Here I am, it’s been about 3 weeks since I landed in Paradise! And it’s about time to let you know what I’ve been up to!
Let me introduce you to the team of climate change activists I’ll be sharing my experience with. There’s Conor from London, Meg and Sabrina from California, Vicky my roomie, Jost and Simon from Germany, and our cool teacher Jesper from Denmark. We will spend the next 6 months together fighting climate change in St Vincent!
There are 2 other teams present at the school for the moment, one with 6 people (who are leaving at the end of the month) and one with 17 people who will stay another 6 weeks. Plus the rest of the teachers and administration it’s about 35 people living here at the moment. There is quite a variety of backgrounds, nationalities and ages, most people are quite young, about 60% just out of high school! And the rest between 25 and 35 more or less! The people here have a very interesting view of life and are here because they want to make a difference and “change the world” in their own way! We are all a bit crazy idealists and utopists, but man people are so inspiring and motivating, the vibe is very positive!
Living in a community is quite a different experience from what I’ve been living until now! It kind of reminds me of my boarding school years… 15years ago… 😉 But in a warm climate, in the middle of nowhere, and with the beach down the road!!!!
We all have tasks and areas of responsibilities in order to keep the school clean and running! In the morning, the breakfast team prepares a nourishing breakfast for everyone… that means that 2 times a week a team needs to wake up at 5:30 am to prepare everything for 7am. We ring the bell and everyone rushes to get their first meal of the day!
From 7:45 till 8:30, we all clean up in our area of responsibility, it can be the kitchen, one of the bathrooms (oh yeah with that many people it has to be cleaned every day!), the hallways, the main hall… If you’re in the garden you get to harvest, fertilize, make compost, or pick up horse manure (that was my task for the first 2 weeks…)….
The next period can be dedicated to various activities depending on the day. At 8:30 on Mondays and Fridays, we have morning class. It can equally be held by a student, a teacher, or an outside speaker. It can be about anything and everything! The 1st morning class I attended was about Slavery, it was very eye opening to a subject I really had no idea about. I will definitely write an article about it! I really enjoyed the last morning class about “the power of One” and how one person can really make a positive impact in the world! The whole school attends the morning class, it is a moment of debate and exchange, and it is passionate!
After morning class the teams go on to their different schedules, in my case, we go to our classroom and study about climate and climate change. Even though many things I already know, it is important to set the basis for the coming projects and to be able to transmit the correct information! It’s always good to refresh my memory!
At 12:00 the bell rings again for lunch and the day’s activities continue until 6 pm when the bell rings again to announce dinner! Once a week you’re on kitchen duty, which means that you’ll do the dishes and clean up after the meals!
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the morning activity is called Common Action, it is an activity that will benefit the whole school, it includes making bread and jam, working in the garden, planting vegetables, seeding, weeding, mulching (you’ll hear about that in the future!)… We all take part in these very important actions that help the school run smoothly. The afternoons and Saturdays are dedicated to the team’s program, which is decided amongst our team! There should be some time available to go swimming, to do sports or Yoga at some point during the day!!! In the evenings we have different activities like Movies / Documentary nights, Salsa Class, Workshops, blogging nights, just hanging out on the beach… There is always something going on and someone to exchange with!
Sunday is the only day off at RVA, and that’s when we’ll have the opportunity to explore our new universe, go to Kingstown (the capital) or to go on a hike, etc…
I’m now completely integrated in school life and I’m feeling at home here! Looking forward to the coming months and the work with the local communities!