About Anna Brodmerkel

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So far Anna Brodmerkel has created 12 entries.

Hoping for Best Results

-Anna Brodmerkel, 2014 GGYF Fellow
I don’t know.
I don’t know how to write this blog.
I don’t know how to accept the end of my gap year.
I don’t know how I can say everything I need to in this final blog.
I just don’t know.
But then again,
I didn’t really know anything about this time a year ago.
I didn’t know small and large the world could feel.
I didn’t know how tiny of a speck I was on this earth amongst all the other creatures.
I didn’t know about the endangered Loggerhead Turtle, and how people are more likely to want to save them if they can watch the hatchlings float out to sea.
I didn’t know what it felt like to do nothing and have an empty head.
I didn’t know how to travel, just to travel.
I didn’t know how to muster animals, or that it would be a handy skill I could apply to rowdy […]

Re-Entry and Permanence

-Anna Brodmerkel, 2014 GGYF Fellow
Home. I’ve been here for a month now, and time has flown by just as quickly as I imagined it would, which was exactly one of the reasons I dreaded coming home from Nicaragua, from my gap year. I knew I would spend all of July rushing around from place to place to see family and friends, and never actually be home. I didn’t dread seeing everyone-I’ve loved seeing everyone and keeping busy, just like every other summer. But it’s almost strange how similar this July felt compared to so many others, making my entire gap year feel like a dream.
Re-entry was not so easy this time. I’ve come back home, or at least to the USA, after every country, but this time I wasn’t jet setting off to another in a few days or weeks. Knowing I would begin to have real responsibilities and […]

Proof of an Angel

-Anna Brodmerkel, 2014 GGYF Fellow
“At forty-eight she has come to experience the solitude that her husband and son and daughter already know, and which they claim not to mind. ‘It’s not a big deal,’ her children tell her. ‘Everyone should live on their own at some point.’ But Ashima feels too old to learn such a skill… Now she does the laundry once a month. She no longer dusts, or notices dust, for that matter. She eats on the sofa, in front of the television, simple meals of buttered toast and dal… She works at the library to pass the time-she has been going regularly for years… and one day Mrs. Buxton, the head librarian, asked if she would be interested in a part-time position… Every three weekends her husband comes home… During his visits, Ashoke keeps his clothes in his suitcase, his shaving things in a bag by […]


by Anna Broadmerkel

Anna Brodmerkel

Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Mayo 2014

Three weeks in Matagalpa and I already love it. Actually, I knew after just one week that I loved it. Matagalpa feels like home; I have a busy schedule, a fun and loving family, and a great circle of friends, and an awesome and well-organized organization. I honestly couldn’t ask for more.

A large organization, Familias Especiales helps over 700 families. There’s many volunteer opportunities within the organization, such as the classes for children (Rayitos) and women (Progreso) with disabilities, the yogurt and granola business, the wheelchair recycling center, the recycling center for paper and crafts, and various other projects with families in the area.

I work with Rayitos, the class for children with disabilities. Class is Monday-Friday, 8-12, and there are approximately 25 students. Mondays, most of the children go to horse therapy, which they all love. Tuesday through Friday the children are broken into […]

hUMMing along to the sounds of a different city

by Anna Brodmerkel

What’s that word again? ….ummmmm….. Oh yeah! Um.

It’s a pesky little word that seems to fall from our lips without us even realizing it until it’s too late. It’s a placeholder for the time we need to recall a thought or a memory. It’s the word that currently dominates my vocabulary in Matagalpa. How can I explain… ummmm….

In Nicaragua, at least Matagalpa, Nicaragua, most people only speak Spanish- a problem for those of us who don’t. Luckily, I know a few basics, but even that is not enough. My brain simply cannot comprehend Spanish as quickly as those fluent in Spanish can speak it. This is a struggle, but one I welcome, even as it frustrates me to make people slow their speech to a turtle’s pace and constantly repeat themselves… multiple times. I must have 100% focus and concentration when someone speaks to decipher the meaning […]

I’m Ghana Be Honest… Kind of.

The following post is from Anna Brodmerkel, a 2014 Global Gap Year Fellow. UNC’s Global Gap Year Fellowship is housed in and staffed by the Campus Y. Find out more about the fellowship on our GGYF Facebook page!

Honesty. Pure honesty. That’s hard. 

During my entire gap year blog, I’ve been honest… but only to an extent. I’ve chosen to write about the best moments, and tend to gloss over the not-so-nice parts. I would rather put more energy into optimism and idealism, than sound the slightest bit pessimistic or unhappy. I am eternally grateful for the fellowship and the unique opportunity UNC Chapel Hill and God has blessed me with this year, and would never want it to appear otherwise. Therefore, I suck up the hardships and realize that life can’t always be sunshiney and easy. There’s also the part of me that doesn’t want to worry anyone. I cannot have people constantly […]

Where Are You Going?

The following post is from Anna Brodmerkel, a 2014 Global Gap Year Fellow. UNC’s Global Gap Year Fellowship is housed in and staffed by the Campus Y. Find out more about the fellowship on our GGYF Facebook page!

Where are you going?”

The one question every obruni will hear countless times when walking practically anywhere in Ghana. At times, this can be extremely helpful if you have no idea where you are going, but if you know, it could not be more annoying. During my last 10 days in Ghana, I was able to travel throughout the entire country and explore the northern regions; however, I did not know exactly where I was going or what I would encounter. I have quite a few interesting stories, but here are two I hope you enjoy!

One Paddle:

Sunday, April 6th, was John Mark’s last day in Ghana. Not only were we volunteers, but also best friends, and […]

Let Freedom Rain

Left, right! Ring, ring! Left, right! Ring, ring!
At 5 AM my alarm sounds, announcing I should wake up, dress in my light blue YAP Ghana polo shirt and black pants, and supervise/help the children eat their breakfast. Today is March 6th, a big day, and one we have looked forward to for many weeks: Ghana’s 57th Independence Day! All the students and staff of YAP Ghana were invited to march in the Madina Independence Day Parade with schools from the surrounding area.
Left, right! Honk, honk! Left, right! Honk, honk!
Promptly at 6:30AM, the hired tro-tro parks in front of the YAP Ghana compound gate. Of course we are running late, and the children are still finishing breakfast while the staff rush around with last-minute preparations. By 6:50 AM we are packed tightly in the tro-tro and leave with the school minivan following behind us. The children look sharp in their […]