jasper RVA made me the person I am today

Hi everyone at RVA and all the Vincentians I worked with. It is been a while, life went on, there is not a single week I am not thinking of St Vincent. The reason I took so long to send a letter is because I have quit using social media for at least 2 years now. I focus myself on other things, but finally I found the courage and the time to send you this letter.  Just believe me when I say that I thought a lot about all of you. The reason why it’s because you gave me a lot, the knowledge, but also you made me the person who I am today. The vision that I have of the world, and a lot reminds me of you during discussions. I want to say thank you for this.

Let me tell you something's of myself, what I am doing right now. I am involved with a group that has a bio farm, so I help them where I can if there is work to do. It is still small, but it is a wonderful initiative. I feel good around those people, it is wonderful that this project came on my path; still it is too small to provide full work, but the community that is has been built is great. They are friends that share the same ideas, and also are engaged in sustainability, we opened a non-plastic shop as well, mostly local grown food or bio. So that's what I do in my free time.

During the past year I followed a course of maintenance, I felt the urge to know more about building, repairing, so I finished that and now I am more skilled. I love working with my hands and find solutions for problems. It also helps me to build my home - I'm rebuilding a caravan. I always wanted to live small, so I am blessed that I could put this caravan in the garden where I live now, it feels already like a small community. I live with 2 friends, but one of them is going to move to another place. Furthermore, I am grateful that my other housemate thinks a like. We are planting a fruit forest and trees, we want to increase the biodiversity where we live. So I am happy for that. Back when I came to you, to Richmond vale academy there was no one I could share dreams and visions with back here.

I don't know how the COVID-19 pandemic hit you there?! Here we are still feeling it a lot, not that it's bothering me a lot. I use it to do what I do. I love it actually that the world around me is quieter, I can focus more on the things that are important to me. Still a lot of people died and are dying, it's complicated, and on the other hand a lot of unhealthy people are in hospital, people that are not taking care of their body, not always but in most cases. But we need to do this for the society. Our hospital limit is reached and so to workers that are working long shifts; people have voted with the elections for other things than education, health care... so now we pay the price. I hope you guys are healthy and that the community is good, that the organization is still running and that the island in the whole is OK. And also the reason I said to myself I need to send a letter it's because my parents told me the other day that the volcano erupted. I was shocked, I didn't hear this, so also I wanted to ask if everyone is OK?! I hope so and that the damage physically and also psychology is portable.

I just wanted to say thank you again for everything, and I really mean this. Sometimes I think to be here by myself, what am I doing here? Can't I be doing greater things at RVA than here where I live?

Well during the past years I did some promoting for RVA, I suggest it to some people I thought it would be something for them. Also, I made some phone calls with persons that were thinking of going, and I talked about the place.

Now that said, I am hopefully to hear from you, a lot of love and greetings.

Jasper, Belgium.