In the time since my last post, I have completed 10 more units toward my degree, traveled to both the UK and Costa Rica for cross-cultural and international service trips, and begun my Practicum traineeship at a K-8 school in the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, I have completed 59 units and have 18 remaining. This week, I began semester 7 of 8 before graduation.
These are fun milestones, but the most transformational experiences were the international learning trips. In Costa Rica, five NDNU students worked with Viva Nicaragua Abroad to provide numerous art therapy workshops to Nicaraguan refugees, as well as medical students and staff of the Universidad Internacional de las Americas (UIA). Once the workshops concluded, our remaining art supplies were donated to Viva Nicaragua Abroad.
I am humbled and so grateful to have participated in this particular project, which allowed me to deepen my cross-cultural experience and understanding, and to practice skills in trauma-informed art therapy, leadership, communication, and group collaboration. I will never forget the heartfelt welcome from these refugees and other individuals, and am touched to have been part of this strengths-based experience with them.