Sunday, July 25, 2010

When Paradise Isn't

For the most part, living on St. Thomas IS paradise. To steal a quote from a friend (Krisinta Ciolino- she moved to Aspen at the same time we moved here): My life is your vacation. I love that! So what, you ask, could make living here not so poetic? Well, it's been a rough few weeks on the rock.

Two weeks ago tomorrow, on July 12th, a teenage tourist was caught in gang crossfire and killed. Here is a link to an article . To sum it up, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The shootout was in retaliation for a murder that was committed in broad daylight at the mall. That murder was a retaliation for another murder. It's a vicious cycle. The crime rate on STT and gang violence is out of control. We've had 47 murders to date. While that doesn't seem high, based on our population it would be the equivalent of 4500 people being murdered thus far in 2010 in Chicago. Before the murders at the mall, crime had stayed pretty much out of my mind with the exception of what I read in the police blotter. I know where not to go and what to stay away from. I've generally felt safe. Do I still feel safe here? Yes. Why does this not get cleaned up? Because I moved to the one location more corrupt than Illinois! Who would have thought that was possible??
This past week we had more than 20 inches of rain. That's not a typo: 2-0. I've never, ever seen anything like it! We had 7 alone on Tuesday. It's affected both Tim and I's jobs. Tuesday the course was closed- you can see why below. That river on the left? That's actually the 12th fairway! The pond in the front? The pathway between 12 & 16 (not to be confused with the pond that is ACTUALLY on 16 as a water hazard). Surprisingly, the course was open Wednesday.... until about 3 o'clock when the next wave of rain came :(

Me? Let's see, Monday night our Wine Tasting was rained out. Tuesday, we had to close early which sucked because there was a late ship in. Wednesday we had to close before our sunset party even started because (a) the band wouldn't be able to play without being electrocuted and (b) it was pouring AGAIN. Tuesday, our office flooded. This is Julie trying hard to shop-vac the water out. Too bad it was coming in twice as fast as we could suck up. Finally we just moved anything that might get water damage to a higher shelf and went home :(

The first pic below was a storm coming our way shortly before I was supposed to leave for work on Tuesday. Lucky me! The next picture is the street when I went in at 1 PM- a main road through Havensight. When I left work the road was completely closed and impassable. The third picture, well- have you ever heard the saying 'shit runs downhill'? Look closely at the harbor and it should bring that saying to life. It's not supposed to be that color. Whenever it rains torrentially here, everything from the top of the mountain to the bottom is washed out to sea. Unless you are up to date on Hepititis and Tetnus shots it's recommended to stay out of the water for a few days!
Wednesday night we, both having been sent home from work, were sitting on the couch watching TV when, all of the sudden, the house moved. As in for 5 seconds for so the ground below us was rumbling. It was like a big truck had driven down the road and shook our house except we don't live on a road that would accommodate a big truck! We heard our neighbors ask each other if they felt that and kind of looked at each other. About 10 minutes later someone posted on FB that it was an earthquake. What??! Sure enough- 4.5 at 8:04PM on July 21st we had an earthquake!
What's funny about all of these things is that, through it all, none of them made big news in the US. The tourist shooting made the internet but I never saw it on TV. I only had one friend email me about it. It wasn't until the rain was past us that it picked up enough wind speed to be named Tropical Storm Bonnie. THEN people were all over it. There was no damage in the earthquake so no reason for a news report- it wasn't even in our local paper online! So it makes me chuckle that 45 minutes after the earthquake struck Haiti my mom was all over the phone making sure we were okay. After educating her on where we are in relation to Haiti we hung up. Point is, my mom is very vigilant about calling to make sure we are okay yet three major happenings and she hears NOTHING on it. Since she heard nothing on any of these things, I figure no one else has!
Oh, and if all those things aren't enough to lead me to believe that the world is ending I had the kiss of death Thursday: our repairman was 15 minutes early. This. Never. Happens.
So, see? It's not all fun and games down here. It's just that my FB posts will never show otherwise :)

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