Gappers in the Field

Unexpected but Just What I Needed

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Sitao Lin.

I have a habit of romanticizing situations in my head and my first placement was not an exception. Before I even departed for my gap year I had already begun to imagine the place I would get to visit, the people I would get to know and the experiences I would live. So when I actually arrived and things were not what I imagined them to be I was very much disappointed. I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying my placement so I took off my rose-tinted glasses and put on my boots and started digging. While I spent a lot of time digging both literally and figuratively I realized that sometimes you just have to get your hands and feet dirty to gain some clarity.

I realize that I enjoy structure in my daily life and being […]

By |November 29th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

My Kind of Paradise

The following blog post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Violet Child-Lanning.

August 25th, the first night I slept in my upstate New York placement. Lying in an unfamiliar bed, I started to laugh. This was it- I was really here, independently making and carrying out major life-changing decisions far away from everyone and everything I am familiar with. My laughter came from a place of excitement, and a sort of disbelief- what had I just gotten myself into?

     A kind of paradise. I am finding that that is what I have gotten myself into. Camphill Village Copake is a community in which around 200 people with and without developmental differences live, work, and play together. On 615 acres of forest, swamp, and rolling meadows, we exist in harmony with the animals and plants we care for and that in turn nourish us. Life here is beautiful. The village […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Figuring Things Out

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, John Swinea.

The past three months of my life half flashed before my eyes. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting down to write my pre-departure blog, and now I am writing this, having just passed three months of living in Charleston. Since moving out I have learned to put myself out there in uncomfortable situations, explore on my own, and maintain a full life without any parental guidance. I have fallen in love with the city of Charleston and the people I have met there, however I am still yearning for more adventure, and I know this is just the start. One of the main goals of my gap year is to push the independence I have always had even further and take advantage of these opportunities to do so, and I feel as though I have really […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Solitude, Reflection

The following post was written by Bridge Year Fellow, Sonia Rao.

Every night, I sit on the hammock outside my porch nestled deep in the El Yunque rainforest and listen to the coqui sing.

   For my first few weeks here, the coqui (a Puerto Rican frog famous for its loud whistle) were some of my only companions. That sounds sad. But today, I make the case it is actually the opposite.

One of my biggest fears for my gap year was loneliness. The thought of being by myself for weeks – maybe months – terrified me. I would miss living with my friends, going to parties, having deep conversations at 2 a.m., laughing so hard my stomach hurts.

The owners of the bed & breakfast I work at are an elderly couple. I eat dinner with them every night, which is nice, and sometimes we go on day trips together. But until […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Ups and Downs

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Ayanna Philips.

Puerto Rico has been quite an adventure as I’ve explored numerous areas such as Rio Grande, El Yunque, Luquillo, Vieques, and more. As the days come closer to my departure, it is time that I reflect on my stay here. I definitely have had my ups and downs with transitioning to a new area with a completely different culture and environment, while also dealing with stages of homesickness. The beginning was a bit difficult as I needed to adjust to the fact that I would be in Puerto Rico for three months. Meaning three months without seeing friends and/or family, which is important to me. Since this was my first experience away from home for a long period of time, I had to figure out how to adapt and deal with my emotions/mental health in a healthy way. […]

By |November 24th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Dear Boo, My Horse Hero

The following blog post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, McCarty Hudson.

Dear Boo,

Thank you. Thank you for welcoming me into your home. Thank you for all the playful energy you’ve given me. Thank you for showing me how to connect with horses. Thank you for being my therapy horse.

  Ever since I got to Horses of Hope, I was drawn to you. As the small guy in the herd, the loner, the little kid who gets picked on, you have always been the horse that I connected with the most. I knew nothing about horses or horse therapy when I walked up to you for the first time in late August. Yet you opened your world to me. You knew what it felt like to be the new one, the inexperienced one, the one who made mistakes. And that was exactly what I was. But to have you […]

By |November 17th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Mid-Year Reflection

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Amber Grant.

After a little over a month, I can easily say that my experience has not at all aligned with my expectations. The accommodations were much nicer than I anticipated; I have essentially my own apartment and plenty of fresh produce and food. My role in the volunteer organization is a little more intense and varied than I expected, but I enjoy helping however I can. I have done a lot of unexpected traveling that makes up for the time I spend inside on the reservation.

I have a routine of preparing dinner and writing in a journal in the evenings, which is something I have never really done before. I used to wake up late and get ready every day, but I hardly do that anymore. My new routine is much more productive and satisfying; I have developed cooking […]

By |November 15th, 2021|Gappers in the Field|

Discovering Freedom Within and Around

The following blog post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Emma Lovelace.

It’s funny how loneliness works. For me, I never really felt alone when I was by myself; it was always when I was in a group of people. Feeling inauthentic and not fully known by those around me was always more devastating than spending time by myself. I have always valued alone time, but this time was usually just spent in my childhood bedroom reading, listening to music, or watching a movie or show. It was just a brief moment to recharge or be lazy without having to answer to anyone. Alone time now has a new meaning to me. Now when I’m alone, it’s time spent nurturing my relationship with myself. Not that I don’t spend time on social media or watch TV anymore, but I have time to check in with myself and create things […]

By |November 1st, 2021|Gappers in the Field|