Global Brigades: Nicaragua

STEP Reflection Prompts


As you may recall from your STEP signature project proposal, your STEP signature project was designed to foster transformational learning—that is, learning that challenged you personally and helped you gain broader and deeper understandings of yourself, others, and the world around you.  Please address the following prompts to help you reflect on your experiences completing your STEP signature project; please give careful and critical thought to your responses.


Name: Anna Podber


Type of Project: Service


  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

I went on a trip with Global Brigades to Nicaragua to provide healthcare to underprivileged communities. We sorted medications, shadowed doctors and dentists, as well as teach children basic hygiene.


  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?

Going to Nicaragua has really expanded my view of the world. Before the trip I never went out of the country, and it is interesting to see how different our societies are. We went to a rural area where there was neither plumbing nor electricity and the floors were simply dirt. Seeing all this made me appreciate what I have back at home. Overall this trip has made me humble and appreciative.


  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

In El Narajo we interacted with underprivileged communities. In these communities I felt a sense of family and involvement in each other’s lives. All the children play together and all the families look out for each other. This shows me that the community has a great trust in the adults as well as children.  In relation to America, barely anyone speaks to their neighbors or have kids playing outside alone. This makes we wish that neighbor hoods and families would take the time to know surrounding families and create an area of trust.

One project we worked on in the community was giving homes concrete floors and a sewage system. While doing this project I realized how hard it is physically to mix and pour concrete onto the dirt floors. This is a scarce resource to have, and those who are in dire need of concrete floors, the elderly and the children, are physically unable to accomplish the task. In comparison to North America, a truck and a few qualified workers could have done the task that took us three day to do, only an hour. This makes me appreciate the resources I have available in my country as well a new appreciation for flooring.

Another event we did was providing healthcare to the community. This made me see how appreciative the community is. It was surprising to see how little healthcare is obtainable. With the closest hospital is miles away with very little transportation options, health care and medicine is unavailable to most. When we came to help, the community was so grateful and happy to have us help. Seeing the community so appreciative made me realize how available healthcare is to me and how little effort it takes here in America to schedule an appointment or get medication.


  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? 

This change in my perception of the world has made me want to help my community and others more. This experience has strengthened my motivation for becoming a physician. I realized how underprivileged some areas are. In the future I plan to go to these countries as a physician and give back to a community in need.   Teeth cleaning Pharmacy