Wednesday, July 6, 2016

St. John's Carnival Time

V.I.N.P. rangers and myself taking a family boat trip
to St. Thomas for....wait for it....PARKING tickets.
Week 5 already and I feel like I just arrived at the Virgin Islands just a few days ago. Time really does fly when your having fun. Literally, it is something new every week whether it's something with LE or a recreational activity on St. John and between the other islands. Week 5 was a week spent, in majority, preparing for the annual carnival that is every year around this time on St. John. Each of the islands have their carnival at a different time of the year as to not overwhelm everyone with the plethora of things to do during each of them. St. John's carnival is the week before the fourth of July and ends on the fourth. The last day being the biggest celebration of them all. Fireworks, seafood, Caribbean music for days, and good vibes throughout the festivities. Although, there are some things LE rangers at VINP have to make sure of to prepare for that week. Mainly, to make sure that the party doesn't migrate onto park grounds.
Starting from the left Ranger Riester,
Horner, & Chief  Ranger Rick

This week was spent with Ranger Meredith Riester. It was an overall cool week in general. We took a trip over to St. Thomas for court and I enjoyed it for a number of reasons. We arrived and entered the courthouse. We got there a little early and I had the pleasure of having conversations with some of the U.S. Marshalls that were stationed there at the courthouse. One of the Marshalls was actually from Philadelphia and went to LaSalle University which is about 5 minutes from where I live. It's a small world, really. She seen my ProRanger uniform and inquired about what it was and she thought it was a great program after I was done explaining. I had previously never seen or spoke to a U.S. Marshall before so I got all the knowledge and information from them that I could. It was a rare opportunity indeed. Court was a little less informative only because none of the parking violators showed up to contest their ticket. Nevertheless, it was still cool being inside an official courtroom and see what the whole process was like from start to finish.
Ranger Riester collecting mooring fees.

Tuesday during the week is when the carnival first started. For the most part, everything went off without any major problems. Most of the carnival until the fourth of July, wasn't on park grounds so there were few worries. But, as stated previously, we had to make sure that the festivities didn't migrate over and cause problems. Ranger Riester and I worked late night shifts until 10pm that week to make sure of that. We did a lot of foot patrol around HQ to make sure everything was okay. The most we dealt with were people exceeding the time limit of 15 minutes at our boating pier. It was meant to be a pickup/drop off zone but, some individual would use it to dock their boats while they went to town for the celebrations. However, for all of our efforts, we can't be everywhere at once. Coming in the next few days for our shifts, we found that there were some incidents that occurred after we left. Other than that, it was great! No medical incidents in the hordes or people, no injuries happened, and everyone was well behaved. From an LE perspective, you can't really ask for much more. I also had fun participating in the celebrations.
Nighttime Carnival Life

Week 6 I'm back with my direct supervisor, Ranger Smith. So expect a lot of boating related activities in my next blog, Thanks for reading. Go Owls.

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