VG Post Three
June 11 – Monday: I spent this day catching up on my blog and contacting various people in the church. Esther, the supply priest for St. Mary’s contacted me and we made an appointment in Tortola for Tuesday. Later in the day I went to the church and met up with the Visions people. The kids were painting and repairing the playground. Some of the pictures were included in blog Post Two. I was invited to stay for dinner with the Visions group. Delicious dinner of chicken and mashed potatoes.
June 12 – Tuesday: Caught the 10AM ferry to Tortola and was met at the dock by Reverend Esther Georges, the long-term supply priest for St. Mary’s. She is currently on sabbatical. We had a lo0ng and fruitful conversation about the past and present story or St. Mary’s. After a lunch at the coffee shop, where we got coffee on the June 2 trip to Tortola.
Esther had to go to her art class, so we went up the mountain to her house to get her supplies. They live, literally, on the top of a mountain. The view, overlooking Road Town, is fantastic. On a clear day one can see VG. However, there was an overcast today.
Will gave me a tour of the Western side of the island. The hurricane damage was visible everywhere. On that side of the Island, the water level was up to 20 feet. It covered the road and some buildings were completely covered.
We continued up the Western side of the mountain back to Tortola. You would not believe how steep some of the roads are. No attempt was made to create a moderate grade. The roads just went straight ups the side of the mountain. Every once in a while, there was a switchback.
The Virgin Islands were once owned by Denmark and Britain. Although, since they were discovered on Columbus’ second trip in 1493, they have been claimed by many countries. In 1917, Denmark sold their part of the Virgin Islands to the United States, for $25 Million. The official name is Virgin Islands of the United States.
The British Virgin Islands are a self-governing British Overseas Territory. The capital is in Road Town on Tortola. The Island of Virgin Gorda was discovered and named by Christopher Columbus. The name means Fat Virgin in Spanish. Columbus thought that is what it looked like.
I returned to Virgin Gorda on the 4:30PM ferry and met the Senior Warden, Bernadette Thomas, for 6PM meeting. We discussed ways that I could help the vestry get organized and strengthened in the time I had left here in the island. The meeting lasted until about 8PM. I was pooped.
Meanwhile the Visions’ teens were hard at work finishing the repairs to the playground. They placed their hand prints, St Mary’s name, and a hammock on the horizontal bar. See picture. What a bunch of great kids. Most of them are in transition to High School from Jr. High.
June 13 – Wednesday: Wednesday is the day of the Senior Service, now in the church. We had the usual bunch of people. Instead of a Eucharist we had a service of Morning Prayer, extended with a lot of good old hymns from Lift Every Voice and Sing. It was quite a surprise when our sometimes pianist, Warren, popped in right after the beginning of the service. It was fantastic to have some music to accompany our singing.
We read the Office Readings for the day and talked a bit about them; prayed for our intentions; anointed people for healing; and told some stories. It was altogether a great time of sharing for everyone. Even Warren shared a story with us. Afterward, the seniors enjoyed an Island style spaghetti lunch accompanied by split pea soup.
I met with the Regional Dean, Denise Reovan, afterward.
At 3:30, I participated in a Cristosal ZOOM meeting regarding a learning program we are working on.
The British Overseas Territories (BOT) or United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs) are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are the parts of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories. These territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel. They all share the British monarch (Elizabeth II) as head of state.