By: Caroline Pratt
Reflecting back on this week has brought up a lot of emotions. This week we had so many firsts. We had our first exploration of Windhoek, our new home for the next three months, our first day at our internships, our first day of classes, and the first time I have ever been in the same room as a President of a country. It was truly a week to remember,
|Some of us took a trip to some local markets and the art gallery|
on Saturday in downtown Windhoek
We started the week going on a ‘quest’ through Katutura, a township of Windhoek where Blacks were forced to move to during the years of Apartheid. Much like Soweto, and other townships we visited in South Africa, Katurura is much more than what meets the eye. While there is extreme poverty, there is also a rich culture. On our quest, we were split up into groups of 3 and were assigned a local guide. My group went to Base FM, a non-profit radio station that focuses on bringing the Katutura community news, sports updates, and entertainment. We learned a lot about how a radio station works and while in the United States radio may be becoming less relevant with other sources such as television, and podcasts, in Namibia, radio is still one of the leading sources for news and entertainment. After the radio station visit, we went to a local store in Katutura and went to the meat market. This market was unlike anything I have ever seen. Vendors are butchering and cooking meat freshly on site. While health codes may not be in existence, it might have been the greatest lunch I have ever had.
Tuesday was “community day”. After passing springbok, an ostrich, and a wildebeest on our drive in, the students and staff found our way to a beautiful lodge. We started the day with some get to know you games and after that we dove into some self reflection. We broke into small groups to discuss identity with topics such as: race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. I enjoyed this part of the day because we got to hear from our Namibian staff on their perspective and how their backgrounds have shaped their identity while being able to compare our own experiences, being from the United States.
|Michele and I's first day at our internship in Namibia|
After community day, the firsts really began. Wednesday was our first day of internships. My internship is at Sister Namibia, a Namibian non-profit that empowers woman and girls through putting out a magazine, workshops, and providing resources in their library on topics such as women's health, gender based violence, and legal rights, to name just a few. Some other internships are: Friendly Haven, the Hope Initiative, and the Namibian Women's Health Network. I am so excited to start my work at Sister Namibia and see how I can help impact women’s life in this area and be able to bring back what I have learned here to my work in the United States.
Classes started on Thursday, and while I just had history, I am excited to apply what I learned from the speaker to the classroom and continue to make connections. It was a week of firsts and I am going to take advantage of every moment in Namibia before our lasts begin.