By Cameron Ingram, Brittany Nivens, and Danielle Veal
This week was a time of personal growth for all of us. We Continued our urban home stays with families in the city, and the only times that we saw each other were for classes or on our way to our internships in the kombi with Passat.
For me (Brittany) it felt like we were exploring
My experience with my internship has been amazing. Despite feelings of at first, of not knowing exactly where I fit into the picture, things have gone well. Over the weekend I took a little break from family time to go to my internship. An event was being held in the community to educate students and their parents about AIDS. The emphasis of the program was more on loving yourself and making the best decisions for you to stay healthy. I ended up doing an impromptu skit where I was in a relationship and my partner was pressuring me to have sex. I am not much of an actor but I really enjoyed performing. The forum was open to everyone so it was a different experience for me to be talking about an “adult” subject with children. But the reality of the situation is that roughly 20% of the population in
As we sat in our first politics class one of the students announced that the Human Rights organization he is interning at was having a press conference about mass graves that they found near the border between
My (Cameron’s) homestay was spent in Katutura. My family was not a conventional patriarchal family. I had a mom, Hileni, a 16 year old niece, Pandu, an 18 year old nephew,
This brought me back to some of the issues we have been grappling with in our classes, specifically combating racism, and how to address the inequalities resulting from the German and South African colonialism. How do you bring together a country that for the past 100 years has had to deal with being mistreated by colonial powers and have been treated as second-class citizens in their own native land? I unfortunately do not have an answer for this. Luckily for me, I have knowledgeable professors (two of them Namibian) that are giving us the opportunity to learn more about the unique history and culture of this country. The similarities between my own history and that of
Being far away from my (Danielle’s) family and not being able to communicate with them has made me a little more homesick that I thought I would be. However, the urban home stay has really helped me deal with the feelings of loneliness and separation that I began to feel. The family that I am staying with for my 10-day home stay (which I have decided to extend for a longer visit) is full of such wonderful people. My Mom and Dad are Eddy and Michelle Williams. I have two host sisters, Marshall (18) and Micheddy (12), and a little host brother, Franco (10). Over the past week, they have made sure that my every need was taken care of. I have slept, eaten, and danced more that I ever have before, which is a pretty good life in my opinion. I've been very comfortable with my family from the very beginning, laughing and joking with my little siblings from the first day on. I was even able to cook a traditional southern-style dinner for my family, full of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn, and cornbread. They loved it!
When given the opportunity to stay longer on the home stay, or return to the house with 24 other American students, I quickly opted to remain with my family. I figure I will only get this chance once and living with a Namibian family is my way to truly submerge myself in the culture and learn first-hand how the people live everyday.
Although my home stay experience has mostly been good times and laughter, I have also been challenged in some ways since arriving. My first challenge was deciding when it was appropriate to ask all the many questions I have wanted to ask since arriving in
This experience has also allowed me to gain a Namibian perspective on HIV/AIDS. While doing a strategic listening project for my Development class, I learned that the youth in
This past week proved challenging to many students but at the same time gave us the opportunity to enter into our “stretch zones”. We were tested on how well you can react to those uncomfortable questions and stares or how well your digestive system can handle unfamiliar culinary dishes that many families served throughout the week.
1) History discussion outside of
3) Danielle and her home stay family