My experiences in Richmond Vale Academy were nice but also challenging, I leaned how to live in a community.
Community living made me feel like I belong somewhere - Also because everyone is passionate. We are conscious about how we best can help each other and the community as well. Living in RVA was good because I had to clean, going to the garden and being in the kitchen. I got to meet new people and have them teach me to acquire knowledge and competence; also teaching me how to live more sustainable. I learned a lot about biogas, climate change and gardening.
Some quotes from Shyiene Hanson:
May God bless you all,
Shyiene Hanson, Fitz Hughes.
Working with biogas
My experience in the biogas project was very interesting because it was the first time I heard about it.
I learned a lot about biogas, how to build one and I can see biogas can change people’s lives because people can save money by reducing cooking expenses by as much as 80%.
Cooking is easier and quicker than cooking with charcoal or firewood, it reduces your household waste because the biogas system converts organic household waste, improves your house because you have a source of energy for cooking and it produces your own organic fertilizer and helps the environment. Biogas is made up of five sections: a mixing tank, inlet chamber, digester, and outlet chamber and last an overflow tank.
Also biogas is made from food waste. Cow dung is the main source for a biogas digester as the bacteria in dung has more potential than others. The biogas is also the future of waste processing as 40% of the waste in the average rubbish bin is food waste and it's all going to landfills which pollutes the soil and other resources and create methane gas which contributes to climate change. So the digester not only diverts this but also creates useful output from the otherwise wasted food, gets energy and brings back valuable nutrients to the soil. Inside the digester tank is where the digester of the waste occurs and bacteria that lives without oxygen do this process. This bacterium is called anaerobic bacteria of living organisms they love a warm environment. The stomach of the digester gives methane for cooking. and fertilizer for the garden.
My team and me went for an investigation to Bequia where we learned about the desalinization plant they have installed there. It was very important to learn about because when people from Bequia realized that they didn’t have sufficient water they found a solution. Bequia is the second biggest island of the grenadines with about 4,500 inhabitants. It has no surface water and no known underground water. We went to visit the desalination plant in Bequia as well as the water distribution system.
This development seeks to find a sustainable solution to the problem that Bequia faces to provide its inhabitants with drinkable water. The current plant provides clean drinking water for about 1,000 inhabitants as of 2012; also the plant in Bequia is a good example of how we creatively can adopt to the lack of resources so the field trip brought a lot of new learning to us.
The inhabitants are facing a big challenge when it comes to portable water for drinking and cooking. Each household traditionally has it's own water collection system but local people need to share their treasure called water because the changes in the climate seasons are not as reliable as they once were and it becomes harder to predict the arrival of the rainy season. Droughts have become longer and stronger over the last years.
Working in the garden
The garden was gorgeous, electrifying, wonderful and fragrant it was also my favorite place to be. I love gardening and I learned a lot, I learned about eggshells, composting, coffee, how to produce my own vegetables.
Eggshells are a great source of calcium for the plants and they also add a lot of nutritious benefits to the compost pile. The coffee is also a good addition to the garden because when mixing into 6 to 8 inches the soil gets more phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. It also adds acidity to the soil, which is good for a lot of plants in the garden.
I learned about caring for the garden, mulch protection for the plants and how to hold the nutrition in the soil, stop soil erosion, stop weeds from growing and help the soil by making raised beds. I was very happy to be here because I can see how people can have their own vegetable garden.
Gardening is good because it can help your family members, you can make money also from gardening. I think more youths would love gardening – I know I will make a garden wherever I am.
MY EXPERIENCE WAS “ONCE YOU OPEN A DOOR THE WALL WILL COME TO YOU” BECAUSE THE CULTURAL EVENING WAS A FUN WAY TO SHARE THE CULTURE OF THE WORLD. IT IS WHERE I GOT OUT OF MY SHELL!"