or $2,500 fee for quarantine. Will the government implement self-quarantine at home? Will it track residents and make sure they abide by it? If so, the reporter doesn’t mind. It has been a long time since she (and many others) have left the rock.