Saturday, November 12, 2011

History Series: Part Two

Welcome to this second installment of our Empowering Learners History. 

Friday, January 15, 2010This was the day we toured Oshigambo Lutheran High School.   Founded in 1960 by Finnish Lutheran Missionaries, Oshigambo is located in the far North of Namibia near Oniipa.   

We spent a marvelous day with the learners there.  We shared a concert, two games of Ultimate, many stories, laughter, and a wonderful dinner.   We also had a tour of this residential math and science high school – one of the finest in all of Namibia.  During this tour we were taken through their brand new library.  This library had recently been dedicated by Bishop Tomas Shivute, and was a lovely new building with loads of space, rows and rows of shelves, but very few books. 

How could this be we wondered?   We quickly learned about learning and teaching in Africa!   We now mark this day as the beginning of what we have come to understand more fully as the Africa Book Famine.  Despite all worthy efforts and good intentions, there is simply a desperate shortage of printed books (on all levels) in all of Africa.

As a future teacher in the making, Ethan wondered what teaching in Africa could be like with such a shortage of resources.  Ann readily admits that when she saw the beautiful but almost empty library she had been stricken.  She had, after all, begun her development career raising funds for library acquisitions and endowment.

We carried memories of this new library with us for the rest of our journey.  Much later, long after our return, we reflected that our brothers and sisters at Oshigambo had built this new library filled with hope.  Hope that someday books would come to fill that space.  That we could, in part, help that to happen is deeply meaningful to us both. 

Empowering Learners

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