Caribbean Horse Relief Efforts
See the above link (opens in a new window) for updated information on Caribbean Horse Relief Efforts in the wake of Irma and Maria, as well as Virgin Islanders looking for work in the equine industry in the mainland US.
Four months after back to back category five hurricane direct hits
I arrived back on St. Thomas January 18th. Not knowing what to expect, and expecting the worst, I was pleasantly surprised, relieved and humbled at the progress. There are lots and lots of blue FEMA roofs, starting immediately with our airport building. They are not everywhere but randomly scattered around the island. Thanks to Mother Nature the island is green again. The trees, although misshapen and broken, they are bouncing back. It is funny to see large tree trunks with small branches all turning green. Large debris deposits have for the most part been removed. New telephone and cable poles are up with almost 100% of the island power restored. Solar street lights are being replaced. Many of the roads are partially repaired and have not fallen into any large potholes, never to be seen again. I was dutifully warned about them but they are few and far between.
The ocean is once again beautiful shades of blue typical of the Caribbean. Birds are back and singing. Our beautiful Magens Bay has been restored with new plants thanks to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
Many of our restaurants have reopened as have many of our downtown and Havensight stores.
Some smaller hotels are open at Lindbergh Bay, Emerald Beach Hotel, Carib Beach Hotel, Olga's Fancy at Villa Olga in Frenchtown and Windward Passage.
What I have found interesting is a bit of guilt surfaced about not being here to go through these disasters with my husband and old friends and family. However, we did have Hurricane Irma visit us in Ocala where I thought I would be picking up sticks off of trees the rest of my life.
What was humbling in St. Thomas was the sense of emotional strain that everyone seems to have experienced. Many people become teary eyed describing the struggles that so many have been through. However, this has brought more people together and a willingness to help each other like I've never seen on the island before. This shows that there is always some good that comes out of the disasters that may befall us.
Thank you Ocala for your support to the U.S. Virgin Islands, especially to the equine industry!
Carolyn Smith Pomeranz
P.S. Our Walter Cartoons are BACK. My co-creator, Lori Abbott, finally has WIFI so please enjoy our first cartoon this Friday.
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These little "Fairy steeds" are enchanting and no one can resist their smiling faces. Click here to read the folklore and truths about the Corgi.
Our St. Francis of Assisi pet tags will keep your pet safe and make sure they get home if lost. St. Francis is captured on the front of the medal and can be customized with 2 lines of engraving on the back. The medals are available in 5 beautiful finishes and 2 sizes for every sized companion animal. The medal is sent in a beautiful Saint Francis prayer card with an attachable collar ring.
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Here's How Ocala
I am taking this opportunity to introduce myself, Carolyn Smith, the owner of ShopTalk. I grew up in St. Thomas, moving here in 1963 with my family that had a retail store on Main Street. I developed an early knack in business and have had several businesses on the island over these many years.
I took a leave of absence from the island for several years moving to the Orlando area where I was involved in real estate and the community by assisting in several large charity fundraising events. The bulk of this went to Florida Hospital and The University of Central Florida. I ended up bringing the same format to Rotary here in St. Thomas raising money for scholarships. I now chair the committee on Scholarships for Rotary Sunrise.
I have been an active member of Rotary for 14 years. I have recently resigned to follow other pursuits. This has led me to revisit a past sport that is near and dear to me, the world of horses. Many horses that have led active lives as thoroughbreds on the race track are left abandoned after they've run their course for their owners. These are beautiful animals looking for a home. I have adopted one such horse, McKelly, who was an incredible athlete and very successful past racing champion. Adopting him gives him a second chance for a nice life after retirement. This is something that anyone with the experience and love of horses can do. Please check with your local race tracks if you are willing and able and can provide a loving home for these incredible animals.
I have recently purchased a horse farm in the city of Ocala in Marion County and moved my horses from St. Thomas to their new home here. I have also moved my mother from Orlando to Ocala. In getting a horse farm together I exhausted my new Ocala acquaintances with all of my questions where to find anything. This inspired me to create a map with locations indicated for horse supplies, automotive supplies, health care providers and good restaurants, including discounts and specials. This map will be a tool for newcomers and locals alike.
This map will include many coupons presenting great deals and opportunities. It will be distributed by a local distributing company.