Coming to RVA: The Expected and the Unexpected
I just arrived here at RVA and this week has been full of adjustments-to temperature (in my hometown it has been below zero degrees whether we’re calculating in Fahrenheit or Celsius), to a new schedule (my normal daily routine does not include waking up before 7am nor going to bed between 9 and 10pm), to food (in Iowa, winter time means scooping snow rather than harvesting food and working in the garden), to a more rosy skin tone.
When I made the decision to come visit Richmond Vale Academy here in Saint Vincent, I knew most of those changes were coming. After my first week in “Vincy”, there are a few things that have happened that I couldn’t have expected. I could not have anticipated the warmth with which I was greeted by the taxi driver, Elias. He introduced me to his island home as he brought me up to the school the first night. I would never have been able to guess that my class would be taught by an instructor from Colombia who spent time this week making a special medicinal tea for an asthmatic classmate of mine. I couldn’t have known we’d be left without a ride back to the school after beach clean-up and a local would offer to take us back in his boat.
On a more grave note, there’s also no way I could have anticipated the realization that the actions of my home country are having a direct impact on a world most folks from the United States will never see. On the trip up from the airport, we encountered two pieces of road that have been completely washed away due to an extended rainy season and increased flooding. Caribbean nations are responsible for less than 1% of annual global CO2 emissions, yet they are the ones left with the effects of climate change and with few resources to deal with it. The United States is responsible for about 17% and a number of the folks that live there have the “luxury” of believing that climate change isn’t real. They don’t have to see its effects, unrepaired, on their streets each day.
Every day as we prepare to do whatever that day has for us, my teacher says, “Hillary, go change the world today.” I’m convinced that alone I can’t change the world. However, I do know that as we make decisions about the future of our planet, we will sink or swim together. As I sit here, surrounded by people from all over the world studying, working, growing, conversing, and reflecting on ways to live more sustainably, I’m sure that together, we’ll swim.
Like Hilary, you can enjoy the expected and unexpected in Richmond Vale Academy. In here you will know peopole from all over the world, and also you’ll learn about the climate change and global warming.
Our academy is different to any school, in here you can laught, learn, meet people, save the planet and also fight poverty. St. Vicent is a excelnet place and the locals are the best people in the world.