I am in St. Thomas for a coral reef conference that begins tomorrow. I love the Caribbean, but I've never been to any of the US Virgin Islands before. It's like being in the Caribbean with none of the non-US hassles. US currency, US outlets...it's such a lovely place and the people have been very welcoming and kind.
I'm struck by the fact that the Caribbean has become more of a melting pot than the US. I've met Austrians, Dominicans, Antiguans, Egyptians, all making their homes in St. Thomas. This morning I went out to gather supplies for the next few busy conference days, snacks, drinks and fruit to keep us going for the week. (The director of ITME is also here--together we are representing the school--he's presenting later in the week.) I'm actually really thrilled to be here and looking forward to the many informative talks scheduled. I'm going to take notes for my fiction, which is frequently about marine-related subjects, or set in a marine environment.
I've decided that this will be the niche that I pursue in writing--marine ecology fiction. The Rick Bass of the oceans, that's what I'd like to be.