Richmond Vale

Communication with horses

Communication with horses
Most of the time when people communicate with horses it's just one-way. People do speak but mostly fail at listening. When you want to accomplish something with your horse without force it's important that you can understand each other. Communication is speaking and listening. Stina told me that it’s important to take time, wait and listen. Think about what's going on in his mind, where is his attention? To understand what the horse is saying you don’t need much knowledge of horses. Just some good sense and lots of interest will manage. Be curious, when you focus on details it becomes very interesting. It's like communication with people. How often aren't we just listening to confirm our own thoughts instead of being interested in what's going on in someone else's mind? Now I become more aware of how often I ask something while the horse is still processing or focused on something else. Stina taught me that it's not that the horse doesn’t want to listen. It’s just that he can't hear you. When the horse is distracted, wait wait wait. If necessary ask for his attention and then ask your question. Repeat this every time you ask something while the horse is distracted or isn't reacting directly. You also will notice that the horse tells a lot himself, mostly when you are not aware. He...
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Richmond Vale

Biodiversidad

La biodiversidad de San Vicente San Vicente tiene una gran variedad de recursos biológicos. De acuerdo a la “Estrategia y Plan de Acción de la Biodiversidad Nacional – 2006, las siguientes especies se encuentran en el país: Mamíferos : 17 especies, incluyendo 12 especies de murciélagos; Pájaros : 190 especies, incluyendo 2 endémicas – El loro de San Vicente y el “Whistling Warbler”, así como también unas 14 especies endémicas de la región caribeña; Reptiles : 21 especies, incluyendo 5 endémicas, 4 lagartijas y una serpiente, la serpiente negra. Hay 4 especies de tortuga: Hawksbill, Verde, Loggerhead and Leatherback. 2 de las 21 especies son aparentemente especies invasivas recientes; Anfibios : 4 especies incluyendo una endémica y 2 invasivas; Plantas : 1150 especies de plantas florecientes con 16 endémicas. Hay 163 especies de helechos, 4 endémicas, incluyendo el Árbol Helecho que se encuentra en las regiones más altas del país dentro de los bosques de nubes y lluviosos; Agua fresca:  25 especies de agua fresca y salobre; Marinas : más de 500 especies marinas incluyendo 450 especies de peces, 12 de ballenas y delfines, 4 de tortugas, 9 de gastropodos, 11 de algas marinas y 30 especies de corales. 25 especies de diplopodos (ciempiés y milpiés), 220 especies de arácnidos , 2000 de insectos y 35 crustaceos terrestres ; 875 especies de moluscos , 75 terrestres...
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Richmond Vale

Terraced gardens

Terraced gardens
One of our farmer friends, Pat, invited us to his farm so we could check out his terrace farming. It was interesting to see how all of the land available was being used to produce vegetables or some type of crops while also preventing soil erosion. Terracing is basically grading steep land, such as a hillside, into sections of levels. Terrace farming has been used for thousands of years and is a really effective farming method. For example, in Peru terrace farms are built to use the shallow soil efficiently and to enable irrigation of crops. The Incas used a system of canals and aqueducts to direct the water through the levels and increase the fertility. Many people prefer having a vegetable garden on a flat area and making most use of the land that way. However, for many people that is not always the case. An example is St. Vincent, where there are too many mountains to count and it can be very steep. For this reason, many people have to grow their vegetables on the hillside. Remember, there are different degrees of slopes. This will have an effect on the irrigation. It is always best to plant the vegetables across the slope using contour rows, terraces, or raised beds. To build up the terraces you can use old wood, bricks or stones, as well...
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Richmond Vale

Climate Change vs Health

Climate Change vs Health
Climate change does not only raise the temperatures and it won't bring us just warmer seasons. It will bring threats to our health. Extreme weather conditions will appear more often and more frequent, such as hurricanes, floodings, and heat waves. Older people, children, pregnant women, homeless people, and people with certain medical conditions will be affected the most. Especially in developing countries and coastline areas will this be an issue. Rising sea levels will destroy homes and affect the supply of fresh water. It will also heighten the risk of water-borne diseases and infections and other diseases spreading quickly over big areas. Also, the supply of medical and health services will be disrupted. People will have to wait to get food, water, and medical treatment. These are all essential and needed things in a functioning system. Exposure to extreme heat can cause dehydration, heat strokes, cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular diseases. Breathing problems, heart attacks, and apoleptic insults are the consequences.Furthermore, the high temperatures raise the ozone level in the air which will increase the breathing problems and heart attacks. Another threat will be malaria and dengue fever. These diseases are influenced by the weather. Climate change will create perfect breeding conditions for mosquitos which then will spread the diseases. Malaria already kills almost 600,000 people every year and this number will increase. According to the World...
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Richmond Vale

Types of Scuba Diving 101 | Infographic

Types of Scuba Diving 101 | Infographic
The sea is an amazing place to explore. A space of the earth that, throughout the history, has caught the attention of the human being. Enigmatic, grandiose and dangerous in a way. And perhaps for that reason the ideal place for explorations of all kinds. In which the individual feels embraced by all its immensity. So, the best way to enjoy the ocean, is with your favorite types of scuba diving [caption id="attachment_7090" align="aligncenter" width="710"] photo credit: Pexels Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities for both travelers and for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Unlike free diving or snorkeling. Scuba diving utilises breathing apparatus containing compressed air, carried by the diver themselves.  In order to dive freely to larger depths and for longer amounts of time. Whether your goal in diving is to experience marine life. To dive deeper than would otherwise be possible. Or just to explore the sea without worrying about breath hold. We present you the types of scuba diving that suits you. Types of Scuba Diving Though there are more diving locations strewn throughout the world than you’ll ever be able to dive in a lifetime, there are only two types of diving; freshwater diving and saltwater diving. Each type has its own unique properties, concerns, and life forms, and both will render different experiences. (Click infographic to enlarge .) Share this...
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Richmond Vale

St. Vincent bans Styrofoam

St. Vincent bans Styrofoam
All Styrofoam products will be banned in St . Vincent from May 1st, 2017. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves inan effort to lower the cost of environmentally positive substitutes forplastics, including Styrofoam , and reduce the effects that plastics haveon our environment. Taxes on biodegradable packaging and food containerswill be removed. Styrofoam products are made with petroleum, a non-sustainable andheavily polluting resource. Styrofoam is made from the plasticpolystyrene, which is based on building blocks called styrene monomers.When you drink your steaming cup of coffee or chicken and rice out of a Styrofoam plate, you also take in doses of chemicals that leach from it. Here’s a list of cities in US that have completely or partially banned Styrofoam ; New York CityTakoma Park, MDSeattle, WashingtonWashington DCMiami Beach, FLFreeport, MainePortland, MaineNantucket, MassachusettsMinneapolis, MinnesotaPortland, OregonLos Angeles Country and St. Francisco [caption id="attachment_9654" align="aligncenter" width="400"] No more picking up of styrofoam trash at our beaches.
Richmond Vale

Tree of the Week: Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)

Tree of the Week: Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
Mangrove Workshop at the Prospect Salt Pond Mangrove Conservation Park Last week my team had the great pleasure of attending a workshop on propagating and conserving mangrove ecosystems. A mangrove ecosystem is a group of several different species of trees that grow in coastal areas. They are particularly resilient and are able to thrive in conditions that most plants could not survive. These conditions include water with high salinity and strong current energy. There are about 40 different species of mangroves but there are three that are most common in the Caribbean. These are Red (Rhizophora mangle), White (Laguncularia racemose), and Black (Avicennia germinans). During the workshop, we learned about all three of these species and how they work together as an ecosystem. The three usually grow in the same area. The red grows in the front, closest to the sea. It requires a high saline concentration for survival. The red serves as a barrier against wave energy. The black mangrove grows above the high water mark, as its tolerance for salt water is less than the red. The white grows the farthest back from the sea. It is the least salt-tolerant but can still survive in brackish (combination of saltwater and freshwater) conditions. The primary focus of the workshop was on the red mangrove. The red mangrove, an evergreen, is the tallest of the three....
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Richmond Vale

Compassion

Compassion
I have been working with Stina and practicing "basic" exercises with her four horses: Jack, Spirit, Elena and Magic. Through this it has become more and more clear that there are just a few essentials to build up a real connection with horses. These are: lots of fun, be open minded, enjoy every single step, and be full of life. But the harder I try, the further it goes. I think this happens because we learned to stop listening to our true selves. We all have different kinds of needs. Sometimes there is a need missing and there appears a feeling of displeasure. A long time ago people started teaching each other to get rid of this feeling as soon as possible. That's why I think our mind (ego) is ingenious to come up with all kinds of strategies. It's an external process what makes us dependent, it can easily come and go. It makes us vulnerable because we aren't in control of it. To accomplish what I think is needed is awareness. To develop awareness you need lots of compassion. Compassion is an internal process. It's about allowing everything that’s going on inside to happen. To me it means that it's okay to feel displeasure, just feel it. It’s okay to invent strategies, just let them pass. You even can practice strategies, just be aware of...
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Richmond Vale

11 Innovative Ways To Use Less Paper That Will Blow Your Mind INFOGRAPHIC

11 Innovative Ways To Use Less Paper That Will Blow Your Mind INFOGRAPHIC
The use of paper is one of the major factors contributing to climate change. The felling of trees in the first place directly contributes to carbon emissions. So, this result of machinery used both in the process and in transportation. But there's a simple solution for that: use less paper.  Once paper is made, it must then be transported, which inevitably will involve the burning of even more carbon fuel. This snowball effect makes saving and recycling paper vital if we are to tackle climate change. There are a number of ways to save paper, many of whish should be apparent to anyone with a sense of practicality and a desire to save money. The problem lies in putting these notions into practice, and that requires discipline as well as the lure of more potential profit as a result of savings. Benefits of Using less paper Economic Benefits When we save paper we actually save money. The initial cost of paper may not look much in comparison with other office expenditures, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Use of paper has a lot of hidden accompanying costs. Apart from the purchasing cost, the company incurs other costs such as costs of printing, copying, postage, storage, disposal, recycling, etc. Hence, any reduction in the amount of paper used translates to a reduction in all...
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Richmond Vale

Leadership and Mother Courage

Leadership and Mother Courage
Dear Reader , In the coming weeks we will share appetizers from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program. The 18 months teams have been running at the Academy since 2012 and more than 50 people have joined. Today's study piece is from the section of Leadership , specifically the task "Leading and managing the project". Enjoy! Kind regards Stina Herberg Director Richmond Vale Academy Leadership [caption id="attachment_9297" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The director exercising her leadership skills Good leadership is a straightforward thing. Bad leadership is probably easier to accomplish, especially when you have some power, meaning the means to punish people, when they do not obey orders. Bossing people around may look like efficient leadership , but does not accomplish anything in the long run, only a growing resistance and opposition towards the so-called leadership. Good and bad leadership A clever Chinese, I guess it was Mao Tse-Tsung, once made a telling picture of good and bad leadership , which is here passed on from memory; the good leader does not walk far ahead of the people showing himself off as somebody special you should admire and telling everybody unrealistically how to behave and act. On the other hand, he does not walk behind the people shouting and gesticulating with his arms either. This is not leadership at all, it is...
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Richmond Vale

What is Charisma?

What is Charisma?
Dear Reader, We like to share with you another appetizer from the fascinating studies in the 18 months Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder Program . This week's topis is from the subject Leadership Intelligence. This subject contains topics like Leadership, The Brain, Building Charisma and Charismatic People. Enjoy and please just write to me if you have any question in regards to One World University, the overall program or the specific curriculum elements. Kind regards Stina HerbergDirector Richmond Vale Academy Module: Leadership IntelligenceSection: Building CharismaTitle: What is CharismaWording: The task is for you to consider what charisma is, why it is worth building charisma, what personal skills you would need to train and finally to make out a plan for yourself. People can be charismatic in many different ways. Often the understanding of charisma is that it is something a person either has or does NOT have – and then there is nothing more to do. We do not agree in this way of looking at charisma. We find that each of us can build our own charisma and that we can decide how we want to do it. There is no final answer on how, each of us can use our natural talents, our enthusiasm, abilities, energy, body and soul, in short, all of it. There are people who use their charisma to gain power to...
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Richmond Vale

10 Reasons to Start Backyard Gardens in Homes and Schools

10 Reasons to Start Backyard Gardens in Homes and Schools
Gardening is a way to teach children about how the farming industry works. It also teaches them the importance of good and nutritious food. It is vital that children learn about gardening because they might be interested to learn this and do it at home for themselves. It will teach people the importance of biodiversity and the importance of a broad variety in the garden. It is a good way for the family to spend more time together and learn about gardening. It is a good way for low income families to save money on fruits and vegetables. For families to grow their own food, it would also mean that people would consume more of a variety of food. For schools it is a great way to implement other ways of teaching for teachers and other ways of learning for students. Including environmental education in the garden will also teach about global warming, greenhouse gasses and what we can do ourselves to become aware consumers. By growing your own food, you know what goes into the soil and the water. Hopefully when growing your own food you have taken a stand against chemically produced pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers. Creating awareness to go organic in your garden may also introduce you to go more fair trade, local and low carbon emission foods. This is also good for...
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Richmond Vale

12 Benefits of Volunteering that will change your life!

12 Benefits of Volunteering that will change your life!
[caption id="attachment_5306" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Wikipedia If you’re like us, you have given volunteer work a good, long thought . You have considered the volunteering options available to you in near and remote places. Also, you have mapped out the monetary expenses, the duration of the volunteering program you will engage in, the benefits of volunteering, plane tickets and so on and so forth. So much of the experience can get lost in translation. If you start thinking about it only in logistic terms, then you may end up not knowing why you are doing it! So, that's the reason of why we write this post for you. Below, you’ll find 12 benefits of volunteering. Also, you will find a bullet list of several the reasons why engaging in volunteer work is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling and formative experiences a person of any age can have. BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING: HOW CAN VOLUNTEER WORK AFFECT MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE? [caption id="attachment_5307" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Credit: Flickr 1.Learn new skills and develop the ones you already have! In volunteer work, it often happens that you start by doing something you know you are very good at and eventually branch out, frequently into things you never thought you could do. There are people who are very good at, say, cooking, and so they enroll as a cook...
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Richmond Vale

Awareness

Awareness
I came to St. Vincent horse school because I want to learn how to develop a real connection with my horses. After just one week I have learned already so much! I have two miniature horses. Every day I spend lots of time with them to provide in their needs, but I'm missing something. The first lesson with Stina was all about social behaviour and politeness. When I met her horses I saw something I had never seen before. Very polite and well-mannered horses but still pure and natural. Not drilled by training but more like they had a lovely nurturing with very clear boundaries. The perfect environment where everybody is allowed to speak but also listens. So I realized my minis aren't polite at all, they behave like spoiled kids. To accomplish this kind of environment you need a whole new mindset. You can't use ego, productivity and focusing on results. You need the whole process to grow and for that you need awareness. To develop awareness it's important you learn to listen to your intuition. Your intuition can tell you exactly what your boundaries are, what you need and how you can react in a very clear and peaceful way. But this is not so easy. My mind is struggling because my ego really wants to interfere. The biggest challenge for me is, even...
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Richmond Vale

Water security

Water security
This blog will give an overview about water security, how the situation is for the poor , and water pollution . With the current level of modern technology, knowledge, and information which is spreading every day, we would think it will not be a problem.   The world’s population is estimated to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. For this reason, it is vital that there is enough clean and safe water for the world’s consumption. Water security is the ability to access sufficient quantities of clean drinking water to maintain adequate standards of food production, proper sanitation, and sustainable health care. The majority of water in the world is used for agriculture and irrigation systems. Worldwide, the demand for water for agriculture is increasing. It is estimated that it will continue to increase as much as 70% over the next few years. The World Bank and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are in collaboration to improve agricultural water productivity. This is especially in irrigated areas, where water supply is becoming less and less reliable (World Bank, 2014). Regions that are already under pressure from lack of water are Egypt, South Asia, Australia and the US. In countries like Morocco one of the major issues is that the demand for water is increasing while the availability of water is decreasing to crisis levels. Worldwide...
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Richmond Vale

Football Game with Rosebank

Football Game with Rosebank
RVA vs. Rose Bank This Tuesday, the 17 th of January, people from RVA and Rosebank came together to play a game of football. The Climate Compliance team invited the people of Rosebank to come play at RVA’s football field. Once everyone was ready to play, we had to mix the teams. Only 6 people from RVA played while Rosebank brought over 15 people! One team had more older players, while the other had more young one‘s. But as soon as we started you could see that it was dangerous to underestimate them! My team, the younger one, had a great captain. He was directing his team amazingly and exploiting openings in the enemy's defense every time he saw one. In the first half of the match, my team was losing. Not by much, we were behind 3:1. They had no captain but showed us that they were more than capable of taking the lead whenever they needed to. And they were scarily fast too! One moment they stood still on their side of the field, and the next they rushed past you with 70km/h (44mph). Ok, I am exaggerating a bit now, but it really was hard to catch up with them. What also helped them a lot were the people from RVA. All of us put our souls into the game, especially Casey. Since...
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Richmond Vale

13 Benefits of Hiking that you should definitely know about it! [INFOGRAPHIC]

13 Benefits of Hiking that you should definitely know about it! [INFOGRAPHIC]
[Tweet "The practice of hiking is perhaps one of the activities of greater gratification for the human."] That's why, the direct contact with nature makes this practice one of the most popular worldwide. So, people of all ages can do different types of hiking routes. Also, enjoy the differente benefits of hiking. So, the best of all is that the routes offered by different hikes are adaptable to the conditions and tastes of each person. Hiking has a direct relationship with camping activities, since usually a good hiking route, can get to occupy several days. Then, for some hiking trails, climbing skills are required and in others abseiling. So, everything varies depending on the adventure of hiking that you are willing to perform. So, additionally of the benefits of hiking, walking is an activity that relaxes the mind while exercising the organism. (Click infographic to enlarge .)   Share this Image On Your Site <span class="mceItemHidden"><span></span></p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p><strong>Please include attribution to http://richmondvale.org with this graphic.</strong></p><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p><a href='http://richmondvale.org/13-benefits-of-hiking/'><<span class="mceItemHidden"><span class="hiddenSpellError">img</span></span> <span class="hiddenSpellError">src</span>='http://richmondvale.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/13-benefits-of-hiking.jpg' alt='There are many benefits of hiking for your health. So, in this <span class="hiddenSpellError">infographic</span> you will see 13 of them!' width='540px' border='0' /> </p><br /><br /><br /> <p><br /></p><br /><br /><br /> <p></span> Benefits of Hiking Many sports activities and games require special equipment or training to get started....
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Richmond Vale

Tree of the Week: Indian Almond aka Wild Almond

Tree of the Week: Indian Almond aka Wild Almond
Today my team and I spent the afternoon down at Richmond Beach. It is a wonderful place to relax in the sun, go for a dip, or even do some cliff diving. We were doing none of these things. Instead, we were harvesting Indian almond saplings for the tree nursery that we are currently developing. When someone pointed the almonds out to me, I was slightly surprised. The massive trees were not what came to mind when I thought of almonds. As it turns out, Saint Vincent’s beaches serve as an ideal home for these semi-deciduous tropical trees. They do well in sand or clay as long as there is proper drainage. They are also salt and drought tolerant. The Indian almond tree (Terminalia catappa) is not very similar to the more widely known Badam (Indian word for almond) tree. In fact, they are not even in the same family. However, its seed tastes quite like that of the Badam tree, hence the name.  Other common names for the tree are Sea Almond, Beach Almond, Story Tree, Tropical Almond, and Wild Almond. Vincentians tend to call it the Wild Almond. The exact origin of the Indian almond is uncertain. According to the World Agroforestry Centre, it is considered to be a native species in Australia, Cambodia, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its usefulness to...
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Richmond Vale

What is RVA about? Meet Oscar, Jonna, Maria and Melanie

What is RVA about? Meet Oscar, Jonna, Maria and Melanie
Oscar from Venezuela; What is RVA about? Well, the answer to this question is different for every person that has been there or is there right now. RVA means something different for each of these people. What I can tell you is what RVA was for me and how I saw this place during my stay. RVA is a place for giving and getting great things back. During my short stay for only one month I participated in the climate compliance program and learned so many new things about sustainability, organic farming, permaculture, other problems we as the human race face and most important, I learned new things about myself. To be there feeling this energy of activism and drive was such an experience. Besides getting input in every kind RVA is about creating your own ideas when it comes to think about problems and finding a way to solve them or even to just start your own little project to make the academy and the whole island better and more sustained. All these things can't happen when you don't have a great team and so many great people around you. This is the heart of RVA, people who work and live there together, helping each other, teaching each other and of course having fun together. Seeing and experiencing the culture of St. Vincent and its...
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Richmond Vale

Less Trash, more Beach!

Less Trash, more Beach!
Beach Clean-up in Petit Bordel Last Saturday, the 7 th of January, the Climate Compliance November team had a beach clean-up in Petit Bordel. My name is Malte, and I am part of this awesome team! We went to Petit Bordel in the morning after breakfast. Our teacher, Jesper, drove us there with his new bus. At the beach, we were surprised to see so many people at the beach! But we had to wait a bit until the cleanup started, since some people were missing. Only by glancing at the beach you could already tell that the people got used to dumping their trash here. Trash, especially things that don't decompose easily (like plastic) are very harmful to the environment. It damages plants and if animals or fish eat it they can die. Trash makes a place look less attractive and thus fewer people will visit it. By simply building trash bins and picking the trash you see around, you make the place more beautiful and habitable. Unfortunately, many people in St.Vincent are not aware of the dire consequences of littering. It is our goal to teach as many people as possible about these consequences and how to prevent littering. Once everybody was ready, we handed out latex gloves and plastic bags and got started. I decided it would be smartest to start from one...
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