I did it. This Christmas I entered the modern age of smartphones. Personally, I miss the time when I could exist with a phone that only made phone calls. Living on an island helped me to exist in that world a little bit longer than I think I could in the regular universe. But at some point in the last year, the regular universe found me and group texts sent from certain smartphones began being sent as data. And suddenly my PTWJAP (phone-that-was-just-a-phone) couldn’t receive them. This meant I was regularly having to text my boss with super professional requests like, “Can you resend that? It didn’t come through for some reason.” Which is professional-ish when it happens once in awhile, perhaps. But sending it every two out of three texts? Okay, fine. I’ll get a grown-up phone with a grown-up data plan. But I get a phone case that glows in the dark. That’s the deal. Take it or leave it.

Here’s the good news that comes with my new smartphone. Pictures. All the time. Pictures of the cheese I’m eating. Pictures of my dog doing things way cuter than other people’s dogs do. Pictures of my baby nephew stolen from my sister’s Facebook page. And, here’s the one you’ll like (unless I lost you at PTWJAP), pictures of bizarre island happenings. Previously, I could only photograph them when I happened to have my camera with me and handy. Not anymore.

Here are three moments with horses that I could have captured for you if I’d upgraded to a smartphone earlier. Because at the time I only owned a PTWJAP, you get to experience the events through my hand-drawn illustrations instead:

Here is a horse being led down the road by its car-driving owner. I was fortunate enough to get stuck behind this duo in Bovoni near the race track.

horse post pic 2_Melissa_WWLOR

And here is a horse waiting for the VITRAN bus. Or at least that’s what I assume he was doing. I’m not sure why else a horse would just be hanging out alone at a bus stop.

horse post pic 1_Melissa_WWLOR

And here is horse traveling via truck bed. Just passing time while his chauffeur pumps some gas. You may be outraged, but remember – he’s just happy to have a ride so that he doesn’t have to wait for the bus like his lame-O horse cousin. My guess is that he’s going to reach his destination and jump out of the truck at the corner of the Tutu intersection, inconveniently causing the person behind him to miss the light. But that’s just a guess.

horse post pic 3_Melissa_WWLOR

Of course, now that I have my new smartphone I’m sure people will start to be very responsible with their horses, leaving me with no interesting horse picture opportunities. But never fear, there will surely still be many events to document from the local iguanas, chickens, feral cats, tourists…

Written By:

Melissa Rogati

Current Rock of Residence:

St. Thomas, USVI

Island Girl Since:

2003

Originally Hails From:

Georgia

Melissa is a St. Thomas, USVI-based 30-something and a 10 year island veteran who can’t endure even the smell of shrimp. It all stems from a childhood experience where a beloved grandfather told the once shrimp-loving four year old that shrimp was “yucky”. Her husband has requested multiple times that she undergo exposure therapy on the issue, but she refuses out of tribute to her grandfather. Melissa started her island adventures on a sparsely populated outer island in the Bahamas before moving further South to the “big city” of St. Thomas a few years later. The early island experience of dependence on a weekly mail boat to bring supplies (and the lack of Target) cultivated a realization that you can make almost anything you need. That means you can regularly find her feasting on fresh baked bread and homemade peanut butter and jam.

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