Augsburg News

News Archives - 2007

Augsburg student studies in Namibia

April 1, 2007

Lynde Kuipers

Lynde Kuipers, ’08, is spending spring semester on one of the Center for Global Education’s semester programs to Namibia. Students in this program, “National Building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind,” learn about Namibia and South Africa as they struggle to build nationhood, deal with the legacies of apartheid and colonialism, and the challenges posed by the rapid process of globalization in today's world.

The students also gain hands-on work experience in a development agency. The program is based in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, a modern city of 200,000 located in the geographical center of the country.

Lynde shares some of her experiences while in Namibia:

“Our time in southern Africa has been full of amazing experiences. We are a group of 20 students from all across the United States including two Augsburg students, Sean Stanhill and myself.

Our first stop was in Johannesburg, South Africa, where we were able to visit many of the tourist locations including the Apartheid Museum and the Hector Petersen Museum. We also toured Soweto, a place that had been reserved for blacks to live during the time of apartheid. One of the most amazing things about our time in Soweto was that we were able to meet people that endured the injustice of legal racial segregation for over 35 years.

After nine days in Johannesburg, we flew to Windhoek, Namibia where we are currently based. On one of our first days in Namibia we toured Katutura, which, like Soweto, was reserved for blacks during apartheid. After touring for a few days, we started our classes and internships. I am lucky enough to have a challenging internship at a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Mother's Voices, which provides three meals a day for school children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic who would otherwise go hungry.

One of my most remarkable experiences occurred at a soccer game where I was able to converse with the first Prime Minister of Namibia, Hage Geingob, about HIV/AIDS, education, and apartheid.

Our time here has been full of wonderful and educational experiences. We have been able to see the progress that Namibia and South Africa have made since their independence, 16 and 12 years ago, respectively. We are aware of the amount of work that still needs to be done, but the people of both countries are working together to achieve a true democracy where everyone is created equal.”

-Lynde Kuipers '08