Virgin Islands National Park Volunteering

While on St John we volunteered for a day doing hurricane clean up. We’ve never volunteered on vacation before so this was new to us. It seemed like a good thing to do given all the destruction in the islands. It was purely a walk-up session, with no need to commit beforehand. The van picked up whoever showed up at 8:00 AM. All of us volunteers were from somewhere else: New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Colorado, with a crew of staff leading the effort. It was well organized; they provided gloves, tools, and water, though it was a mile to the water source. Had we known there would be a long hike to refill bottles we would have brought larger water bottles with us. One of the guys hiked back to refill bottles for everyone. We worked on the Leinster sugar factory ruins clearing brush. It was very hot and a long walk from the parking lot to the ruins; one of the volunteers got sick due to the heat. We discovered one nice thing about being a volunteer is that no one expects you to do too much; anything you do is a help! After volunteering it was lovely to get back to the truck to ice-cold water. The other Michigan couple has been coming here for 17 years. I can’t fathom coming back to the same place, no matter how wonderful, year after year.

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