Richmond Vale

Climate change and Stronger hurricanes: Are they really connected?

Climate change and Stronger hurricanes: Are they really connected?
With Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma leaving destruction in their wake and Hurricane Maria looming in the Atlantic Ocean, the frequency and the power of the storms raises the question: How big of a role, if at all, does climate change play on these events? There are several vital ingredients needed for hurricanes to form. These include an initial disturbance in the atmosphere for the storm to form around, very warm sea surface temperatures to sustain the storm, and a lack of vertical wind shear so the storm is not torn apart during its formation. In the Atlantic Ocean, hurricanes often form near Cape Verde off the coast of West Africa. They then track westward towards the Caribbean and the US. Lots of factors can affect how strong these storms ultimately become, including how much time they spend gathering strength over the ocean, and the background weather patterns through which they travel. This storm season we have seen sea temperatures persistently about one to two degrees Celsius above normal over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which has allowed stronger storms to form and develop. Atlantic sea temperatures have warmed over the past century , thus enhancing one of the key ingredients for hurricane formation. Hurricanes and Climate Change are they really connected? According to Ex-NASA Scientist James Hansen , there is a clearly connection between climate change...
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A brain-stormed organic approach to agriculture

A brain-stormed organic approach to agriculture
Caribbean countries are particularly susceptible to climate change related risks. For these reasons, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Ministries of Agriculture of the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS) and other partners launched a Regional Competition to identify, document and disseminate successful cases of the implementation of technologies and practices that are contributing to climate smart agriculture in the ECS. This competition is part of a broader effort to develop capacities and strengthen institutions to enable an effective response to climate change by the region’s agrifood sector. Richmond Vale Academy is featured in this book by IICA and the national winner for St. Vincent and the Grenadines featuring Climate Smart practises. The challenges posed by Climate Change Over the past several decades, multiple climate changes have occurred across the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), located in the Lesser Antilles, including increasing temperatures, changes in water availability and precipitation, and increasing instances of floods. The December 2013 floods, for example, adversely affected many agricultural zones across SVG and several regions are still recovering. These changing climatic conditions, especially over the last twenty years, have presented multiple risks to the country’s agricultural sector, affecting the productivity and quality of crops. Marked changes in rainfall dynamics, with more frequent and intense precipitation events, and more frequent and pronounced drought events that disrupt farming and...
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Richmond Vale

6 Month Gap Year Opportunity in the Caribbean - An Environmental Program

6 Month Gap Year Opportunity in the Caribbean - An Environmental Program
Today, thousands of people are taking gap years all over the world; travelling for months on end, doing it with relative comfort and ease. Today, a gap year can be anywhere, for any length of time, doing anything you want. You can build an orphanage in Belize; teach English as a foreign language in Israel, trek through the Himalayas in Nepal or travel around the 'banana pancake trail' in Southeast Asia. It really is whatever you want it to be. A gap year comes under many guises - backpacking, a career gap, a short gap (most of the times for 6 months); travelling, time out, a sabbatical - but they all mean the same thing. A gap year is constructive time out to travel in-between life stages. It usually means travelling, volunteering or working abroad. Often it means all three! Save the Planet in a 6 month Gap Year in The Caribbean! Climate change and global warming, are something real , and only we can do something to change that reality. If you are looking for a way to save the planet and meet new people, travel and live new experiences, then a 6 month gap year in the Caribbean is just what you need!   St Vincent and the Grenadines is one breath-taking nation made up of an island chain, part of the Windward Islands,...
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Richmond Vale

8 climate change facts that definitely make you think!

8 climate change facts that definitely make you think!
Climate change and global warming are hot topics these days. Studies conducted by various scientists suggest that climate change is happening and it could have devastating and damaging effects on human life. So, what is climate change? Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place's usual temperature for a month or season. Climate change is also a change in Earth's climate. This could be a change in Earth's usual temperature. Or it could be a change in where rain and snow usually fall on Earth. Weather can change in just a few hours and climate takes hundreds or even millions of years to change. Climate Change facts Climate change facts show clearly that we need to act. Change is happening; the Paris Agreement set the ball in motion – though has been criticised for not going far enough –; and as well as nations including Portugal, Denmark, Costa Rica and Scotland producing huge amounts of energy from the sun and wind; Sweden is soon set to become the first fossil fuel-free country in the world; largely due to public demand in the past few years. The effects of climate change has already started occurring in the...
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Anita Joined the Team of the First EPONA Workshop in SVG!

Anita Joined the Team of the First EPONA Workshop in SVG!
We are very happy to receive Anita in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which will be part of the first EPONA: The Secrets of the Wild Horses , to be held at the Eco Center in February 2018. Anita is a certified Eponaquest Instructor, EAGALA Instructor, Yoga teacher, One Horse Life Teacher and a certified Health Coach. In her 47-year long life, she have been curious about horses and how to learn from them. Attending a traditional riding school at a young age left her with many more questions than answers on how to connect with these wonderful animals. In the Stina Herberg Website , Anita said that: “The search for knowledge has not always been easy as I found that the knowledge I was searching for was not always easily accessible. It has taken me on several journeys, some far away abroad to foreign countries. There have been many incredible horse-people that has inspired me through the years, people like; Carolyn Resnick, Linda Kohanov, Anna Marciniak, Klaus F. Hempfling, Fredrik Pignon, Jean Francois Pignon, Marc Rashid, Bill Dorrance, Marjike De Jong, Karen Rolf and Alexander Nevzorov, and Stina Herberg, to mention a few.” But at the end, the best teacher to understand horses, is of course horses! Anita said that her horses teach her how to be strong and positive, especially after suffering from stress...
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Poverty in Saint Vincent and how we can make real change by Ammon

Poverty in Saint Vincent and how we can make real change by Ammon
By Ammon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is located between Saint Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south. Saint Vincent is a very mountainous country with a long history of indigenous peoples. The Island was first “discovered” by Spanish explorers in 1511 but was colonized by the French in 1719 and eventually by the British. The colony was ruled through slavery until 1834 when Britain abolished slavery. Saint Vincent was still controlled by the British until 1979 when independence was gained. These histories of Indigenous peoples and colonization provide the foundation for the economic and cultural problems that afflict the country of Saint Vincent to this day. The effects of slavery are devastating to any culture and Saint Vincent is no exception, you might even say it is the rule. Saint Vin cent was under slavery for a relatively short time compared to other colonies and had a very stiff resistance from the indigenous people of the island, the Garifuna, but this may have made the colonial crack down all that worse in the end. When the Garifuna were eventually suppressed their men were captured and deported from Saint Vincent (named Yurumein at the time meaning Homeland) to the coast of South America. Under the system of slavery people were taken from their lands and traditions and forced into a system that they did...
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How to Build a Biogas Plant by Alexandra

How to Build a Biogas Plant by Alexandra
By Alexandra Biogas is a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, called also anaerobic digestion. It is produced from biodegradable materials and more than half of the resulting gas is methane. In order to create an anaerobic digestion we started our project with a tank made for the purpose of storing water (picture on the left). We tried to seal it by gluing it, but since it was initially designed for water we couldn’t seal it properly and gas was escaping through the lid. This is the only design for tanks that you can find to buy in Saint Vincent, so we decided to import the IBC tanks from Ariaponics Ltd. in Trinidad and Tobago. IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container and is used for shipping different things, so you can find it everywhere around the world. One of the advantages of building a biogas plant made out of IBC tanks is the fact that it’s an open source design made by Solar Cities, so you can find a lot of information on their website. It’s very easy to build. For the first model we build we used 2 IBC tanks for digesters, one underground concrete tank filled with water and a water tank with the top cut and rotated 180 degrees in the concrete tank...
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War and Peace studies - USA vs North Korea

During the week we have 2-3 classes all together covering topics from compost toilets, health benefits of moringa to the exploitation of Haiti.  As a Climate Activist and Development Instructor it is important to get a better understanding about the world. In the Fighting with The Poor Program there are several studies such as reasons for war, situation in the middle east, The role of NATO, UN Security Council, Anti War Movements and how to stop wars. Here are some interesting facts being used in preparations of a new morning class that will be held in September in regards to the North Korea "conflict": The US has 800 military bases in 63 countries worldwide, and military personnel presently active in 156 countries. The US has been at war or in a military conflict for 224 of its 241 years in existence. The US defense budget is over $610 billion yearly, which is higher than the defense budgets of the next 8 countries combined: China (215), Russia (69), Saudi Arabia (63), UK (48), France (55), India (55), Japan (46), and Germany (41). The US is the only country that has ever dropped an atomic bomb on a population, killing about 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A December 2013 WIN/Gallup poll asked 67,806 respondents from 65 countries, "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" 24% of respondents said the US. The...
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Richmond Vale

6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!

6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!
In 1800 only about 2 percent of the world's population lived in urban areas. That was a small wonder: Until a century ago, urban areas were some of the unhealthiest places for people to live. According to The Department of Economic and Social Affairs , half of the global population already lives in cities, and by 2050 two-thirds of the world's people are expected to live in urban areas. But in cities two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation. The majority of people move to cities and towns because they view rural areas as places with hardship and backward/primitive lifestyle. Therefore, as populations move to more developed areas (towns and cities) the immediate outcome is urbanization. This normally contributes to the development of land for use in commercial properties; social and economic support institutions, transportation, and residential buildings. Eventually, these activities raise several urbanization issues. Poor air and water quality, insufficient water availability, waste-disposal problems, andon density and demands of urban environments. Strong city planning will be essential in managing these and other difficulties as the world's urban areas swell.   Environmental Effects of Urbanization Urban populations interact with their environment. Urban people change their environment through their consumption of food, energy, water, and land. And in turn, the polluted urban environment affects the health and...
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Camping at La Soufrière Volcano by Alexandra

Camping at La Soufrière Volcano by Alexandra
La Soufrière is an active volcano on the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. The name is French and some people call it a “Sulfur mine”. You can feel the smell of sulfur as soon as you reach the top.The height of the volcano is 1234 meters (4048 feet). La Soufrière National Park, which includes craters, hot springs and rivers occupies a third of Saint Vincent. [caption id="attachment_11381" align="aligncenter" width="654"] La Soufrière Volcano We set our mind to hike it and camp up there even though we heard a lot of stories from different people that is quite impossible because of the terrain or unstable weather. We took it as a challenge. Most of our grouphas hiked before so we were not completely inexperienced. We decided not to ask a guide to show us the way since we had one of the students done the trail for several times. He never camped up there, but our plan seemed perfect and we had everything in place, including the weather on the morning of the hike. 9 Tips for camping at La Soufrière Volcano: Take in consideration that the rainy season in Saint Vincent starts in May and ends in September. There is no water up there so you need to carry as much as you think you need. We had 5 - 6 liters/person for one...
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Chapter 2 St. Vincent from the New Climate Compliance

Chapter 2 St. Vincent from the New Climate Compliance
Hello again! Enjoy a new chapter from the new Climate Compliance Conference Book. In the Chapter 1 , we presented to you a little introduction about the Climate Compliance Conference, in this chapter 2, we're going to talk about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Enjoy! Saint vincent and The Grenadines The country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as 'Hairoun (a)', is located to the south of the Caribbean Sea and has a population of 110.000 people. SVG is a small island nation but its history is quite remarkable and its landscapes are breathtaking. The country has had a long history of resistance against European imperial powers. The people of St. Vincent, the Caribs, managed to protect their homeland from the French and British settlement for 200 years. They were so vigilant that this territory became the last of the major Caribbean islands to be colonized. During this struggle, African slaves escaping from shipwrecks or the surrounding islands were welcomed to settle on the islands. They mixed with the Caribs and are now known as the Black Caribs or the Garifuna people. In 1719 Britain took control over the country and remained in power until 1979, when St. Vincent and the Grenadines claimed its independence and its right to control its own affairs. The country consists of a main island called Saint Vincent and of 31...
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Richmond Vale

New Climate Compliance Book

New Climate Compliance Book
We are just about to finish the first Climate Compliance Conference book and we are happy to share the introduction with you; Introduction Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after years of climate change related effects, was devastated by the severe weather disasters of 2010 and 2011. In response, Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) took decisive action by initiating a program called "The Saint Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012 – 2021" (CCC). The CCC aims to bring people together to identify and undertake concrete climate change adaptation projects. Established in 2002, RVA is a registered non-profit research and education institution situated in the Chateaubelair area of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Since opening, students from this country and from around the world have participated in courses centered on poverty reduction, environmental conservation and climate change awareness. The Academy's educational programs give students the opportunity to directly influence positive change on the environment and in communities. As a consequence of its actions, RVA has been the catalyst that motivates and mobilises - both students and local community members - to build resilience into their lives; whilst simultaneously developing themselves personally, academically and socially. Since 2012, the school is honored to have hosted in excess of 250 local and international students that have been divided in 15 work and study teams. Each student has participated in CCC research activities...
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The Permaculture Design Course is finally here at RVA!

The Permaculture Design Course is finally here at RVA!
Permaculture is a way of designing your life so that very little of your effort is wasted.  You design your lifestyle to be healthier, cleaner, social, meaningful and productive.  It is the design that makes Permaculture a different way to sustain humanity. So, by doing a permaculture design course,  we can make more efficient societies, workplaces and preserve the beautiful natural resources we have left. Richmond Vale Academy Diving and Hiking Center brings you a 10 days Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) . This course, will open your heart and your mind to a new world by connecting human beings and nature together as one. The course plan, which is based on Bill Mollison's book “ Permaculture: A Designers' Manual ”, will give you an introduction to permaculture as a science that can give the opportunity to live a sustainable life. It will prepare you with the skills and techniques to apply permaculture designs in different settings and at different scales. Why to do a Permaculture Design Course? The most important reason to do a Permaculture Design Course is to build your skills to design a more efficient, co-operative and eco-friendly lifestyle for yourself and others.  We believe in walking the talk – living the lifestyle that will help others to develop.  This course enables much more. You can develop a specialist field, teach others, set up...
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5 Easy ways to Save Energy in The Kitchen! INFOGRAPHIC

5 Easy ways to Save Energy in The Kitchen! INFOGRAPHIC
Have you ever wonder, "Why is conserving energy important?" There are many reasons why you should be concerned about conserving energy whenever is possible. Few people consider where the electricity comes from when they flip on a light or push the start button on a computer. Almost everyone in America has grown up in homes that are powered by electricity. This makes it very easy to take energy for granted, without realizing the cost to both the environment and to your bank account. The truth is that all energy produced and used has an impact on the environment. Luckily you can save energy in home with just a few tips. Ways to Save Energy in The Kitchen With the fridge running 24/7, the stove and the dishwasher, your kitchen is the room in your home that utilizes the most energy. So, with just a few minor adjustments, you can significantly cut the amount of energy you consume. With hydro costs increasing exponentially, you need to adopt energy-saving habits and trying just a couple of these tips, can result in significant savings. (Click infographic to enlarge .) Share this Image On Your Site </p><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /> <p><a href='http://richmondvale.org/Save Energy in the kitchen/'><img src='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/info-5easy-ways-to-save-energy-in-the-kitchen.jpg' alt='5 Easy Ways To Save Energy In The Kitchen Infographic' 540px border='0' /></a></p><br /> <p> #1-...
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5 Amazing Ways To Get The Most Out of a Permaculture Garden

5 Amazing Ways To Get The Most Out of a Permaculture Garden
The term ' Permaculture ' is a portmanteau word for 'permanent agriculture' and 'permanent culture'. Permaculture is basically an agricultural system which focuses on the natural way of practicing agriculture, maintaining the ecological systems and not strictly adhering to the systems followed in modern agriculture. This system of permaculture garden was designed and developed by two Australians named Bill Mollison and David Holmgren . Permaculture has been defined by Mollison as, "A philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system." Why Should We Use Permaculture? Permaculture gardens serve many functions. Rather than limit the garden to only one use, permaculture gardens employ a variety of uses. A permaculture garden provides food and medicinal crops, wildlife habitats, crafting materials, an attractive appearance, and a private, relaxing atmosphere throughout every season. These types of gardens produce food by using a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. Flowers are not only grown for their edible or medicinal properties but also as an insect repellent or attracting depending of the needs. They are also good to be used as cut flowers for beautiful bouquets or dried out for additional longer-lasting displays, and numerous plant materials are used...
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Farming Beyond Drought

Farming Beyond Drought
The Caribbean accounts for seven of the world’s top 36 water-stressed countries and Barbados is in the top ten. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines countries like Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis as water-scarce with less than 1000 m3 freshwater resources per capita. [caption id="attachment_11290" align="aligncenter" width="654"] Caribbean farmers have been battling extreme droughts in recent years. A FAO official says drought ranks as the single most common cause of severe food shortages in developing countries, making it a key issue for Caribbean food security. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS With droughts becoming more seasonal in nature in the Caribbean, experts say agriculture is the most likely sector to be impacted, with serious economic and social consequences. This is particularly important since the majority of Caribbean agriculture is rain fed. With irrigation use becoming more widespread in the Caribbean, countries’ fresh-water supply will become increasingly important. In light of the dilemma faced by the region, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) is spearheading a climate smart agriculture project in which 90 farmers from three Caribbean countries, including Barbados, will participate over the next 18 months. Executive director of the CPDC Gordon Bispham said the aim of the project, in which farmers from Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines are also involved, is to support sustainable livelihoods and reinforce that farming is serious...
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5 amazing benefits of mulching the garden (Infographic + Types of mulch)

5 amazing benefits of mulching the garden (Infographic + Types of mulch)
  One of the easiest ways to ensure success in your garden, especially a vegetable garden, is to incorporate mulching into your garden preparations. This doesn’t have to break the bank, but it will provide you dividends in the abundance of vegetables you will harvest from your garden. Whether you live in the city, countryside, or suburbia, and whether you have a huge garden, raised beds, or even if you are using pots and containers, mulch is the unsung hero in the garden. What is Mulch? The word ‘Mulch’ has its roots in German. It comes from the word ‘molsch’ which means ‘beginning to decay’. This is probably used in reference to the first types of mulch that were biodegradable. Mulch is a thin layer of any substance that is spread over the soil. It is used to mimic the conditions that one sees in the forest. What are the Benefits of mulching? Mulchin your plants can give you a lot benefits. Some of them are: (Click The Infographic to Enlarge ) Share this Image On Your Site </p> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p> <p><a href=' http://richmondvale.org/benefits-of-mulching-the-garden/'><img src='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/INFOGRAFIA-MULCH.jpg' alt='5 Amazing Benefits of Mulching The Garden' width='540px' border='0' /></a></p> <p> #1- Gets Plants Through Extreme Weather. During dry spells, mulch can save plants. It acts as an insulator, keeping the soil cool and moist...
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Richmond Vale

4 Terrible Effects of Poverty on the Brain That You Should Know About It!

4 Terrible Effects of Poverty on the Brain That You Should Know About It!
Issues like hunger, illness, and thirst are all causes and effects of poverty . That is to say, that not having food means being poor, but being poor also means being unable to afford food or   clean water . The effects of poverty are often interrelated so that one problem rarely occurs alone. Bad sanitation makes one susceptible to diseases; and hunger and lack of clean water makes one even more vulnerable to diseases. Impoverished countries and communities often suffer from discrimination and end up caught in a cycle of poverty. However, poverty also affects the brain and the body of those who experience. In fact, poverty on the brain can extend well beyond the years of financial struggle; even helping to perpetuate this situation. What are the Effects of Poverty on The Brain? Imagine having to stress every penny and count every calorie to make sure you are getting enough into your system. Imagine being scared of getting sick because you don’t have medical insurance, or access to any health care service. Now, imagine you have children and you have to provide for them while not being able to financially support yourself. That is what goes through the mind of an adult person living in poverty  24/7; 365 days a year. There are several effects of poverty on the brain, like:  #1- Poverty on...
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Benefits of the Moringa Tree (Infographic) + Uses

Benefits of the Moringa Tree (Infographic) + Uses
Moringa oleifera is a small to medium-sized tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent. The tree is easily recognizable from its light colored knotty trunk and highly branched compound leaves. The fruits of the Moringa tree are thin, 1 ½ -2 ft. long pods.  Click to go to the Uses of the Moringa Tree The M. tree has several names in different parts of the world including its common name of “horseradish tree,” since its roots taste similar to horseradish root when raw. In Ayurvedic medicine it is known as shigru. Although the sparse crown of the drumstick tree offers little shade from the hot sun of the tropics, it is a common fixture in almost every yard and by the wayside. The M. tree have innumerable health benefits. The leaves, flowers and the green pods of Moringa are all edible and are widely use in Indian cuisine. This miracle tree is beneficial as food because of its ability to grow in a variety of climates, especially subtropical climates. In fact, M. Oleifera grows in virtually all countries where malnutrition is widespread and may be a great part of a comprehensive plan to alleviate malnutrition throughout the world. Nutritional Value Of Moringa Moringa leaves and pods are a nutritional powerhouse.It is a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It...
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Impressions on St. Vincent by Karolina

Impressions on St. Vincent by Karolina
By Karolina St. Vincent, the place about witch I have been dreaming for a long time   I am in the place about witch I have been dreaming for a long time (without even knowing that it exists). One might wonder why St. Vincent is so special. To begin with, the nature here is just breathtaking. No matter where you turn, you are always surrounded by mountains. It is been two months since we are here, and I cannot get enough of the view. Vegetation is incredibly rich as well. The soil is so rich that if you stand on it for a while you will become taller they say. Moreover, there is a huge variety of fruits here. When one end, other start bearing fruits. By the way, mango season is about to start and when it starts people can survive just on mangoes. Also, coconuts are very important part of life in St. Vincent. If you are thirsty they provide you with water, if you are hungry they fulfil you with nutritious coconut meat and et cetera. Second off all, Vincentians are super friendly, it is even hard to describe in words how friendly they are. I really like to be around locals: they are bringing good vibes. Vincentians always greet you! Usually, after “good morning”, “good day”,  “good night” follows other sentences or...
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