Everything for me is completely different.
As the first Chinese student in The Climate Compliance Program, everything for me is completely different. But we are the same in the big family. We are young and crazy. We like to try different things and learn from each other.
At first, I didn’t think I can get use to the life in here such fast. But actually, I did it perfectly. I love my teammates ,Natasha and Lina. Although Lina is older than me and Natasha a lot, she has the same energy and a positive attitude to us. From Lina, I think our ages are not a problem to limit what you want to do in the future, which just enrich your experience.
If you really want to do something, you won’t find any excuse to stop your step because you will try your best to solve it when you meet any problem.
Change your beliefs about the world and love.
Never, ever stop exploring! I can with great pride express that RVA made the first real footsteps in my heart to achieve the greatest gift in this life.. To walk this earth, and try to change the unchangeable and think the unthinkable..! 7 years has passed by like the wind with a few more scars, and cracks in the heart.. I feel the bliss of being alive.
My memories from RVA, is still very vibrant and alive.
Remember start valuing the lessons your mistakes teaches you. May it be in a fast moving society, with flying ashtrays, people making payment with fingertips! Or perhaps In the eyes of a child in a remote village in tribal territory in Afghanistan, you learn that mistakes are okay and never if you give up.
In fact they’re the important stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again is the only way to move forward. Learn from this world, there is so much wisdom and lessons out there, in the most judged and perhaps defined places.
Good morning, good afternoon… good night! You and I are part of those few lucky humans.
How are you? I can imagine that very well, because very few people have the chance to say “I´m living in paradise” ... You and I are part of those few lucky humans.
My name is Marian Aramayo (Nita), I am a Bolivian psychologist, who decided some years ago to be part of the Richmond Vale Academy programs, in order to get the chance to work as a volunteers in Malawi – Africa.
I must admit that from day one, my aim was always to get to Africa and work there with and for the people and the continent that had inspired my lifestyle (volunteerism and development cooperation), so as you can imagine going to St Vincent was just a way to reach my African goal.
Not long after arriving to St Vincent, I realized that Richmond and the island were more than just a way to get to know Africa, but a way to get to know myself. All the Richmond experience allowed me get to know my most beautiful qualities and confront my most scaring “demons” while living an experience that taught me a lot about simplicity, humility, effort, loneliness, commitment, teamwork, nature, respect for life, etc.
Richmond's experience is not based on qualifications or certificates, Richmond´s experience can´t be evaluated with numbers. St Vincent and Richmond have many things to teach you, and lessons will be different to each one of you. Therefore my advice to you (if I can give you any) would be… Open your eyes and ears, open your mind, but overall open your heart. From the morning action to the 5 minutes of loneliness shared with some crabs on the beach at sunset, because every minute and activity is shaping you, preparing you for the future, where ever you choose to live it, whatever you chose to do.
Remember to open your heart, mind and soul to yourselves, and if in any moment you need someone to talk, feel free to contact me.
Enjoy the ride
Enjoy and live the experience, it will not be easy, but you will grow.
It's been a couple of years since I was starting my training at RVA.
Certainly was a hard road to get there, especially with all the doubts and challenges that I had to facee in my hometown, save some cash, the criticism of some friends, family concerns, opportunities I had to let go and many things. After these years I can say with certainty that enroll in this project was one of the most important decisions I've made in my life. Ultimately, this experience helped me to define myself as a professional and as a person and helped me choose my path.
Personally, I can ensure that the most important thing I learned during my stay in RVA were no issues of poverty, measurement techniques, models of intervention, or other technical issues on development . The most important thing I learned was to know me and face challenges that was not used to in my life, to know different ways of thinking , to understand a common language, to empathize with people who are in as a deep search, to really know my capabilities to work under uncommon situations and learning to live in a self-imposed exile from home because of a deep sense of following my own interests.
One of the biggest tips I can give you is to enjoy every sunrise in the island, take patiently the challenges and frustrations. During your experence there will be great questions and the answers only you may have. Use this time to found yourselfs, to read or write, laugh, play guitar, paint and enjoy the simple things in one of the most beautiful scenerios you will find. Above all, learn to listen to those who live in the academy, as they are all there for different reasons and always have something good to teach us, not always in the normal way.
Enjoy and live the experience, it will not be easy, but you will grow.
I am 66 now but I still feel as if I was 16. I had very interesting life.
Quite some time have passed since I left the Academy. Despite that, I feel as if I still there - planning new projects, discussing global issues and enjoying being able to take part in making difference.
To those who are new to the Academy, I would like to say, that this is how all of us who spend some time here, feel. It is common feeling uniting us all. It is feeling of being able to make dreams reality, to change environment were we live and to influence not only other people lives but also our own. And while we change a lot after being here, we must have something in common even before we came here.
Richmond Vale Academy is a beautiful place as if it is closer to the sky and the sun. Here come people who pursue noble goals and have generous feelings . Here we can be important and useful to others.
All our stay here we are looked after by people who found us and invited us to come here. It gives us feeling of trust and security.
And there are other people who we almost never see do some important jobs. We probably think too little how valuable that work is for the Academy and for us.
There also is a lot of work done which is unnoticeable to many, but it is the most important work. The work that is done by Stina and Jesper.
Stina and Jesper created the conditions and gave an opportunity for us to come here. Just because of them and their hard and tireless efforts we all can participate in those programs. All this never ending work improving and developing the programs and the site lets people to be here, learn new skills, materialize ideas, and enjoy the life. We can and want to be proud of the Academy, time spent here, work that we did, new aims to make world a better place.
And I want to thank those people .
I am 66 now but I still feel as if I was 16. I had very interesting life. I travelled a lot, I lived and worked in few different countries and I have a wonderful family. It is all well and good, and quite usual. But what was very important to me is to leave some mark in the life and in lives of others. And it was never an easy task.
I had dreams and ideas, plans and visions for various global issues, and I felt need to do something about it, but I also felt too little, too weak to try to do something, too unsure about my capabilities and future success. But always we had support group leaders who deserved special acknowledgement. They worked really hard to keep everybody motivated during all program period.
And most if not all people who come to the Academy feel that need to do something about ecology, environment that influence not only our personal life, not just some few other people, but change life of societies, countries and set global example for others to follow. This is what unites us all in the Academy, and it starts before we came here and doesn't end after we leave. We became part of our projects, part of our team, part of the Academy for the rest of life. And the projects we do not end when we leave, we carry on changing the world wherever we are and whatever we do. We carry on fighting environmental issues by actions, education, becoming an example to others.
If you are experienced in similar projects or are absolutely new to it, here you will find friendliest people, fun activity, interesting learning and experience sharing time. However the most important, you will take part in one of the most ambitious project on the whole globe - to make St. Vincent and the Grenadines the most ecologically friendliest country in the world.
It is a long term project, but it involves many little project that I was doing and that you will be doing and other new teams will carry on doing so eventually we can achieve our goal.
Also I would like to add, that after finishing the program most of us feel that not all opportunities have been taken, not all work has been done, not every time we managed to appreciate the work of our colleagues, not all available time was used to improve ourselves and help others. And time flies by ...
So be proud that you are students at the Academy.
The success of the Academy largely depends on how sincerely each participant does their work. And so do good work and spread the knowledge to the world.
Respect your own and others opinion. Appreciate everything, every work, every person. Always stay the real humans.
I miss my time when I was in St. Vincent a lot. The weather, people and the work we did was incredible. And as usual it can appreciate most what I had during that time only when I am far away. But I hope I will come back to St.Vincent. I have a good reason for it - to came to see the difference that I and you and all of us made there in St. Vincent working on our small projects for the most ambitious project in the world.