By Ian Bottum:
I have been in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for just over three months now, and it is hard to put into words all of the things I have learned and experienced. Being in a developing country is full of challenges but it is amazing how the things that seemed so foreign to me a short time ago have become normal. I have adjusted to life here and settled into a new routine.
Over my time here one of the things that I have found fascinating is the level of development in the country. Many areas of the country are quite developed and have most of the technology and amenities we enjoy back home, however there are also areas of the country that have no access to electricity or running water. The nation’s main export of bananas had all of their crops destroyed by disease, which lead to increased poverty.
Through these challenges people have been able to adapt and develop. In a country where many people wash their clothes in a river, and eat what they kill/grow they have worked to regrow their crops, learned to rely on new types of business and agriculture, and have developed a high rate of Internet connectivity. They even have an Olympian in track and field.. Amazing for a nation that does not posses a track.
Seeing people overcome this type of adversity is inspiring, and being able to get to know so many of these people and help them develop their sport structure has been very rewarding. You always hear people say that money isn’t everything, but when you witness true poverty, and see how happy the people are it really shows that money is not everything.
Thanks for reading,