The village of Sinqobile in South Africa has four seasons – the rainy season, the misty season, the windy season and summer. I lived in this village in the Drakensberg Mountains – so high up that it literally touched the clouds – for three years.
“You used to be able to predict the weather,” said my host sister NoThando, “but now with Global Warming, we don’t know what to expect.”
And it was true. The problem in Sinqobile was that the four seasons were in flux. One year, the rains were so heavy that they washed away a neighboring village and killed all the corn. The next year, the winds blew the roofs off of the houses.
Americans have the privilege of ignoring climate change, or even denying its existence, but Peace Corps Volunteers know that most of the world does not have that luxury. Volunteers witness the drought in Southern Africa, flooding in the Caribbean, and the increasing destruction caused by cyclones in Pacific Ocean.
If Peace Corps still exists in twenty years, volunteers will likely be assigned to help address the problems of climate change in their communities.
I’m currently studying at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Next year, I’ll be working on short films for UC Berkeley about climate change around the world. I hope you’ll help me find the little discussed and unacknowledged climate stories that are affecting Peace Corps countries. If you witnessed the effects of climate change in your village, please contact me and tell me about them.
I want to help future volunteers understand the problems they’ll be facing in the coming years, so that they can be prepared to better serve their communities around the world. I hope you’ll help me by sending your personal accounts, or even the rumors you’ve heard regarding climate in your community.