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Possibly making the move to Stx 🙂

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stephben208
(@stephben208)
Active Member

Hi! Here's the story.....My husband went to Stx a couple weeks ago for business. I was going to make the trip with him, but couldn't work out the logistics with kids and all. So after his return home, I received a text from him while I was at work...."How would you feel about moving to St Croix?" There is a high probability that he will be offered a job there. So, here I am reading and learning all I can! I am wanting to make a visit soon, shooting for Nov. Trying to convince my 16yr old daughter may be the toughest part of it all. We haven't said a word about it to our children yet (16 yr old girl, 11 yr old girl, and 8 yr old boy).

I'm sure I'll be asking lots of questions. Just wanted to quit lurking and say hello. Oh, and my hubby absolutely loved his time in stx. He said it was the most relaxed he's ever been.....and he was working!

Stephanie

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Topic starter Posted : September 22, 2010 9:50 pm
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

Hi, Stephanie. I'm glad your husband liked St. Croix! Let me make a few suggestions / comments that might help. First, a PMV is critical. And make sure that you treat it as though you were living here... Go to the grocery stores (because you'll never find everything you need at one), visit the post office, drive in traffic, LOOK AT HOW MUCH EVERYTHING COSTS, and (God help me, I'm gonna get blasted for this again), consider the very real probability of private school for all 3 kids so that their educations mimic what they're familiar with in the states. The cost of groceries will likely blow your mind. And if that doesn't, spending upwards of $36,000 per year for your kids to go to school sure will! Come for a visit with your eyes wide open and plenty of money saved up. Oh... and don't cut your ties stateside, because you may end up back there, and sooner than you thought.

Just my "2 cents worth". I have 2 kids in school here and we came in January. 🙂

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Posted : September 22, 2010 11:19 pm
stephben208
(@stephben208)
Active Member

Thanks for your insight popflops. I am definitely going into this with my eyes wide open. We know a couple that live there so we have some info on the island life, cost of living, etc. My husband actually stayed with them while he was there. No resort stay for him!

Stephanie

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2010 12:08 am
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

Stephanie,

Feel free to ask questions, express concerns, share feelings. Members of this forum will respond positively.

Your children will have a range of emotions. Suggestion: Discuss it with them as a possibility rather than a decision already made.

During my 20 years in the military, we moved often. Our three kids had mixed feelings.

Maybe you can bring them along for your pre-move visit. Get their reactions. Introduce them to diving at SCUBA. Do some snorkeling.

Keep it light. 🙂

Edward

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Posted : September 23, 2010 1:12 am
stephben208
(@stephben208)
Active Member

Thanks Edward! And we are planning on taking the kiddos with us on our visit.

Stephanie

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Topic starter Posted : September 23, 2010 1:44 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

We brought our yougest (teenage) daughter with us and she loves it here.
She left behind some good friends, but here's what helped make up her mind about the move:

The large suburban school system she had been in had worn out its welcome with her, --a real cattle call. She wanted to stay active in sports and theater, but in a large school there's 10X more competition for open spots (2500 in her old school vs. 120 highschoolers at Good Hope). Smaller class sizes at GHS was also appealing to her and was one of the reasons she choose GHS over Country Day.

You may get a minority opinion that the public schools here are okay for your teen, but I would say "no." Thus, if you can't afford to do private school here, don't come.

Island life is more "boring" to most teens here, though, they also often feel the same way about suburban life. My daughter didn't start out being an ocean girl, but now loves it and has gotten scuba certified. This is the trade-off for not having malls. If you teens doesn't like the beach, it will make the island seem claustrophobic.

IMO, if you put them in a good school, and your kid knows how to make friends, they will probably do well here. I don't think there are as many bad influences here as you get in stateside school districts. And the kids here seem more chill, and less into clothing and appearances. But if your teen is somewhat (or a lot) out of control, I would recommend against bringing them here.

Also... You will want your teenager to drive and have their own 'island car'. Insurance here is a bit stranger and more expensive, but worth it so you don't have to cart them all over the island.

What we knew, and what she now realizes, is that the move here was a gift to her growing up.

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Posted : September 23, 2010 12:56 pm
formersttresident
(@formersttresident)
Active Member

I lived in the USVI for 4 years. Living there is nothing, and I mean nothing like visiting. The schools are horrendous. The island is very poor, has a lively drug population, and has very high crime.
There is no natural water, you will buy bottled and shower with rain water. You pray for rain, St croix can be very dry. Food is of poor quality and very expensive. The majority of locals are black and very racist. I would never, never, never raise children on these islands.

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Posted : September 23, 2010 6:22 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

lol...stx is very dry? We have a rain forest! I agree with some of what your saying former STT resident but Methinks you are being a tad dramatic. Did you even ever visit stx? You might have liked it, people are very friendly over here.

Living here IS nothing like vacationing here. But living anywhere is nothing like vacationing anywhere. Public schools are bad, you need to be able to afford private school. Rain water however is very natural, some drink it some don't. I have a cistern and a well and I still buy water to drink, but I cook with my water, I know it makes no sense and I've never claimed to. 😉

The majority of the pop is west indian, last census I think said about 95% but I would think the results of the new one will be out by early next year. As far as the racist thing, well, its a different culture. Sure there's some idiots everywhere and I'm sure we have racists on both sides of the color spectrum. But what I think most have a hard time with (coming from the states) is adjusting to a completely different culture. I know it looks like the US on the surface but the islands have a culture that is all their own. You may not notice it until the honeymoon phase of living here has worn off but its there, it's either adapt and blend in or you're going to be miserable in the long run IMO. Even after 8 years I'm still learning.

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Posted : September 23, 2010 8:50 pm
stephben208
(@stephben208)
Active Member

I think my teen would do just fine. She's friendly, outgoing, very involved in sports and church. Real good kid. I am so very proud of her 🙂
And we would be enrolling in private school.

As far as drugs, crime, poverty, and racism......I see quite a bit of that right here where I am. And I'm dang near a minority in my area now (I'm white). We have a very large Hispanic, African American, and Vietnamese population here. It's quite alright with me. People are people as Depeche Mode would say 😎

Stephanie

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Topic starter Posted : September 24, 2010 2:45 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

There is no natural water, you will buy bottled and shower with rain water. You pray for rain,

LOL. What is more natural than rain water????;)

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Posted : September 24, 2010 11:39 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

formersttresident must have had a VERY bad experience. that being said, the murder rate here is very very high per capita. we have had about 44 this year. the three islands population total about 150 thousand. they keys only have had 3 this year, they are close in population.
the drinking age IS 18 here. it should be 21, but i also think the age for being able to enlist in the armed services should be 21 and also i personally think the driving age should be 18.
we have had some very very very wet years lately too. nothing wrong with rain water. some food quality leaves something to be desired and you have to go to different stores to get most of what you need. you will not find everything you are used to in the states but most things can be shipped down by friends or websites. food is very expensive.
if you treat locals with respect, for the most part you will not have a problem. there is racism every where you go.

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Posted : September 24, 2010 11:48 am
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

Well, we have something that we call a "rain forest" at any rate. It's not a true rain forest. Not enough rainfall. The droughts here are one of the biggest surprises to me. June and September are typically rainy months. This year, we're enjoying the 2nd wettest year on record. The June rains never stopped and this island is just so lush and green.

"West Indian" is not a race for demographic purposes and 95% is incorrect. Stats from the 2000 census show the racial demographics for the VI as being: Black or African American - 76.2%; White - 13.1%; Other Races (2) - 7.2%; Two or More Races - 3.5%. Hispanics or Latinos (of any race) make up 14% of the population.

The 2000 census is here:

http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2000/island/VIprofile.pdf

lol...stx is very dry? We have a rain forest! I agree with some of what your saying former STT resident but Methinks you are being a tad dramatic. Did you even ever visit stx? You might have liked it, people are very friendly over here.

Living here IS nothing like vacationing here. But living anywhere is nothing like vacationing anywhere. Public schools are bad, you need to be able to afford private school. Rain water however is very natural, some drink it some don't. I have a cistern and a well and I still buy water to drink, but I cook with my water, I know it makes no sense and I've never claimed to. 😉

The majority of the pop is west indian, last census I think said about 95% but I would think the results of the new one will be out by early next year. As far as the racist thing, well, its a different culture. Sure there's some idiots everywhere and I'm sure we have racists on both sides of the color spectrum. But what I think most have a hard time with (coming from the states) is adjusting to a completely different culture. I know it looks like the US on the surface but the islands have a culture that is all their own. You may not notice it until the honeymoon phase of living here has worn off but its there, it's either adapt and blend in or you're going to be miserable in the long run IMO. Even after 8 years I'm still learning.

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Posted : September 24, 2010 1:54 pm
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

I gotta be honest: I think it would be cruel to take teenagers from their established lives and move them anywhere, ESPECIALLY here. The islands are very different from the US, some people can experience culture shock, especially younger people.

At the very least do a pre-move visit. And, don't just visit for a 10 day vacation. That won't tell you how regular, everyday life works here. You should stay for a good month or so. That way, you'll have time to see how things like grocery stores, the DMV, etc work.

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Posted : September 24, 2010 5:46 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Aussie the only race is the human race. 🙂

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Posted : September 24, 2010 6:14 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

I gotta be honest: I think it would be cruel to take teenagers from their established lives and move them anywhere, ESPECIALLY here. The islands are very different from the US, some people can experience culture shock, especially younger people.

At the very least do a pre-move visit. And, don't just visit for a 10 day vacation. That won't tell you how regular, everyday life works here. You should stay for a good month or so. That way, you'll have time to see how things like grocery stores, the DMV, etc work.

I'm with ya on that one, Hiya!

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Posted : September 24, 2010 6:28 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

I gotta be honest: I think it would be cruel to take teenagers from their established lives and move them anywhere, ESPECIALLY here. The islands are very different from the US, some people can experience culture shock, especially younger people.

At the very least do a pre-move visit. And, don't just visit for a 10 day vacation. That won't tell you how regular, everyday life works here. You should stay for a good month or so. That way, you'll have time to see how things like grocery stores, the DMV, etc work.

I don't know... I think it depends on the teenager. Some are very outgoing and adaptable, and others need their comfort zone. You know your kids best; no one can predict how they'll do better than you can. You should definitely do your homework, though, so you'll know enough about their new island home that you can answer all (well, most!) of their, "But what if this and what about that?" questions.

Totally agree about the PMV. Unless you're planning to buy or rent a place on the beach or with a gorgeous view if/when you move, don't stay in such a place when you visit. It makes a huge difference.

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Posted : September 24, 2010 8:24 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I gotta be honest: I think it would be cruel to take teenagers from their established lives and move them anywhere, ESPECIALLY here. The islands are very different from the US, some people can experience culture shock, especially younger people.

At the very least do a pre-move visit. And, don't just visit for a 10 day vacation. That won't tell you how regular, everyday life works here. You should stay for a good month or so. That way, you'll have time to see how things like grocery stores, the DMV, etc work.

This is a great example of how "what you think" can be wrong.

I have met MANY transplanted teenagers on the island through my daughter, and for the most part, they like it here and are enjoying their adventure.

And I don't think it's the teens who experience culture shock the most. They get into school, quickly find friends and discover people are pretty much the same everywhere (some good, some bad).

It's the "old" people (21+) who have to make the big decisions to get here, work here, pay the bills here, and deal with the dysfunctions here --IMO it is THEY experience the shock. btw: shock is not a bad thing.

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Posted : September 24, 2010 8:36 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

Stephanie,

A thought for your 16-year-old:

In another year or two, she'll be heading off to college. Whether she attends UVI or another institution, her exposure to the multiracial VI community will prepare her well for college and beyond.

You might introduce her to the idea of becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer after college. It's a great way to start a career. http://www.peacecorps.gov/

It's not too early.

Edward
Peace Corps Volunteer Georgia, 2003-2006

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Posted : September 24, 2010 10:29 pm
Sauceress
(@Sauceress)
Advanced Member

Children are only limited by their parent's prejudices!

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Posted : September 26, 2010 3:10 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

Love comes naturally. Hate and fear must be learned.

You've got to be taught to hate and fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

--Oscar Hammerstein, South Pacific

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Posted : September 26, 2010 5:02 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Children are only limited by their parent's prejudices!

Children are also limited by the prejudices of their peers, which have instilled by the parents of their peers. Unfortunately many West Indian children have absorbed their parents' disdain for non-West Indians.

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Posted : September 26, 2010 11:54 pm
StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member

Children are only limited by their parent's prejudices!

Children are also limited by the prejudices of their peers, which have instilled by the parents of their peers. Unfortunately many West Indian children have absorbed their parents' disdain for non-West Indians.

As much as I don't want to agree with this, I have to.

But I think it runs much deeper than just race. There's a fundamental sense of mistrust and sense of conspiracy and being manipulated in the Virgin Island culture -which I'm 99% sure is another legacy of slavery. You hear it on the radio everyday and it's behind the 'current issue of the day' - the mistrust of voting machines. It's paradoxical too, because so many islanders are happy-go-lucky.

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Posted : September 27, 2010 7:24 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Children are only limited by their parent's prejudices!

Children are also limited by the prejudices of their peers, which have instilled by the parents of their peers. Unfortunately many West Indian children have absorbed their parents' disdain for non-West Indians.

As much as I don't want to agree with this, I have to.

But I think it runs much deeper than just race. There's a fundamental sense of mistrust and sense of conspiracy and being manipulated in the Virgin Island culture -which I'm 99% sure is another legacy of slavery. You hear it on the radio everyday and it's behind the 'current issue of the day' - the mistrust of voting machines. It's paradoxical too, because so many islanders are happy-go-lucky.

If it's a legacy of slavery, why do you think it isn't as prevalent in the states?

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Posted : September 27, 2010 10:40 pm
limetime2
(@limetime2)
Advanced Member

Stephben208... bring your children, enroll in private school (good hope or country day) and watch them , and you , fall in love with this island.

The best part of living on an island is growing up on an island. I grew up in Puerto Rico, graduated from a private school in a graduating class of 21 kids. It was college prep and it prepared me well. It was fabulous growing up in such an environment and I think I am a much more well rounded person because of it. I know many people who grew up here, graduated from private school here, went on to prestigious colleges in the states and have done very well. I think good kids, with good parents, excel no matter where they are placed and I believe our local private schools are great environments that prepare healthy children for the world. Talk to some of the alumni of these schools if you can. I think you will be impressed with not just the academics... but with art programs, theater programs, environmental education and so much more.

Sometimes the negativity on this board is overwhelming. YOU know your children. YOU know what opportunity your husband is being offered. This place has limitations, sure... every place does. But it also has many great opportunities. Only YOU can decide. There are great kids here, a great community and opportunity. You decide whether or not its right for your family. I personally think it is a fabulous place to race kids.

Good luck to you. I love it here and I'd raise children here with no reservations at all (as long as I could send them to private school).

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Posted : September 28, 2010 2:05 am
stephben208
(@stephben208)
Active Member

I had no intention of this thread being about my children......LOL I can appreciate everyone's comments and opinions though. Our future is still uncertain at this point and if we do make the move, it will be because it is a great career opportunity. Still going to shoot for making a visit in the next couple months and scope everything out. It will be nice to visit with our friends over there too, so it will be a worthwhile trip even if the job doesn't pan out.

Again, thanks all for the comments/advice 🙂

Stephanie

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Topic starter Posted : September 28, 2010 2:16 pm
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