Happy New Year Everyone! I hope each and every one of you have a prosperous year and that you grow spiritually, mentally and financially!

It seems that all of my blogs and evidently, my life revolves around the aftermath of Hurricanes “Irmaria” and whats to come of the British Virgin Islands. There isn’t a day that I do not hear about Hurricane Irma stories, people angrily asking when they are going to receive their insurance cheques, if the B.V.I’s infrastructure will ever improve and the list goes on. It was about time that my friends and I came together and enjoyed an evening of solace, conversation, food, views and happiness.

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Beach Bonfire

 

How it Started.

I have been annoyed by my uneventful weekends and as such, I’ve been wracking my brain for ways to have fun in a “Post-Apocaolyptic World”. With the help of my friends Shemar and Hakeem, we came up with a “Boho/Moroccan” themed Beach Bonfire. With our brains running like wildfire, we thought of a menu and a location then we quickly got to work to put this mini event together.

Looking Back…

It’s so crazy to look back on my past posts and see what my friends and I used to do for fun and enjoyment before Hurricane Irma and Maria became apart of our history.

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Lunch at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

We went from having top notch lunches at luxurious restaurants to simple get togethers at the beach. Although I am incredibly thankful for all of the visits to the more opulent destinations in 2016/2017, it seems that I have taken away more lessons -both mentally and spiritually- from the simpler aspects of life.

Simplicity makes a comeback!

It seems that we are slowly returning to what island life used to be 50 years ago. Island life was once looked at as an extremely laid back lifestyle that you were more than happy to share with your family and friends, heck, even strangers. Over the past few years, I think we as a territory, lost sight of what an island community is really about. It’s about finding pure joy in the simplest form, turning lemons into lemonade and sharing that joy and lemonade with your loved ones and strangers if need be. This pure joy ran rampant on Sunday 14th 2018 which is when we had the bonfire.

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Friendly conversations. Photo by Hakeem Gravesande.

It was amazing to see how many people showed up to our little beach bonfire. I’d only invited 5 close friends, so as far as the turnout was concerned my expectations were tame. But low and behold we had over 20 enthusiastic beach bonfire goers! Although I met a few of them for the first time that evening, they were more than welcomed to participate in our little get together! It was amazing to finally be surrounded by green trees, refreshing sea breeze, crashing waves, contagious laughter and positive vibes.

Our setup needed to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible but with a “Pinterest” twist. So we decided to lay down comforters in different spots with a couple of throw pillows to add extra comfort. To help set the chilled vibe, dimmed lighting was our go-to choice.

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Bohemian Themed Corner.

 

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Cozy Corner.

 

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The “Couples Corner”.

I found a mosquito net for sale in Riteway Super Markets and thought that it would be an amazing addition to the Beach Bonfire. And boy, was I right!

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Felt like a majestic creature all afternoon.

As the sun kissed the horizon, and stars slowly made themselves visible, it was time to start the bonfire and turn up the music.

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The Bonfire. Photo by Hakeem Gravesande.

 

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It’s Lit!

Many gathered around the different seating areas and spent the night talking, laughing and eating.

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Endless laughter and chatter with old and new friends.

 

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Gathering around the Bonfire. Photo by Hakeem Gravesande.

As the bonfire raged, so did our bellies. It was time to grill. We kept the menu simple -shish kebabs, hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza and wings- but the cooking process was not simple at all. We found out too late that the hood on our grill was defective and there was a lack of meat-flipping utensils. So imagine our surprise when we went to flip the food on the grill and the hood decided not to lift up. We were standing around frantically and helplessly as our feast went up in bonfire flames!

While my friends and I magnificently charred the food on the grill, Yadali ecstatically ran up to us exclaiming that there was “something we had to see!” We followed her curiously, and as we slowly approached the shore, we realized that the sand somehow imitated the starry sky! “Its Bioluminescent Plankton!” says Yadali and my mind started to explode. You see, I’m a National Geographic freak and I’ve always seen the segments about the “Plankton that glows in the dark”. Never in my 21 years of living did I imagine I would have been blessed enough to witness this phenomenon first hand! The best part about it was the fact that I got to share it with my friends. To see the pure and raw joy plastered on their faces made me elated with happiness.

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An example of Bioluminescent Plankton for the uninitiated. They’re really hard to photograph!

After I witnessed bioluminescent plankton glittering on the shore, I thought to myself, that this is the highlight of 2018 and nothing could trump that. Little did I know that the universe had some more tricks up its sleeves. While we were singing around the bonfire, I happened to look up at the same time as a blazing meteor flew across the sky. Yes, thats right, I got to see a shooting star and bioluminescent plankton in the same night! Consider me blessed for the rest of my life.

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Fire Princess. Photo by Hakeem Gravesande.

The night was coming to an end and no bon-fire could be complete without S’Mores! I’m sure everyone knows what S’More is, but if you don’t, its basically marshmallows roasted by the fire with chocolate, squished in-between two graham crackers! Its so simple but so delicious!

 

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Roasting the marshmallows. Photo by Hakeem Gravesande.

 

 

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S’Mores!

This was the perfect conclusion to our charming beach bon-fire, an event that we’ll definitely repeat.

To Conclude…

If you want to have fun in the British Virgin Islands post Hurricane Irma, my advice is to take the simple route. Gather some friends and go exploring or go to the beach and have a simple beach bonfire like we did! You will be surprised how something so uncomplicated can impact your happiness and outlook on life. There is nothing better than being surrounded by nature and all of its glory!

The B.V.I’s recovery is well underway. You can read more about that here. If you are interested in making a donation to help us rebuild you can donate to the many BVI Relief funds here. Whether it be through supplies or financial assistance any donation would be greatly appreciated. Also if you’d like to volunteer your time and services in respect to your profession whether it be medicine, engineering or construction, we will be forever grateful!  And remember, the only way we can bounce back from this catastrophe, is for YOU GUYS to visit or return to the beautiful British Virgin Islands!

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For updates on what hotels, villas, restaurants and activities will be open, check out this website here or keep tuning into my blogs for Hurricane Irma series updates! Please do keep us in your hearts and visit us whenever you get the chance!