Good Morning, Good Morning! There have been a lot of happenings going on around Love City over the past week or so. And I wanted to take a moment this morning to share some of these exciting stories with all of you!
Sunday afternoon, cultural ambassadors and First Lady Yolanda Bryan held a mini-festival in Franklin Powell Park to celebrate our seniors in honor of Older American Month.
Senior residents of St. John gathered in the park near the ferry to witness the Love City New Generation Cultural Mokojumbies perform a tributary to their ancestors as the First Lady joined in the ensemble.
According to Yisrael Petersen, cultural ambassador and Mokojumbie coach, absolutely anyone can join him in learning the traditions and history behind the Mokojumbie…And, learn this skill yourself! What an amazing culturally immersive experience this would add to your next trip to St. John. Yisrael told me, before they even get to the stage of balancing and walking on stilts, his students learn Virgin Islands history of the first Mokojumbies’ origins on the island. As his student, you will also learn African history of the culture and how it is linked to the Virgin Islands and other islands by different names, like shakaba.
To find out about learning opportunities, take a peek at Mokojumbie Yisreal’s website and contact him for more information. Most of the above photos were given to me by Paula Smail of Friends Virgin Islands National Park. Did you know that Friends VINP provides support for weekly youth classes on St. John taught by Yisrael Allan Petersen thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands? It’s so cool watching this community come together 🙂 If you are on island, you can find the Love City New Generation Cultural Mokojumbies near the ferry dock, practicing their mad skills on Thursday afternoons. And, if you are on island the last week in July, pop by Franklin Powell Park to cheer them on during their Heritage Festival performance on July 30.
Speaking of the ferry dock…In the near future, we will be seeing some improvements, updates and expansions to the existing Cruz Bay people ferry terminal!
The modifications to the original project (1992) was approved unanimously by the St. John Committee of the Coastal Zone Management Commission, according to an article from the Source. Passenger experience improvements to be included are an expanded area of shade, new benches, a bathroom, lighting and additional signage. A new roof and improvements to the dock, decking and utilities are also a part of the $950,000 project. No timeline has been released for the Ferry Dock Improvement Project, but, in the near future we can hope to see some movement happening to improved the passenger experience for arrivals and departures in Cruz Bay!
Yesterday, I told you all about some business ventures that are currently available on St. John…Well, I unfortunately have some other business news to update you on today. R & I Patton will close their doors on May 31 after nearly 50 years of providing the St. John community and its visitors with fabulous one-of-a-kind island jewelry.
The popular jewelry store opened in 1973 by owners Rudy & Irene and, since then, they have been producing high quality keepsakes and jewelry, most of which are made in store, for guests and residents to commemorate their time on St. John. The closing of this treasure trove marks the end of an era with it being one of the first stores to open their doors at Mongoose Junction, way back when.
“With typical generosity, they are hosting an APPRECIATION PARTY for the retiring members of the Park Service on May 21st, Saturday, 3-6 pm.” – Mongoose Junction Facebook Post
So, if you are on island, stop by and grab one last trinket from this beloved retailer before they close their doors.
Oh, and one last little update for today…I walked out onto my front porch yesterday morning and I could see St. Croix again! The Sahara Dust has lifted, leaving behind blue skies, lighter breezes and cooler temperatures. 🙂
I apologize for my lack of a zoom lens but you can slightly make out the silhouette of our sister island to the south on the horizon line in the photo above. We are currently breathing a little easier and sweating a bit less here on St. John 🙂
That’s it for today! Have a fantastic Tuesday everyone!