Go anywhere in the world and you’ll no doubt find that a common opinion of Americans is “Why do they all expect the rest of the world to be like America?” This is a known quantity. However what many around the world, and in the US don’t realize is, for the most part, this only applies to the Continental United States. An important consideration when you go to other parts of the US. Yes, dear friends, the United States Virgin Islands are, in fact, part of the United States of America. Surprising I know. It would probably surprise the news producer who put up the headlines about Americans [read: tourists] being evacuated from the Virgin Islands.
I spent some time tonight talking to the Lt. Col whose been our liaison here. He’s from St. Croix and one of the things he pointed out is that standards here are a lot different. When a disaster like this strikes in the lower 48, we talk about “getting back to normal” in the sense of making the area look like the disaster never happened. Down here though “normal” takes on a different sense. Do you have food? Water? Fuel? Some kind of something over your head? Then everything’s good. The entire Caribbean attitude is far more relaxed than many other places around the world. A disaster like this strikes and yes, it sucks. Yes, people lose houses, cars, businesses. But there’s a resilience. It’s not the world ending disaster it is in other places. People pick up and carry on. We could all learn a thing or two from the Islands.
Except punctuality. No one will ever learn punctuality from the islands.