He sat cross-legged on the grass surrounded by his friends. Trees towered above—the canvas behind him a vibrant forest. He talked in a hushed voice. Many things were discussed. One of them was the rising sea level in his village. He’s 41 and has had time to make his own observations. He talked about how they needed to get better, to try to educate the kids about pollution.
These same kids carve their own surfboards and spend hours paddling canoes made from dugout trees.
These same kids shape bows and arrows, taking them into the forest to shoot pigeons.
These same kids primarily eat boiled plantain banana and sweet potato sourced from their garden.
The village of 400 people has one miniscule shop stocked with cooking oil, rice, and a few other miscellaneous items. Their houses have no paint. They are made from coconut fronds and materials from the adjacent forest. Each family has their own garden. Occasionally they open a tin, or a plastic package and if they bury it, it rusts away and infiltrates their water source. For Joselwyn this is the pollution they need to eradicate. Also they need to minimise the fires they use to cook their food. They must work hard so that the sea doesn’t continue to rise. So they don’t have to leave behind the place they have dwelled for many generations.
But could they really do better, and would it make a difference?
To Joselwyn I say—I am more to blame than you are, for the sea that rises by your village. I’m sorry Joselwyn. I’m so sorry.