Alternative Break Pre-Trip

Good morning,

Well, for me it’s evening but it’s always morning somewhere, right? So good morning! My name is Jillian, and I’ll be your writer this evening. A little about me: I am not yet 18, and I still sleep with a teddy bear named Anthony. I am really excited to be going on this trip and think it will be a wonderful experience. Academically, I currently do not have a major. Soon enough though, I will be focused on molecular and cellular biology. I am highly interested in it as a stepping stone to epidemiology later on. Epidemiology is right up the alley of my passion, that being infectious diseases. I’m passionate about this because I want to help anyone and everyone, no matter who or where they are.

But what am I thinking? Back to trip talk. I have a few skills that will probably help to improve life for others, even  in this trip. Or hope that they will. I happen to work with younger kids just about daily, so I have a decent idea of how some of these children are going to be and how to work with them and get them to listen. That being said, I know how to listen and engage with them on their level. I believe that this will help others engage in a similar way and get the most out of their time.

I think that’s all for now, g’night folks!

 

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1. How did you use any skills or knowledge from your time at APSU (from classes, student organizations, etc…) while volunteering on your alternative break trip?

From prior history classes, I was able to talk about the history of different cultures and how art can sway them.
2. Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?

I have learned that I want to work for a nonprofit, creating art for a purpose.

 

Haley

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Post Trip Reflection

(I want to start by appologizing that it took me so long to write this! Better late than never hopefully (: )

1. How did you use any skills or knowledge from your time at APSU (from classes, student organizations, etc…) while volunteering on your alternative break trip?

I think I used some of my psychology experience when interacting with the people we meet on the trip. I think it helped me understand more of how the children reacted to strangers after coming from traumas in their home countries. I also think my organizational skills helped us allot out our time on our excursion day to try to include everyone. 

 
2. Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?

This trip taught me more about myself, I learned that I am deeply sensitive to the struggles of others. Even when leaving I felt like our work wasn’t done, I was very sad that there would be millions of people still struggling to leave their home countries. I learned that  I want to use my psychology knowledge in helping people who come from war-torn countries. I also learned from this experience that children, despite all they have been through, still behave like happy normal children. We visited a house of Somali immigrants, and even though it was infested with roaches, the three young children still giggled at the strangers in their home and played peek a boo with each other. I think this experience with refugees and non violence training will help me in future volunteer work.  

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Post Trip – Georgia

Hello,

I loved my trip to Georgia. Learning about and helping the refugees was an amazing experience that I am so grateful to have had. APSU prepared me for the trip by helping me out of my shell. In physics, we are often required to give presentations and are encouraged to engage in club activities, especially Del Square Si (the physics club) activities. A common event in the club is to help out with outreach events that take place in bordering elementary and high schools.  At the event we show kids cool science stuff and try to explain the concepts behind them simply enough for them to grasp what is happening. While volunteering we spent a lot of time with kids and communication with them was made easier by my experiences at APSU outreach events.

Going in I did not have the prejudices against refugees that I feel a lot of people have. My belief in the lack of basis for the mean thoughts surrounding refugees were solidified. They are just people who want to live in a safe environment; everyone deserves to feel safe. On another note, we talked a lot about the condition of some refugee camps and this made me think of using my physics and math to help the quality of living in the camps, essentially making the camps more like self-sufficient communities.  I know I will want to work with refugees in the future and this trip gave me all the experience and knowledge I need to effectively help more refugees.

Jessica B.

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William Legier – Post Trip – Guatemala 2017

Hola! My name is William Legier. I’ve just returned from Antigua, Guatemala and I have to say, just, what an experience. Packing up, about two day’s worth of air travel in total, and a whole week just in another country having to acclimate to a different culture. Not only did I learn a great few new skills, in terms of construction, while I was there, but I also had the extreme satisfaction of volunteering (with everyone else in my group) at Antigua own Municipal Fire Department. I met some of these firefighters and Maximo Nivel staff and am happy to call a few of them friends. At the station itself, our team focused on building a more sound infrastructure; improve restroom conditions, painting, and quite a bit of concrete mixing and laying (just to name a few things we accomplished there). I’m just glad to have been a part of this trip and I know it’ll be an experience that I won’t soon forget! Until I return that is…

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Post Trip Blog Post Clarkston-Georgia 2017 by Wayne White

Being approached 2 days before leaving for Georgia I didn’t know what to expect. So going into the trip I had little expectations. I did not know any of the 7 other people I was traveling with, nor did I know that I would be brought to tears over the experiences we were about to encounter.

First, let me talk about Clarkston.

Clarkston is a small 1.1 Square mile of refugee culture. There are over 150 languages spoken there and many different religions practiced. I thought before that going in this my world view was open, but after the week we spent working with the refugees I realized just how closed off to the rest of the world I had become. Americans are shown lies through media what a refugee’s life is like. Media portrays refugees as being people who want to take over our land, take our resources and destroy our way of life. However, I know differently. Refugees are here because they had no other place to go.

I met children in an international school who had been forced to leave their families behind. Many of which had left their home only to be placed in refugee camps for years.  This school was understaffed, and had very limited budget. I was working with a class and the teacher had to re-use notebooks from her previous students just so the children had paper to journal on. It broke my heart but kick started a passion to want to help this school.

This trip has expanded my world view and has reinforced my thinking that all human life is sacred and that in order to survive this world we have to work together. The world is war-torn and many people are fleeing their home countries in search of survival. I would like to go back to Clarkston, GA next year and help in the international school.

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Post Trip- Georgia

1)How did you use any skills or knowledge from your time at APSU (from classes, student organizations, etc…) while volunteering on your alternative break trip?

Sociology classes helped me understand cultural differences on this trip, and allowed me to go into the trip realizing that comparing cultures would be useless, and that instead I should just appreciate the other cultures as they are.

2) Looking back on your experience, in what ways have you personally developed & learned from this experience that will help you in the future?

This trip definitely helped further my passion for learning about and experiencing other cultures. It solidified my desire to pursue a career in sociology and public policy, and gave me good real world experience with the struggles immigrants face. It also helped push me to be more social. We spent most days only having about a couple of hours to ourselves, which is something out of my comfort zone, and I’m glad it pushed me out of my bubble. It also taught me that language isn’t really a barrier- most of what you want to communicate can be understood in emotion and body language alone, and that’s definitely something that will help me in the future. I’m incredibly glad I went and met the people I did!

 

-Michael Taylor

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