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So far raegeo has created 82 entries.

Unexpected Sources of Unity

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow David Gonzalez Chavez.

It’s difficult to determine what my “local community” means in the context of such a polarised and sectarian place as Belfast. The divide that exists between Protestants and Catholics encompasses far more than simply religion, involving differing hobbies, music, dance, political beliefs, and much more. As such, there are very few things which come to mind that I’d truly say are shared by all members of the community which I serve; to talk about Irish ceilidhs or traditional music would only speak to the cultural practices of Catholics, and to talk about drumming and marchers would do so to those of the Protestants.

Some of the activities which certainly are cross-community are going to pubs, complaining about the English, and my favorite, watching absolutely class reality shows like “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” (which I’ll refer […]

By |March 4th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

Cyclical Troubles

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow David Gonzalez Chavez.

Trigger warning: If you are sensitive to discussions of suicide or violence, please be advised.

I’ve spent the majority of the time thus far on my gap year in Belfast, Northern Ireland volunteering for an organization called Quaker Cottage (which I’ll refer to as Quakers, the way in which everyone who we work with refers to us). Quakers is a family intervention program which takes mothers and their families who have been referred to us by social services or by themselves for various issues, and they’re provided a safe space in which to discuss anything while the childcare team (which I’m a part of) takes care of their babies or hosts after-school groups for all other ages of children. An important part of the program is that it brings an even split of Protestant and Catholic families, serving […]

By |March 4th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

Irish Pub Culture

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Nya Patton who spending the second half of her Gap Year in Northern Ireland.

Disclaimer: The drinking age in Ireland is 18 years of age. 

In all countries there are specific, usually regional, places in which local people come to socialize, connect, and destress. In the states, these places are much less obvious. As malls, which used to provide this social function, continue to close, the number of places where we can come to connect also decreases and further isolates us. However in Ireland, the birthplace of pub culture, these spaces are very obvious and easy to find. Going into an Irish pub is an experience that really challenges how one thinks of local gathering spaces all around the world. In the states, most places where people go drinking are filled with televisions, tables, and booths. Yet pubs in Ireland completely juxtapose these; […]

By |February 26th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

Reflecting on Growth

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Jacob Gerardi. Jake is spending the second half of his gap year in Dlǫ́ʼí Yázhí, a town in Navajo Nation know as Thoreau, New Mexico in English.

I realized recently that I’ve been growing my hair for roughly thirteen months, having last cut it in January of 2019 before a model UN conference in which I wished to look “clean-cut” (Eurocentric, I know). Looking at this picture of myself and my well-trimmed hair, I can’t help but feel that so much more than a year has passed. I feel older, more knowledgeable; for sure, I am wider traveled and more knowledgeable about the world as a whole, familiar with a few more of its infinite corners, cracks, and crannies. I am not sure if it’s because of my hair, or if I really have changed a good deal, but I […]

By |February 17th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

The Ethics of Global Volunteering

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Jacob Gerardi. Jake is spending the first half of his Gap Year in Cuba.

As an American volunteering abroad, the question of the ethics in doing so frequently arises in my head. The idea that three months of my time as a degree-less eighteen-year-old learning to stretch my wings would make any tangible difference in the life of a community abroad is nearly farcical. At the beginning of my time in Cuba, three months seemed like an infinity. I had never before spent so long in any location, save for my quiet hometown. Now, however, when I have only nine days remaining in my time here, I feel as if the time couldn’t have gone faster. With this, I am left to question the long term impact of this mini-epoch of my life. I do not doubt I’ve grown tremendously […]

By |February 17th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

Needs, Wants, and Equality

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Jacob Gerardi. Jake is spending the first half of his Gap Year in Cuba.

As Ella and I landed at the Merida International Airport in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, we were overjoyed. I reinserted my American SIM Card (which works in Canada and Mexico) and became flushed with Snapchat notifications, DMs on Instagram from friends, comments in Facebook groups, and more. Taking to our web browser, Ella and I quickly found that Merida was not simply a historic city, but a capitalist paradise! With numberless shopping malls and restaurants plus Starbucks, McDonald’s, Burger Kings, and a huge Walmart (WALMART!!), it had everything we’d been missing during the past two months of our lives in La Habana, Cuba.

Due to the political apathy of the United States towards our island neighbor, Cuba, as well as an inhumane trade embargo spanning across nearly six […]

By |February 17th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

Serving in Split

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Sadie Allen. Sadie is spending the second part of her gap year in Croatia.

Upon my arrival in Split, Croatia, I was instantly charmed by the city. The stunning views of the Adriatic, the ruins of the Roman palace, the sunny weather– it all seemed like something out of my travel-inspired Pinterest board I made when I was 14. How could such a perfect place have any problems? The longer I have been here, though, I have gained a deeper understanding of the issues that hide behind Split’s picturesque front. Just like any city, social and political tensions are present, and there are many environmental and social issues that nonprofits and businesses are trying to solve.

One of the most famous features of Split is it’s clear, turquoise water. During the warmer months, sailors flock to Split, filling the marina and […]

By |February 14th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|

Tabajaras Newbie

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Francis Guillen Diaz who spent the first half of his Gap Year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dear Stranger,

It’s the end of my first month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and wow, it has been a ride!

When I landed at the airport and connected to the wifi I received a message from the director of Project Favela saying that he would send an Uber to pick me from the airport. This was amazing but then came my first issue. There was a specific Uber pickup point at the airport, but It had recently been changed so the director could not tell me where to go. This would be the first time that I would ever have to speak in Portuguese to anyone and I managed to ask someone, “Eu vou Uber, onde?, which means “I go Uber, where?”, which although […]

By |February 10th, 2020|Gappers in the Field|