Stephanie and Mia
We have finally reached week 14 out of just a 16week program, and it feels strange to be here. We spent this week wrapping up each of our classes with nothing but our integrative projects left before we venture to Cape Town. Cleaning schedules for checkout are beginning to be posted and we have even started to think about the strange concepts of doing laundry and packing all of our things. The weirdest part about this week is that even though we are wrapping up, the program doesn’t feel over: and that’s because it really isn’t.
Wrapup week was more eyeopening than I think many of us expected it to be. It really reiterated the importance of taking back all that we have learned to the states. The lessons we learned throughout our time here are not all specific to Namibia, but have opened our eyes to concepts that we should keep with us and apply back in the States and Guatemala.
One of the extremely interesting activities we participated in during the course of the week was the presentation of our poster projects in development class. The idea of the project was to take two seemingly different social issues and research and present how the two issues impact and affect each other. For example, two people in our groups chose HIV/AIDS and education and presented a poster on their finding of how HIV/AIDS impacts the education system and children going to school, alongside how going to school and getting an education impacts HIV/AIDS. Everyone chose really interesting topics and the group ended up getting so into the presentations that we used up all of our class time on this activity alone.
Completing the poster presentations allowed us to broaden our mind to how various topics, from global warming to gender to Pentecostalism and more, impact each other in more ways than one may realize. Many of the topics we discussed with each other allowed us to view a topic we had already known something about with the added chance of hearing about them through a new lens. It brought together many subjects and showed the interesting chains of how various social issues feed off of one another, or impact each other in a variety of additional ways.
We have learned so much through the course of the semester that even though wrap up week should be exciting, it’s a bit sad. This trip has broadened our minds in ways that none of us even expected, and has left us with a thirst for more. We have learned about so many issues facing Namibian society today, and now we have been shown how they all fit together. Our knowledge has circled back so that everything makes sense, and yet at the same time most of us are more confused than ever. But we have learned that being confused is ; and that reaching this point simply means that we have successfully fought through the barriers of false and superficial understanding and opened doors to more learning in the future. I think it’s fair to say that we will all be sure to take this newfound knowledge back to the and continue to expand on it in the future.