Sobering STX Review...
 
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Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

The smell of poverty? No suprise, shocking is more like it. As I have said before "Grow up Kid"(td).

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Posted : January 26, 2010 8:24 pm
rks
 rks
(@rks)
Advanced Member

Some points for tubbyscubby to consider:

There is a great deal of competition between stx and stt for tourism dollars. Many negative reviews originate with people who want to steer tourism in one direction or another. It can sound like a political campaign with mudslinging and precious little useful info. Presidents vacation here, the entire Carter family just spent a lovely week plus here in Christiansted without any problems and with much good to say about our territory. They didn't have the secret service clear the streets for them, they just wandered around like normal ppl and they had a blast.

You might find it useful to distinguish between racism and other forms of discrimination. As I said before I do not think you will have any problems at all as a mixed couple. However, as a black woman from the States you will have your own hurdles to clear. As a white male I've had my share of issues as a tiny minority, but the discrimination by crucians against down-islanders can be shocking.

These islands are very complex, and it takes a fair amount of rethinking about culture and community to get a handle on life here.

Again, good luck. And don't feed the lizard/troll.

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Posted : January 26, 2010 8:43 pm
mydream
(@mydream)
Advanced Member

I have lived in ST Thomas for only 4 months. I read all the good and bad about the island before I moved here.
I came down with no expectations, other than living life and making a life for myself. Yes, there is trash in some areas, there's also trash in some areas where I came from in the states. Make a difference, pick It up! I'm a smoker, I always put the butts in my pocket until I can dispose of them properly. Ever little bit helps. I have never lived around chickens, now I wade through them to feed the feral cats (their always after the cat food). That is something I would have never done in the states. I have become an advocate for the Humane Society, to trap and spay/neuter cats, to reduce the population. People in general are very nice, good morning,day and evening, goes along way here and It becomes second nature after you have used it enough.I live in a nice place, good neighborhood with a few fallen down, run down houses. A few streets over there is poverty, litter, and I do see some of these people going to work everyday. Their doing It the best way they know how.

Tubbyscrubby- the point is, adjust, because life is different here and It depends on you and what kind of life you want for yourself.
If you have certain notions about how things are going to be, you may be disappointed. Come down with an open mind and patients.

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Posted : January 26, 2010 10:05 pm
chockman
(@chockman)
Trusted Member

Sounds like you better visit before you take the leap ! I can't deal with the St Thomas traffic and population being the same as St Croix. I don't like the large confined crowds of St Thomas. But St Croix on the other hand,I can't wait to return for good.

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Posted : January 26, 2010 10:57 pm
tubbyscubby
(@tubbyscubby)
Advanced Member

lol @rks. i don't feed critters.

@stiphy - THANK U! i don't think it's uppity to be honest. there are some common threads in impoverished neighborhoods and for some people this can be an alternate reality....which was the premise of my initial questions. poverty can be shocking. anyone who's seen it knows how heart-wrenching it can be but i do admire lizard's "we are the world" attitude. now, i know STX/STT aren't on the level of say...Jamaica which is reassuring. anyhoo....

correct me if i'm wrong but maybe the difference is due to land mass.? on most islands when the tourists get off cruise ships they have several blocks to walk before they see the "real" city. so where cruise-goers only get a glimpse, people staying at resorts are more likely to see the not-so-nice aspects of a city on a taxi ride to their sheltered vacation.

but with STT/STX being so small, i imagine that "real" life has to be more in your face? with little land mass to separate the tourist's dream from "real"-life, maybe that's why some of the reviews are decisively negative?

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Topic starter Posted : January 26, 2010 11:28 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

??

I think you're over-reacting.

I just read all 22 reviews and maybe two or three were a bit overwrought.
People are entitled to their opinion.
St. Croix is not for everyone (thank God).

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Posted : January 27, 2010 1:30 am
tubbyscubby
(@tubbyscubby)
Advanced Member

you know what i find extremely disturbing? reading repeatedly about the crime and violence on the island ON THIS BOARD and then when you ask people, so what's the deal? you get the standard, "overreaction" or "come see for yourself" response :X

PMV my bottom! you know what happens in a week? you see what you want to see. i have moved so many places after visiting for a week that your head would spin if i gave you the details. i don't want a jaded PMV this time. i want real people with real experiences to tell me what they really think. i am moving an entire business. i get that some don't appreciate that but i'm starting to think i need to put a disclaimer in my sig.

i take no one experience whole cloth because i am intelligent enough to cipher through it all and come to my own conclusion. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the best of any location. i want to know the worsts. are certain people so obtuse that they lack the ability to see the benefits of proper planning? do you need the reviews to read 50-50 in order to take an individual's personal experience seriously?

i like real people. if you're white and you find the black folk on the island to be racist, just say it. it's your reality. if there's violence and you fear going out at night, say it. if you're a woman and men on the island make you feel uncomfortable in certain situations, say it. why is that so hard? for heaven's sake, i guess i gotta learn to be more PC which i thought was soooo 90s.

in short...you research hotels. you compare prices on flights and rental cars. you read pc reviews before buying one and yet, i'm overreacting? HA! 😛

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2010 2:27 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

If you read past threads on this forum you will find the perspectives you seek; that is why we have archived our thoughts here. If you then have specific questions, some of us may able to answer them.

People vigorously advise a PMV because it is very difficult to describe the ways in which living here is different than living in the states. Our individual experiences here are colored by any challenges we face in our relationships, child rearing, finances, adaptability, etc., but even the most prepared among us have found many unexpected positives and negatives to living here. Obviously the majority of us have decided the pluses outweigh the minuses because we choose to stay, but it is impossible to make that assessment for anyone else, no matter how similar our circumstances may seem.

I don't know anything about your business, but while sending packages works well, there can be major delays in receiving packages, even Priority Mail. If you have any health concerns, or plans to start a family, there are other issues to consider; some medical specialties people in the states take for granted do not exist here, and if you choose to deliver here you would want to know that epidurals are relatively new here, and if the individual who gives them is unavailable when you need one you will have to deliver without one. All of these issues and more are discussed in past threads, so reading through this site really does provide our collective perspectives on living in the USVI.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 4:09 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Come or don't come. Visit first or don't. No body on this board cares whether you decide to move here or not. We live in the USVI and like it enough to stay. We try to give the best advice we can. We FULLY realize that most people who come to this board and post about moving, never really will. Posting here is a cheap form of fantasy wish fullfillment.

So do all the research you want. And ask questions, but don't question our intelligence, integrity, and motives.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 8:57 am
STX46
(@boyd46)
Advanced Member

Well said Linda.

We picked up and moved here 21 years ago after 3 day vacation and no research.

Those of us that live here and love it are very defensive about our Island; come or don't come, no one really cares what you do.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 9:46 am
pt of view
(@pt_of_view)
Active Member

Did anyone notice the reviews were from 2002 & 2003? Alot has changed since then!

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Posted : January 27, 2010 9:48 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Come or don't come. Visit first or don't. No body on this board cares whether you decide to move here or not. We live in the USVI and like it enough to stay. We try to give the best advice we can. We FULLY realize that most people who come to this board and post about moving, never really will. Posting here is a cheap form of fantasy wish fullfillment.

So do all the research you want. And ask questions, but don't question our intelligence, integrity, and motives.

Apparently Linda J is not getting the Dept of Tourism kickback that the rest of us are getting.
You can request it at www.stxis4everyone.com

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Posted : January 27, 2010 11:24 am
STXjill
(@stxjill)
Advanced Member

Linda, I couldn't agree with you more, good job! (tu)

I've only lived here 8 years, but truly love living here (most of the time;)). To have to defend the USVI against some lame reviews on the web is asinine at best ... this is our home, and we choose to live here. There's good and there's bad ... you take the good with the bad or stay in America - it's not rocket science.

Jill in St. Croix

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Posted : January 27, 2010 11:25 am
terry
(@terry)
Expert

I don't live on STX but have been going down since 04 and am starting to split my time between AZ and there.
For the most part I find all of the people to be very friendly. One thing that is a little different, when you meet / approach someone and don't say "good morning, good afternoon or good night" they consider it rude and they may be rude to you. Good night does not mean goodbye.
I find the drivers to be very courteous compared to AZ.
When I got out at night I am a little more concerned than in AZ. I am more aware of my surroundings and if I can't find a parking place near where I am going I won't go. There are places that I won't go, but of course in AZ that is the same.
Someone once said on this board that living here is different in that where you are form you can probably go months or years without going into or through a "bad" area. With any island being so small that is not the case.

I have not yet experienced any reverse discrimination but I'm sure at some point I probably will as many of my friends who live there say they have.
I have noticed one thing, I don't think that I have met any local that refers to themselves as African-American, I hate all of the XXXX-American pigeon holes. They proudly refer to themselves as either West Indian or Cruzan (sp?), Just like Texans, they seem to be very proud of where they are from.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 12:07 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

PMV my bottom! you know what happens in a week? you see what you want to see. i have moved so many places after visiting for a week that your head would spin if i gave you the details. i don't want a jaded PMV this time. i want real people with real experiences to tell me what they really think. i am moving an entire business. i get that some don't appreciate that but I'm starting to think i need to put a disclaimer in my sig.

Tubby, I have friends who I met on this board that couldn't wait to get off the island after a year contract was up. I have others friends that I met on this board that when they came for their 1 week PMV, they cashed in their return tickets, had friends clean out their house in AZ and had a Realtor sell it. They love it there. It's not for everyone. Can you see what it's really like in a 1 or 2 week PMV? Probably not, but if you do it correctly you can get a pretty good idea of what you will be up against. IMHO

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Posted : January 27, 2010 12:16 pm
vacationstx
(@vacationstx)
Advanced Member

Tubby--don't sell the farm, I doubt you'll be here too long.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 12:38 pm
tubbyscubby
(@tubbyscubby)
Advanced Member

@LindaJ + boyd46 :X intelligence, integrity, motives? i question the latter given that you don't have anything helpful to say, know you don't have anything helpful to say and wasted the finger strength anyway.

STXjill - "have to defend?" you don't HAVE TO do anything but you're a great team player *SPIRIT FINGERS!*

vacationstx - you don't know me or my resolve. if i choose to return to the states, it's not because i couldn't hack it but it's nice that you assume that's the case knowing nothing about me.

dntw8up - thank you for the helpful response. i've been reading a lot of your posts...and others regarding crime and corruption, and they've gone a long way in giving me some perspective. like with corruption...i've gathered that this is one of those things i'll have to experience myself. thus, it's not one of my primary concerns off-island.

you know what this discussion reminds me of? it's sorta like when some Blacks get upset when a White person has the audacity to point out problems in the Black community. it's not that the issues don't exist, but let's shoot the messenger (outsider) anyway. it's sorta why Blacks-Whites can't have candid discussions but it's so lovely to see the same dynamic play out in other facets of life. i feel welcome already.

PS...i shouldn't have to offer this bit of info but my bf was brutally attacked years ago, paralyzed for about a month so wherever we go, we ask these questions. my due diligence is not an attempt to pass judgment on USVI but i'm so glad that many of you are narrow enough to view it as such. bored with it! 😛

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2010 1:38 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

dntw8up gave you the best advice in my opinion. I did so much research before I moved here but nothing prepared me for life here. I had a rough first 6 months and probably would have moved back to the states had I not bought a disaster of a house that I could not sell. I will be here 4 years in June and never want to leave this island. Your personality, life circumstances, finances and self reliance will determine wether or not this island is for you. Some people come doing no research and decide to stay and do well. Some people plan do PMVs and learn everything they can about the island and hate it here. Just about every stateside friend that I met when I moved here has left the island. I have only 2 stateside friends left here and they have both been here over 5 years.

Crime is a real issue here just like it is everywhere else. If you don't get involved with drugs, don't get involved in risky behavior and be aware of your surroundings you will avoid bad crime. You may however have your car or house broken into. Our dogs and cameras seem to be a deterent. The biggest problem with crime is lack of police response and putting criminals behind bars. In other words take precautions to protect yourself and home.

I did not move my business here because it would have been a shipping nightmare for me. I ship world wide and I use UPS. The prices to ship with UPS are crazy here. Nor could I deal with island time with my employees.

Food cost and electricity are very expensive. A lot of business close down due to high energy cost. You can adjust your lifestyle to lower these cost. Some people are unable to do this. Some people have to work too hard to make a living to enjoy the beauty of this island others are able to adjust and live very simply.

I have not experienced racism except from locals except from a few young people. Only once or twice in almost 4 years. Most of the racism I experience is from white statesiders towards locals. That is my experience but I have heard others have very different experiences. I am a 51 year old white female and I get a lot of respect from both young and old. I also have a 6 year old son and I do not tolerate a lack of manners from him or anyone else.

Medical care. If I had a serious illness I would move back to the states. Medical care is ok here but not great. If I become ill I want the best care. I visit the states a few time a year and get all my check ups and dental care there. I could get it here but prefer my stateside doctors. Also medical care and drug cost are much cheaper in the states.

I can afford to live here. I am very blessed. I don't know if I would love it here as much if I had to struggle and worry about putting food on the table. Even so I do budget carefully and it is an extravagance for me to live here. I may regret that later in life.

I love raising my son here but we moved here when he was two. I wouldn't have moved here if he was a teenager or older than 12. It seems to me that children thrive here when they are young but if brought here older they don't do well. We love being outdoors and my son doesn't need to be in front of the television or computer nor does he have the peer pressure of wearing the right clothes or having the most expensive toys. However back in the states he is overwhelmed and miserable. If we had to move back suddenly it would be very hard on him.

Being away from family and a support system is difficult. I had only been here a few months when I ran out of gas with a toddler in the car and didn't have anyone to call for help because I didn't know anyone. My husband was off island. You need to make friends quickly here. My best friends are West Indian. However, I will never be West Indian and will never be more than a resident of this island.

The worst mind set here is that if you move here and don't "make it", you are a failure or you don't have what it takes to live here. I don't feel that way. You may just not like it here or circumstances make it impossible to continue to live here. I think of it as a very cool live experience that I am enjoying. I will stay here as long as I can. Hopefully long enough to raise my son here. If I have to leave then I have to leave.

I don't know if this helps any but it is my perspective of living here. Everybody has different reasons for coming here and just as many reasons for leaving. It is not for everyone.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 1:54 pm
STXjill
(@stxjill)
Advanced Member

Good morning to all 🙂

I normally just read the boards and enjoy the interaction and helpful input, I've learned quite a bit from reading many of the posts. I truly believe there are many that want to learn and observe from our experiences living here, whether it's people in other locations considering moving here, or others that have relocated recently and are truly interested in learning about this lovely slice of paradise.

Reading the antagonistic posts from Miss Tubby has been quite interesting. Your original posts seemed sincere in the beginning, however, you appear to have turned quite angry. I'm very sorry your boyfriend was brutally attacked, it shouldn't happen to anyone. Can it happen here ... is that what you're really asking? Yes, it can happen here ... it can happen ANYWHERE!

IMHO, you really might be better off staying where you are ... if you're looking for some sort of escape, I don't think this is the place for you. And bashing people here on the boards is not a good start. I hope you find what you're looking for, but please stop trolling in paradise ... we enjoy our slice of heaven ... it's possibly not the right place for you.

Time for me to go outside and check on the garden ... oh how I LOVE this place! 🙂

Best Regards,

Jill in St. Croix

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Posted : January 27, 2010 2:07 pm
tubbyscubby
(@tubbyscubby)
Advanced Member

@dougtamjj *BIG HUGS!* - you, dntw8up and others are exactly the types of responses i was looking for. if i were to purchase a home, it'd be after two years of being on island. i really need to figure out this shipping thing. i actually have to import a variety of items and am totally reconfiguring my supplier base to make it more cost effective. it takes time to get it all situated. are you currently running a business there? actually, if you don't mind, will send you a PM?

when i was looking at the real estate i noticed that a lot of homes had bars on the windows/doors and at first i thought, "maybe that's there version of hurricane shutters" 😀 but then PollyAnna took a nap and i realized they were security bars. i joke a lot with my bf about his right-wing stance on everything and we've argued many times about gun rights and what not. i love but hate the fact that he has a pitbull...sweet dog, questionable breed. so it's odd that i had less concerns about living in NY when i was there but that was probably due to the fact that i could clearly designate good area from a bad one. i'm not getting the impression that's so easy in STT especially but others have said STX is just as bad so...dunno.

-----

STXjill - "I've only lived here 8 years, but truly love living here (most of the timewink). To have to defend the USVI against some lame reviews on the web is asinine at best ... this is our home, and we choose to live here. There's good and there's bad ... you take the good with the bad or stay in America - it's not rocket science."

if someone comes up to you and asks you where the deli is, do you begin discussing what you ate for lunch and how good it was or do you give them directions?

STXjill - "IMHO, you really might be better off staying where you are ... if you're looking for some sort of escape."

where did you get this from? oh, i know, nowhere! you don't know me or my intent but again, assumptions left and right. ask yourself, did i answer any of her questions? if not, why....are...you responding? are you helping matters? oh no, you're not. so what did you have for lunch?

well, while you go and check the garden, i'm going to go outside and hop on the home gym. i LOVE this place too, just like i LOVED the last place and the place before that. i don't move to "escape." i move because i can. novel concept huh?

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2010 2:37 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

tubbyscubby, I don't mind a PM. Please keep in mind that the people on this board are trying to help you. You offended them but probably don't realize it. They aren't being mean. When I first moved here I was complaining about something and my neighbor very bluntly told me not to bring my stateside standards here. It hurt my feelings and I didn't understand. Now I do. I also find Lizard charming even when he is grumpy. 🙂

Good luck with your planning and future move.

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Posted : January 27, 2010 2:48 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

Tubby
You will witness crime, experience crime or befriend someone who has been effected by it. You will see the police hiding in cool shady areas looking hopelessly in the other direction. There are beggars in the street that are very aggressive, you'll have to get down right nasty with them in order to have them leave you alone. The mentally ill have NO place to go but the streets, so you will see some characters!
Most islanders are very poor but humble people. They do tend to be a tad racist especially the young uneducated punks.....that will tell you to leave their island! You must over look them, for there are truly wonderful people here, you just need to befriend them. They all are however waiting to hit the lottery via a Government job!
Life runs at a slower rum laced pace here, so go with the flow, if not you will get a concussion from banging your head against the wall.
Island dogs (pits or mixture of) are treated differently by the locals ............... they tend to be chained to a box or tree and ignored, unlike how we here in the US pamper them. Many are tortured and abandoned by both locals and short timers. The shelter is full, so if you decide to adopt one, be sure you're gonna stay or take it with you when you leave. Chickens run a muck on almost the entire island........so be careful while driving in C'sted, hen's, chicks & roosters will cross the road in front of you.
The government is corrupt and over paid. If they can't figure out how to steal the money............they send it back.
It is very expensive to live on the islands......rent, utilities, food will be quite absorbent, so you will need a stable income to make it.
Mail services suck at best...........a black hole in PR will swallow up things, so make sure you have it insured and signature required, you should see reliability increase to 75-85%.
Stay out of the slums at night & have a buddy with you when out and about.
All in all I wouldn't trade the time I lived there for anything! Island life is magical.........For all it's lacks, I'd move back in a heartbeat!
The beauty is breath taking and the stories are that of novels, so come, relax and experience..........

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Posted : January 27, 2010 2:57 pm
STXjill
(@stxjill)
Advanced Member

I give them directions to the deli .... AND ... I'll probably tell them what I had for lunch (I can be quite chatty with people that are truly interested in my opinion ;)) ... in detail if they'll listen, what I think is best and perhaps what I don't care for. It's that whole perspective and opinion thing and many people appreciate different perspectives and opinions. If you really want to know, I can tell you my whole entire story ... we all have one. Is that what you want? I know everyone has their own story about moving here, and I love hearing all of them ... but that's just me! 🙂

Best regards,

Jill in St. Croix

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Posted : January 27, 2010 3:18 pm
tubbyscubby
(@tubbyscubby)
Advanced Member

@dougtamjj - thanks and i will PM you after i get a better idea of what my questions are.

stateside standards? hmm...actually, the whole point of this was not to bring my standards which is why i'm trying to learn what the island's standards are. it's easier to alter your expectations when you're told what to expect 😉 for example, i never would've thought mold was an issue. it was never a problem on martinique/guadeloupe. that's not life changing info but it's definitely interesting.

as far as offending people, i began to take offense when a certain individual, who also replied to this thread, replied to a question i posed previously -"How did you convince family and friends?"- with why would i want to? any irritation on my part is due to a tendency by some to question the relevancy of a particular question. it's important to me. isn't that enough?

@islandtyme - i'm getting a better sense of what to expect as far as security. from here, i see a small area but it's concentrated. so i guess what you all are saying is take big city precautions. that's not what i would've initially expected but now that i know a little more, it makes sense and doesn't seem so daunting.

STXjill - surprisingly, YES! i'd love to learn from anyone who wants to share which is why i was looking for blogs. maybe it's just me, but it's fun to read about how people ended up where they are. no, i don't need to know you stubbed your toe yesterday but sometimes you pick up lil gems. islandtyme just taught me that i'm going to have to put a notice up to my customers to let them know signature is now required on all packages. that's another $1.25+ for delivery. i can put that on my running list of stuff to do before i move to make my transition easier.

my point is, i don't think everyone realizes how helpful just sharing who they are/what they know is. and i know, you've shared it over and over again but it's all news to me 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2010 4:27 pm
RockyDock
(@RockyDock)
Advanced Member

Out of all this dialogue I keep seeing the USPS come up as a deal breaker. As someone has already said, items being sent out go fairly well. But incoming mail is a nightmare, and has been for years. Look for 13 day Priority mail delivery times, and even with delivery confirmation and date stamped tracking progress through the system, there is a black-hole between the VI and Puerto Rico that everything must pass through. Good luck trying to run a home-based business using the USPS in the Virgin Islands.

You might want to work on the advise A. Davis puts at the end of her messages:
"do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind."
--- scott nearing

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Posted : January 27, 2010 6:40 pm
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