Letter 1 from Alex: “10 years for Gaia” in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent
Gaia USA sent a representative to join a program called “10 years for Gaia” in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Follow Alex’s work and experiences here:
St Vincent Update 1 – End of the First Week
I wanted to talk about my trip down, and getting to know the area. I took three days to drive from Chicago to Florida. During that time I travelled through the heart of coal country. It was hard to believe. I would be driving around through some beautiful country, and then I would see a mountain with its side cut off. The towns were great mountain towns. Too bad the people had to survive by destroying the land. I did see some great places though and the roads were fun to drive on.
It took me about a day to fly from Miami to St Vincent; I had a four hour lay-over in Barbados. The airport here is really small, about the size of a bus station. It is funny because all of the workers know all of the taxi drivers. My driver was named Cardon, aka Blod. After an hour winding up and down I got to the school in the middle of the night. And in the morning I woke up to a great landscape.
This past week we have mainly been getting to know the school and the area. There a seven people total on my team, and four of us are staying for the six months. We have been able to meet with the previous Climate team, and the Fighting With The Poor Team. Both teams will be leaving soon; the Climate team is going home, and the Fighting team is going to Belize or Ecuador to do their project. We have also learned about the different responsibility areas. I get to be in charge on the garden. It will be a lot of work, but I would rather weed than clean the kitchen.
We have also had time to go to the beach, and visit Kingstown, the capital. It takes about an hour to get there, about 20 miles away. We are all the way at the end of the road on the West side of the island. The bus transportation is interesting (they’re vans not busses). They pack everyone into the van; if there are any kids they throw them on top of anyone. Kingstown is nice, but very hot; they don’t get the breeze we get up in Richmond. It is like many Caribbean cities. It has a nice little downtown with the shops and markets. There isn’t much traffic, and No Stoplights! We went to the botanical garden; it was very nice. There was a group of tourists from Taiwan, and they had to take pictures with the group. I guess here we are the tourist attractions.
Next week we are going to decide what projects we are going to do, and start learning about climate change.