This week was a combination of classmate presentations and listening to a guest speaker. Overall it was a pretty good example of the various things that we are trying to combine, a basic understanding of the different components of Namibia both contemporarily and historically, as well as forming a solid group dynamic with which we can be both effective and efficient.
On Monday two committees presented: Public Health, and Agriculture, Environment, and Geography. The Public Health group’s presentation started with the hot topic of ebola and the preventative methods that the government and health officials are taking. Moving throughout the presentation topics discussed included prevalent diseases, malnutrition, sanitation, access to clean water, maternal and infant mortality, HIV/Aids, mental health, and challenges with access to care to infrastructure. The Agriculture, Environment, and Geography group also presented on a wide variety of issues in Namibia. The presentation started with geography, giving the class an idea of the various deserts, regions, and national parks. Next came a brief description of the climate with which came a discussion on the rain and dry seasons and the impact that drought can have on farming and community health. Part of the obstacle that is rainfall led the group to explain the effects of climate change on agricultural yields. The Agriculture, Environment, and Geography ended with the important topic of wildlife conservation.
By gaining a basic understanding of public health, agriculture, environment, and geography our class will be able to begin generating focus or project ideas in a more informed way. With those two presentations came the conclusion of our presentations of various aspects of Namibia. We look forward to possibly forming new committees to move forward with.
Today, our steering committee started class off with a presentation on what they think our next steps should be. They brought up the idea of having seven different committees, which are as follows: committees on committees, fundraising/grants, alumni relations, media/communications, steering, events, and executive. The executive committee would be a group of the “leaders” of each of the other six committees with our mentor as the head of the executive committee. The steering committee had also talked to one of the 2016s that responded with some positive feedback with what has worked for them. He suggested a vibe watcher (making sure no one gets too heated), a facilitator, an agenda setter, and a secretary. To conclude their presentation, they gave us a handout and we decided as a class that we would use this committee system as base and further discuss the changes needed in the system.
On Monday, at the very end of class, Carol had us take a personality test from the MyPlan website. Rhonda Kosusko came in today to help us understand our results. She explained what each letter meant and gave us countless handouts about each type of personality. She then divided us into groups of four or five, and had us discuss what we thought was important for people to bring to a group. From the activity, we were able to learn the people value different things, and we all need to be respectful to that. At the end of the class period, Carol had us divide into two groups; one group was the extroverts, and one was the introverts, and then continued to divide with the last three categories. We soon learned that everyone is different, and we can use these differences to our advantage. All in all, the week was successful because we learned more about Namibia, and we learned more about each other.
Elan Schappler and Madi Kennard