Welcome back to blog! It’s been a few months and we’re excited to introduce you to a new member of the MCRP team, Alphonsus Baron, who we’re looking forward to bringing new skills to the programme.
A very warm welcome to Alphonsus! And over to you..
I am Alphonsus Baron, a Dominican living in Montserrat . I have been here for a little under four years and consider myself a conservation activist and a multi faceted creative. I enjoy spending time in the wild; doing art, fishing, and most of all relaxing. The forest, riverside and bay side are my favourite spots for the latter.
Prior to coming to Montserrat, I was a Visual Arts learning facilitator at the secondary level for sixteen years. During this period I initiated and coordinated an environment club at my school and participated in another, at a different secondary school. I also participated in beach and village clean ups. Being in Montserrat I have worked with Vita Wade within conservation.
Prior to becoming a facilitator I was a participant of the Youth Environment Service Corps (YES Corps) twelve months residential course. There, conservation and preservation were some of the key elements. Upon completion of YES Corps, I proceeded to start an environment club within my community . I also assumed a role in the executive body in the YES CORP National group. We conducted a number of beach clean-ups, village clean-up and motivational speeches to name a few. My love for nature has many facets thus to me a personal affair I believe that it is integral to our existence. Casing point: trees help tremendously in balancing the air, and a great source of food for us humans. Additionally, plant and animal play a pivotal roll in the food chain/web where they are either prey or predator. To remove one link can and/or will impact the entire chain, thus triggering a domino effect. To that end, this is one reason for my interest in conservation and preservation; to educate others and myself .
As per my artistic side and nature, it’s more than preserving it but my love, appreciation and use. One of the places which always amazes and inspires me is nature, be it the beach, river side or forest, even flora or fauna, the play of light on the hummingbird feathers or snakes skin… To speak conclusively, when I look at nature, with an artistic vision for inspiration, I see a whole spectrum of colour, amazing patterns, all sorts of shapes, a multitude of texture and an abundance of forms.
I also espouse the notion that nature is the ultimate healer and a master instructor. When we harm it we are in effect harming ourselves. To my knowledge a great majority of medicines on the shelf are plant based. Even these that are synthetic are patterned on the natural ones. Before the establishment of the ‘pharmacy’ there was the ‘farmacy’ aka BUSH DOCTOR. This is another essential attribute of our natural resources. Even animals use the farmacy, for example the local chicken and dogs which eat grass for purging.
Nature also teaches fundamental virtues, principles and values like love, peace, loyalty, among others. The ants and bees work together organized and diligently for the common good of the colony. The hen covers her chick under her wings. Some have a life long mate. In some instances, raising the young is the responsibility of the entire group. Marine creatures and land creatures all have wonderful characteristics. The former displays great group hunting skills and their prey protection skills. I can go on and on, however, I think the essence of my sentiment has been communicated.
Nature needs to be preserved and conserved to ensure some level of security for us who are living in the moment. However, I strongly believe that the future generations should be made to fit under our microscope: they must be given the opportunity to witness as much as possible that which we are. That way we can hope for a domino effect.
Working with the Montserrat National Trust and Mountain Chicken Recovery Programme puts me in a better position to effect the change. The real beauty, for now, is that I’m involved with both flora and fauna. WOW!! So far I have had a wonderful time. Irrespective of my person desire and basic training, I think that I should seek every opportunity to increase my knowledge (practical and academic/theory). Though I have a love for flowers and art. If I am recommended for another opportunity where there’s a need so be it. I say it’s worth exploring the opportunity.
It all said, my intention is to be involved and be part of the grand scheme of preservation and conservation of nature (flora/fauna, land and sea creatures and mother earth) and so ourselves by extension; on this island, the Caribbean and world by extension.
Every bit counts, every effort is valuable, every step takes us closer to our destination.