Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with VIDA in Nicaragua?
Brittany: I have always wanted to study abroad somewhere out of the United States. There were many opportunities that I came across, but I always came up with an excuse for myself as to why I could not go.
When this opportunity came about, I was instantly excited and I knew it would be my last chance in my college career to study abroad. I did not hesitate once I signed up and am very thankful for the opportunity.
Tell us about one person you met.
Brittany: One person I met was Amy, the woman who was with us for our entire trip. She honestly made the trip worth it and helped us, and me personally, adjust to our surroundings. If it were not for her, we would have not had as many great experiences that we had. She has the biggest heart and always put our group first.
She called ahead to restaurants to make sure they could feed us all and have it ready in a decent amount of time, she made sure we had cold, fresh water at all hours of the day, and she also was so much fun to be around.
What was the best moment of the entire trip?
Brittany: The best moment of the entire trip was being able to touch so many lives. I personally loved going to public clinics. We got so much experience there and were able to help in so many ways. We were thanked each and every day, multiple times a day for the help we brought the workers there.The smiles on those people’s faces will not be forgotten, and being able to make a difference like that makes the trip worth it.
What's something interesting about Nicaragua that the average person doesn't know?
Brittany: I did not realize how beautiful Nicaragua is. On the days we were not working in clinical settings, we were able to explore Nicaragua. We went on a boat tour in Granada, hiked up a volcano, went and visited an active volcano, and many more things.
There are so many beautiful areas of Nicaragua that are must-sees for anyone who is going to visit the country.
Has your worldview changed as a result of your trip?
Brittany: Yes, I definitely feel that my world view had changed. Going to Nicaragua was a culture shock for me. It was hard at first but I had to keep reminding myself of why I was there and how amazing this experience is for me. I thought, before going to Nicaragua, that I did not take things for granted. I was wrong. Going to Nicaragua has made me a better person and I truly feel that I don’t take as much for granted anymore.
I have shared my experiences with many family members and friends and I hope that my story impacts them as much as it has changed me.