Learn all you can from the Caribbean people.
Welcome to Richmond Vale Academy.
I'm a past student who live in St Vincent for 9 months in 2012-2013. RVA is a unique experience that brings people from all over the world closer together. Before I came to the school, I never considered myself "outdoorsy". I didn't really like being outside, to be honest. I'm from a family and community that spent most of our time indoors except for dinner parties in the summer.
When I got to SVG I was able to fall in love with nature. Not just the grass and see, but the smelly pigs and horses and insects (not the sandflies!). They all became a part of my experience. As for SVG, I loved living on the island. Learn all you can from the Caribbean people. Learn to drum, drink sorrel juice during the holidays, listen to Selly's folk tales, dance with them in the street, plant with them in their gardens, and eat whenever they share with you. St Vincent is a gem of an island, mostly because of the incredibly hospitable people who live there. Get to know them.
As for your teammates, be kind to them. The RVA community allows for a strangely strong bond to form between you and your teammates from all over the world. Participate in all of the activities and parties thrown at RVA. In my 9 months there, we had many relationships begin that are still going on and some have even led to marriages. That's pretty magical. But even if you don't find your life mate, you'll find a best friend. I met my best friend in the whole world, Carina, at this school.
We still call each other multiple times a week even though we live far apart. The best part about your new team is that you get to create it's future. It's brand new. Make sure you are starting it off with a bang. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Empower the communities around you. Immerse yourself in the island. Watch all of the sunsets (and sunrises). And most importantly, love each other.
Have a great 1-6 months there!
Erica from America
I can not believe how much my life has changed to the right direction after taking this course.
Hello. My name is Helena, I am from Mozambique and 19 years old. I was part Richmond Vale Academy in the Climate Compliant Conference Team #6 from March - September 2014.
I can not believe how much my life has changed to the right direction after taking this course. It has guided me into knowing what I want to do. I have learnt so much that I dont think I coud have learnt in any other ordinary school or univeristy. In the Climate Compliant Course, I learnt how to live with people from different backgrounds, different ages but the same aim and heart to change the way we people treat the environment. I also learnt how to stand up for myself, how to be more of a leader instead of just a follower. How to believe more in myself, how to love myself. and most importantly I learnt so much about Gloabl warming and sustainable living. We worked a lot in the garden (organic garden). we also got a lot of tips on permaculture. We got to meet many fun, kind and amazing Vincy poeple. As they also shared their knowledge and their culture. We also had projects we worked on, we were allowed to choose ourselves in the beginning and we accomplished it all in the end.
Now more from my present life after RVA. It feels like I will always have a part of RVA with me. As my everyday routine have changed and I am more caution to what I do and how it will affect the environment. I have also a lot to teach people. And I am very lucky to have had the opportunities to give some lessons, on how to be more environmentally friendly, why be a vegetarian, permaculture, litter, etc. My passion to being green is so big. I feel like there is so much need for us to fight for our environment and there is need for people to stand up and say no to damaging our only home, before it's too late. I am Climate Compliant wherever I go and that is because of RVA. I have found what i believe in and what I want to fight for. Thank you to RVA.
I advise anyone out there to take part in this course, it doesn't matter where you come from, what job you have, how old you are, what you believe in. All that matters is we need you to help our Planet, our home and this course is truly amazing. It's an all in one. You will experience one of the Carribbean's beautiful island, meet amazing people, be productive, do something good for you, the planet, and the world. Come with the right attitude and take every day as an experince and its own journey.
To end this, I just want to say Thank you very RVA for what you do and for what you have done. I hope one day I can come back again.
I am very proud to say I have been part of the greatest team there ever was.
First let me welcome you to this piece of heaven we call Richmond in St. Vincent, I'm sure you love it (who wouldn't?!) and I know you will have a blast while learning and working here. I don't know many details about your program and the way things are done now, but I can vouch for the learning experience. For me, this was the best experience I've ever had. It prepared me for life by showing me the importance of hard work, commitment, openness and consistency and of course the meaning of perseverance and determination. The most valuable thing I learned while volunteering and being trained was to never give up, no matter how difficult or harsh things may be, you can always find it within yourself to go forward and learn how to make every failure, great or small, propel you toward new achievements.
Well this may sound a bit dramatic so I will tell you about another beautiful aspect of my staying at this awesome school. I know you are also from many different countries like me and my team mates were and I have to tell you guys.. this was amazing! Having so many different people to learn from about new cultures, history, systems, behaviors, not to mention culinary treats is such a great and rare opportunity and you should take advantage of it every day. The most useful thing though is the immense respect you gain while interacting with your team mates on a daily basis, for them and for yourself. You become more tolerant, more aware of your own behavior and how it affects everyone around you and you can learn how to deal with any kind of conflict, which is absolutely normal in a group, especially when you have to do everything together. I hope you will be united as my team still is after 6 years and learn as much as you can from each other, it's definitely worth it and you can make friendships that last for a lifetime.
In conclusion, I wish you all to learn, learn, learn, don't be afraid to be proactive and come up with ideas and of course to become friends. Work hard, but also relax and you will do a great job!
Greetings from Transylvania, Romania!
From now begins a great time to learn, share and help!
Hi guys of the new teams!
You have just started a new and wonderful experience for your lives, so from now begins a great time to learn, share and help! You chose well because the feeling that you are learning and helping to your planet and the people who really need help is unique!
I learned by living with people from all over the world, I learned to be more aware about the world and the changes in it, about people and their really needs, and I also learned to know more about myself...
RVA was an unknown place for me in the beginning, and now I feel is also a little bit my home, a nice place where nice things happen everyday!
Enjoy every minute, learn as much as you can and prepare yourself for the work you will do with a smile and a warm heart!
Cheers! Alex (uriel)
An important part of my life.
My name is Gustavo Noles, a Venezuelan guy who decide one day like you now travel to that small island to learn and work together with people from different countries and different s ways to see the world. RVA is a place where many things get together as a new experiences, new languages, new faces and must important new acknowledge for each of those who arrive there.
My experience there was unforgettable because I arrived without speak English (ask Jesper about my first day and how I said my first words there hahaha) I found teachers who were open to give me all help I need and also I found necessary rules and frames. All those elements keep RVA running as a place to learn and work together.
I am a part of the first Gaia Team, I said in present time because I feel that it was important part in my life and together with my teammates I started this nice project in St Vincent going to schools in each village. Sometimes it wasn’t that funny go down by food at 130pm to Chato primary school but there were waiting for us kids ready for learn about 3 R’s and be part of some RVA activities. We decide to be part of Gaia Program so responsibilities came together with that.
In RVA you can find time for everything just fill inside the program then start going on with RVA family. Sometimes could be hard because each of you came from different background and different life styles but if you really want to learn and work together for something important you will do your best.
I will like to tell you few advices for you RVA life:
Every morning watch around you and enjoy being in St Vincent, in RVA with all those wonderful views, spectacular people and fresh air because after while it looks like normal and you should appreciate it. I feel happy now because I did it.
Give time to people and take time for you also. Remember it could be something new for somebody to be in charge of Kitchen budge or cleaning schedule and how handle the situation of living together with 30 or more people with 30 or more ways to think and see the situations. After some time you’ll understand or at least learn how to be tolerant with others (That is the way that should be in the world).
Learn from this program and more important learn from the others. In RVA everyone has something to teach you or is better say you have something to learn. The teachers will be there to help you and live together the RVA experiences working and learning.
Of course I couldn’t tell you all my experiences in RVA in this small letter but I can tell you that it’s something that I could do it again because of many things that I learn about people, about the world and about me also.
I will finish this letter wishing you all the best in your RVA time and sending greetings to all people with who I spend time there soon I’m sure that I’ll come back to RVA to see how is going Climate Compliance Conferences