2017 closed off as a challenging and crazy year for St. John, the Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean. Speaking to the happenings on the island of St. John.. months have now passed since Irma and Maria and it felt as if the dust had settled, just a little bit, in time for holiday festivities. Christmas and New Years came in hot. People dressed up, traded work boots for high heels, and came out for the annual Holiday Party at Mongoose, dubbed "prom," Santa came to the park and received his wish lists from children who lost all they had, and at least 3 large New Year's parties rocked downtown Cruz Bay as we brought in 2018.
We may have drank a couple more bottles of champagne than usual, let our hair down a little wilder, because we knew we deserved it. But now, its a new year, and we are at a pretty amazing juncture in St. John history. We are well on our way to recovery- main roads are cleared, the beaches, flora, and fauna, are flourishing, boats are starting to grace the water, hotels and homeowners are rebuilding, real estate is selling, restaurants are busy, and shops are ordering new inventory. We have reached a time of comfortable knowledge that people will come, a constant word around town that "February looks good."
This is all hopeful and wonderful, exactly what we need, a little normalcy. But I am banking on St. John being better than before. I am banking on us residents being tougher, stronger, more resilient, and more proud of our island than ever. I am banking on us having a new sense of the important things of life, being more grounded, more concerned for our neighbors, more trusting in our value and in our worth, and more bold and passionate about our environment, our goals, our future. The visitors who have already come and are coming will see a new St. John, a better one than before, and 2018 is the year we do it. I'm banking on that.