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So far npb216 has created 4 entries.

Water Wisdom

The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Natalie Barth.

The current crisis in Cape Town is making international headlines. Cape Town is on track to be the first major city to completely run out of water. “Day Zero,” the day the taps are going to be turned off, is currently scheduled for April 16th. Working for an environmental organization in the midst of the crisis has given me a particularly unique perspective on the issue. My volunteer placement is with a non-profit organization called Greenpop, whose mission is to plant trees around sub-Saharan Africa through activations and festivals. Their quintessential idea is to make greening popular, thus the name Greenpop.

However, the impending “Day Zero” and the worsening water restrictions have made things increasingly difficult. Each individual is only allowed to use 50 liters of water per day for everything, including toilet flushes, shower, cooking, drinking water, washing dishes […]

By |February 15th, 2018|Gappers in the Field|


The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Natalie Barth.

I have been home for a few weeks for the holidays. Issues with my next placement and outbound flight that were difficult to solve from afar led to me returning to the United States for the month of December. Every time we go to my grandparents’ house for Christmas, we attend the church service on Christmas Eve. At the end of the service, the candles are lit, the light is turned off and the entire congregation sings “Silent Night”. The moment the candles were lit I was instantly reminded of being in San Gerardo de Rivas when the power was out in the village after a few days of heavy rain back in September. The pitch-black night was lit only by candles and I had no connection to my family or friends for two days. Tropical Storm Nate also […]

By |January 2nd, 2018|Gappers in the Field|

Learning How to Be Happy

The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Natalie Barth.

My gap year got off to a rough start. I struggled with food poisoning for around 2-3 weeks and had to leave my first placement after going to the hospital. I am now in the Guanacaste province working for an organization called CEPIA. The main purpose of the organization is to improve the quality of life for families in the impoverished communities of the Guanacaste province, with a primary focus on women and children. During the month that I have been in Costa Rica, I have often been searching for happiness.

I am in one of the happiest countries in the world and I am somehow struggling to stay happy. I have been trying to understand why I feel this way, and it often cannot be explained with one reason. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged […]

By |October 17th, 2017|Gappers in the Field|

Changing with the Tides of Time

The following post was written by Gap Year Fellow Natalie Barth.

When I was younger, my father taught me how to swim in the ocean. He taught me how to deal with all sorts of waves that I may encounter. Since then, I have spent hours in the ocean, surfing, swimming, and simply floating in its grandeur.

The ocean is always changing, shifting, and evolving. The formation of the waves change with the phases of the moon, so it is necessary to learn to deal with each circumstance. There are the waves that are incredibly severe – the ones that will destroy you if you let them. If this wave encapsulates you, you become intertwined with the roaring ocean. You remain overcome with the absolute chaos of it all, stuck in the disaster with no escape. However, it does not last forever and eventually the water becomes tranquil once again. […]