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So Cal Kid moving to VI

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socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

Hey everyone,
I'm from so cal, go to school in Monterey Bay and am going to study abroad in VI. I like to surf, play music, hang out with friends, and have a good time. Ive read some posts from some mid westerners, no offense cause they seem to be touchy, but I think I have a little more of an open mind as far as adjusting to different cultures. I know that UVI is historically a school for black kids, but I don't care. Hopefully they wont mind seeing a tall white kid walking down the halls haha. But what I'd like to ask is, how are the kids there? I know that this blog has a lot of adult feedback, which I respect and appreciate. But if you could just give me an idea what the young life there is like that'd be awesome.

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Topic starter Posted : March 10, 2011 9:33 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Well, I have a young relative who had a great time at UVI in Marine Biology, went on to graduate school at a good stateside institution. There is a bit of culture shock. One example: They told the students that when they entered the class late, they should NOT say "Good morning" as it was disruptive. Okay, let me back up...in the VI when you enter a room, you are expected to greet everyone. Some of the "kids" couldn't get that in this situation, that rule did not fit. Anyway...The other big problem, especially for tall white kids ;), is that there is a serious drug and drinking culture. Learning to just say no is very helpful. You can enter the vortex, or you can maintain your focus and learn...Good luck!

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Posted : March 10, 2011 10:52 pm
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

Sweeet, Thank you so much for the Good Morning tid bit. As far as being tall and white haha, I've never had a problem with it, except for when I go where I don't belong. I just want to learn how to show my respect for the islanders because I am aware that I am a mainlander and their first impressions might not be too good. I'm okay with that because I know how they feel, although I appreciate it when someone I know is outsider initially treats me with the respect the way I would if I knew them. So getting to know the little island customs is my main goal in order to make a good first impression. And again, thank you for your time.

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Topic starter Posted : March 10, 2011 11:19 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

socal: Are you coming to UVI for a semester or for permanent?

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Posted : March 11, 2011 1:08 am
East End Doug
(@east_end_doug)
Advanced Member

I live part of the year in Marina. If you would like to chat about life in the VI PM me.

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Posted : March 11, 2011 4:18 pm
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

East Ender: Oh, I'm just staying there for a year to study abroad.

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2011 4:51 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Just curious...why did you choose the VI?

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Posted : March 11, 2011 6:42 pm
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

Just curious...why did you choose the VI?

I'm a business major concentrating in hospitality and I know that VI has plenty of hotels that I could hopefully apply to work at and experience that tropical stay feel. I've read about how the locals are sort of indentured servants and I want to hear the workers side of the story. Basically I want to create a work environment that, of course pleases the customer, but goes further to please the employees as well. I know that this is a big problem in the hospitality world and I really want to take a jab at this issue. It's sort of weird but I think its my niche. Although choosing VI was interesting because I almost know it will be somewhere that will take me a while to adjust to but I am more than willing to learn the ways of the people and hopefully learn how to fit right into the culture. Id love to become as worldly of a person as I can throughout my lifetime.

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2011 9:15 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

PLEASE....share with us where you read the locals are indentured servants. For sure, in a history book, but certainly not today.

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Posted : March 11, 2011 11:29 pm
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

From http://www.thebuccaneer.com/history.htm

"Finally in 1947, the Armstrong family, who had owned and operated the cattle estate since 1922, opened The Buccaneer for business with eleven guest rooms. It was the first hotel in St. Croix to be built and operated by an island family."

The hotel is still owned and operated by the Armstrong family. I would say they are doing much better than your average indentured servant. There are plenty of other establishments that are also locally owned.

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Posted : March 12, 2011 12:18 am
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

From http://www.thebuccaneer.com/history.htm

"Finally in 1947, the Armstrong family, who had owned and operated the cattle estate since 1922, opened The Buccaneer for business with eleven guest rooms. It was the first hotel in St. Croix to be built and operated by an island family."

The hotel is still owned and operated by the Armstrong family. I would say they are doing much better than your average indentured servant. There are plenty of other establishments that are also locally owned.

And that's great. What I'm talking about is the huge dutch names that come onto the island, open up huge hotels, then treat their workers as if theyre just workers and not people. And with the indentured servant thing I didn't mean LITERALLY, I apologize for my nonspecificity.

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Topic starter Posted : March 12, 2011 1:01 am
Ric
 Ric
(@Ric)
Advanced Member

I think you need to do more research regarding the USVI. On STX at least there are no "huge hotels" much less huge hotels owned by Danes. You said Dutch, but I'm assuming you mean the Danes because the Netherlands were never owners of the VI.

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Posted : March 12, 2011 1:08 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

The Dutch were here and owned STX before the Danes:-o

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Posted : March 12, 2011 1:14 am
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

What you are looking for is more apparrent in islands like Antigua and Jamaica. If you are interested in workers in the Caribbean look up these 3 books: Polly Patullo's Last Resorts, Consuming the Caribbean and Paradise and plantations. Some of the issues are present in the VI, but more so in STT that has a more tourist based economy. A lot is not applicable to the VI because the VI has a more unique colonial history/situation in comparison to some of the other islands.

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Posted : March 12, 2011 1:23 am
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Wow, I don't know what to say, other than, socalkid, don't go - if you are legitimate, you have no clue as to what the islands are, from thinking it is some foreign land, to "a tall white kid walking down the halls haha", to the Dutch owning the islands and using people as servants (ignore Lizard, he is the local idiot on this board).

I have a strong feeling socalkid is a troll trying to see what he can get.

So, socalkid, I give you a 8/10 rating for trolling.

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Posted : March 12, 2011 7:45 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Hey NoOne,
Up all hours of the night drinking and drugs again? When you were in jail courtesy of the VI Gov you should have used the time to read/study about the history of the Islands.:P

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Posted : March 12, 2011 1:52 pm
Niuhuskie34
(@Niuhuskie34)
Advanced Member

go nike style and just do it

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Posted : March 12, 2011 3:20 pm
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

Alright. So, sorry again for not stating that I was going to STT. Although, I think its funny that some of you guys are trying to tell me incorrect facts about the island you live on. On the other hand, thanks stxem for the book references, ill definitely take a look at those because their right in that are I'm interested in. NoOne, no comment. And Lizard, I don't think youre TOO idiotic. 🙂 And to everyone else that has helped me out, each one of your responses regardless of the content has helped me get an understanding of what the people on the island are like. I spoke to someone about daily customs on the island, such as greeting people and introducing yourself a little before just talking to them. I think its a respectful change to the pace I'm living at right now and I can't wait to see it for myself. If anyone has anything else to say regarding do's and don'ts on STT that would great! Again, thank you all.

Nike for Life.

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Topic starter Posted : March 14, 2011 1:30 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

And that's great. What I'm talking about is the huge dutch names that come onto the island, open up huge hotels, then treat their workers as if theyre just workers and not people. And with the indentured servant thing I didn't mean LITERALLY, I apologize for my nonspecificity.

Name one "huge dutch name" that owns a huge hotel on STT, genius.

As far as Lizard's comment, it is disingenuous at best. The Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Danish and now US have had control of the islands. The Dutch had very short control of the islands, early after the islands discovery. The French, Danish and US are most prominent in ownership. To say the Dutch controlled the islands is about as good as saying the Europeans controlled the islands.

Last Edit: if you go socalkid, you will be one of the six monthers.

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Posted : March 14, 2011 3:46 pm
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

Ok. Respect. I'm constantly learning. The reason why I supported lizard is because that is what I had personally read myself. Although I'm interested in what you're saying and will/should look further into it. And not to be confused I'm staying for a year. I don't know if you think I'm just some precautious college student looking for the most fun place to go because I'm not. I understand that its going to be difficult at times and I have a lot to learn. The reason I chose VI STT is because it offers what I'm interested in (hospitality), it will help me adjust to a different culture, and there is no language barrier. So if you don't mind, don't tell me how long I'll stay, I'll be the one to decide that. What I'm asking from you is reasons why. As I said before do's and don'ts. So please, don't waste your time although I appreciate the input. And lizard, I still don't think you're an idiot haha

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Topic starter Posted : March 14, 2011 4:21 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

OK fair enough socalkid, my best suggestion to you is not to be cocky. Look people in the eye, be polite and sincere. That attitude alone will get you much farther than anything else on the islands. Remember, it is the USVI. Don't be blinded by the beauty, and see that day -to-day living (other than local customs and costs) is like living pretty much anywhere else. There is a huge diversity of people there, not even considering the day-to-day cruise ship arrivals. There are many West Indians from many different islands, many Hispanics from many islands, many Arabs, many Asians, and many local Jews (I don't know about the Israeli Jews today, but back in the 80s there were many), besides white people from the States.

One of the most difficult things to overcome is the way English is used. Down there, they like to be short and to the point with their speech, sacrificing grammar. It takes time to learn, but if you can see the, well, pitter patter of how they speak, it can help you.

I know no one wants to hear this, but in my experience there are three types of continentals that come to the Virgin Islands:

1) Lalalala everything is great, I have the choice of going to a bar, going to a beach, or going to a bar on a beach
2) I see what is going on, and I am going to take advantage of the situation and people
3) I see what is going on, and I am leaving because I don't like it (usually within six months, my friends and I always laughed about this - and most of my friends there are born locals)

The third type is by far the most typical. If you do just stay a year, at least you get the chance to say you lived in the Virgin Islands, and guys will ask you about how many virgins you, uh, met 😉

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Posted : March 14, 2011 4:50 pm
socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

Wow, thanks a lot. And I totally agree with the whole cocky thing. I just didn't want you to think that I was some pushover mainlander. A lot of what you said is exactly the information I was looking for. I will definitely be respectful because I find that a valuable trait as well. Learning the "pitter patter" of the language sounds interesting and I'm interested to see what you mean by that. I just got done reading an over all history of the islands as well as the history of STT specifically, and yes the Danish were definitely the most prominent owners pre-US. I think It's cool how the slaves abolished slavery through rebelling and speaking their minds as well. But I hope that I'm not 1-3 as far as being a continental haha. I hope I can just be someone who lived there for a year and appreciated the people and their time. Thats basically the main reason I joined the blog is just to figure out how to fit in. I think I get it now. I just have to do it. But again thanks and if you see a "tall white kid" walking around USVI STT next year let me know if I'm bein a kook haha

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Topic starter Posted : March 14, 2011 5:06 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Oh, and if you go, you have to go diving. No bullcrap, man up and get your certificate. There are so many dives around all of the islands, but my most favorite is a Jack Cousteau recommended dive, recognized as one of the world's best wreck dives, off the coast of Salt Island In the BVI. The movie The Deep (Nick Nolte, Catherine Bisset and Lou Gossett Jr.) had all of its underwater scenes filmed there.

RMS Rhone

If you only have time for one dive...

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Posted : March 14, 2011 5:23 pm
guice
(@guice)
Advanced Member

Sounds to me it's best to forget the history. Sure, you learn from it, but nobody wants to be reminded when there was slavery. You get VERY bad remarks in the US if you go in the south and start talking to the black community about "Oh yeah, totally read about your history and how your grandparents were slaves and all. Love how you got free" etc. That won't bode over very well state-side, let alone on a remote island where they've dealt with things *their* way (often vastly more different than you think).

But, this is just another US dude stating opinions. I don't live there, yet, but USVI has became a serious consideration (due to work--on STT, no less). I can tell you this, if you've never been outside of the US (let alone outside of Southern Cal), you will be in for a treat (if USVI culture shock is any like going to another country).
(I moved TO the US in 1990 -- even though I am an American citizen [born in Louisiana]; I moved out when I was 2mnth old. lol)

If I accept this position and move down to STT, I'll shoot you over my email and info. You can hit me up when you do come down. If I accept, I'll be down there within a month, most likely.

*Edit grammatical errors.

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Posted : March 14, 2011 5:24 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

I think It's cool how the slaves abolished slavery through rebelling and speaking their minds as well.

Yes, the slaves on St. John, as far as I understand, were the first in this hemisphere to successfully rebel:

Slave insurrection

Heh, I have read about some dirty details about the revolt. I cannot for the life of me remember the book... I am sure many here will remind me...

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Posted : March 14, 2011 5:31 pm
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