Building bridges: Battle Mountain grad working in Rwanda with Bridges to Prosperity
EAGLE COUNTY — In a world with too many walls, Brooke Segerberg is building bridges.
The Battle Mountain High School Class of 2007 alumna is in Rwanda working as an engineer for Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit serving on an international level.
“Working in any developing country has its ups and downs,” Segerberg said. “It can definitely be frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, what I’m doing is so rewarding.”
The University of Colorado- Boulder graduate has been in Rwanda for a year and a half, helping manage production of bridges that are crucial for those living in the communities Bridges to Prosperity serves.
The bridges address three key functions for the communities: gaining access to education, economic development and health care.
Rwandans in the communities lay trees across the river to commute to school, markets and doctors. During the rainy season, the trees can be washed away, leaving the villages isolated for up to 12 weeks.
The bridges allow the children to get to school during these weeks, farmers have reliable access to markets where they make their money and people can get to local doctors safely. It’s also provided community enrichment, by creating the means to have a soccer league across the river as well as connecting the locals.
“Some days I wake up and have to remind myself where I am, what I’m doing and how lucky I am to be here because really, the whole experience has just been so gratifying,” she said.
Her team consists of seven other Rwandan team members, as well as the communities where they work.
“They’re just some of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” she said.
Where’s the beer?
Living in a Third World country, Segerberg said she is blown away by how easy it is to live there, but she does miss pieces of home — her family and friends, cheese, good coffee and local libations.
“I miss good beer,” she said.
Other than that, she’s enjoying her time in Rwanda outside of work.
On weekends, she’ll hike volcanoes, visit gorillas, raft the Nile River, rock climb, kayak and go on other adventures. She’s chronicling her adventures on Instagram @brookeduffield.
“There’s a lot of fun things to do, and Rwanda’s a beautiful country,” she said. “I definitely miss home, but I’m enjoying my time here. I’ll get back eventually, but I know home is always there.”
Segerberg will be home for Christmas, getting some much needed snowboarding in, and plans to continue working in Rwanda for another year before taking some time to travel the world before possibly returning to grad school.
“We’re super proud of her,” said Meg Segerberg, aka Mom. “She’s just done amazing things, and we’re eager to see where her next adventure takes her, and us.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
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