Alternative Service Break Highlight
This academic year over 70 Vandals served in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Philippines, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon alongside underserved and often forgotten communities. Projects included installing solar panels to provide electricity to homes for the first time, teaching English to refugees that recently arrived in the United States, planting trees to reduce the impact of erosion and pollution in our wild areas, and much more. In total, our seven teams provided 3,289 hours of direct service. According to the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service the total economic impact of this volunteer service is over $76,000. If we include the 115 hours of service these teams provided to the Moscow community, this year’s ASB teams contributed approximately $78,650 worth of labor locally, regionally, and throughout the globe.
Students Share What They Take With Them
This trip has given me so much, a deeper awareness of my lifestyle, habits and culture, but more importantly an appreciation for a lifestyle almost exactly opposite of mine. I’ve gained a perspective I never could have dreamed of had I not showered with spiders, lived with a tiny pig named Cheto or learned Bachata. It’s hard to feel as though what I’ve given to this experience could even compare to all that I feel I’m walking away with. I will be conscientious of how much water I use, how many solar panels worth of light I use and how my choices impact my new communities here in Nicaragua.
By Anna Dulezal
Overall, this trip has been overwhelmingly positive for me. Surprisingly, I feel like the aspect of the experience that made me grow the most was seeing all my group members grow. Observing how they dealt with difficult situations and really came together as a team helped me to acknowledge aspects of my own character that can use some work. While I am of course sad to see the time here come to an end, I can say resolutely that this experience will stay in the hearts and minds of the entire group for years to come.
By Clay Garcia