Crystal is a recently graduated Global Health and Ethnic Studies double major from UCSD. After a year of preparations, Crystal spent two weeks in Ubud, Indonesia with Alternative Breaks. Alternative Breaks is an organization which aims to create globally conscious and active citizens that are involved in not only local communities but international ones as well.
“I worked with a community in Ubud, Indonesia and worked with medical students to take peoples blood pressure, blood glucose, height, weight, and age in order to create medical journals for families. The second week we worked on educating kids at a school on how to live a healthy lifestyle!”
Crystal notes that it was not always easy leading the 13 other students on her trip. Yet, despite these intra group conflicts that sometimes arose, she always managed to resolve them through communication and understanding.
Her time with Alternative Breaks taught Crystal about the importance of cultural competence, whether that be in Ubud or another community. She also notes that this field experience revealed many social justice issues affecting communities in Ubud, issues which she invariably compared to those she was familiar with in the United States.
At the end of every day, Crystal and the other volunteers would reflect on their experiences. They would discuss what went well and what could be improved as well as how they would go about improving.
Alternative Breaks are national or international service and learning trips that use education of social justice issues combined with quality direct service to have a lasting impact on students and the communities in which they work. Each trip incorporates 8 quality components of an alternative break, which include: Strong Direct Service, Orientation, Education, Training, Reflection, Reorientation, Diversity, and Full Engagement. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, visit the Alternative Breaks website today!