Story & Photo – Joseph Boyle
On January 1, 2014, I wrote my first story about Africa titled Adventure Artist – Becci Crowe.
Prior to writing Becci’s article I had no involvement with Africa since my 1960s Economic Geography Studies class in college. Becci’s story re-opened the door to the subject of Africa for me.
My next encounter with Africa happened when I wrote an article on January 14, 2014, about Krista Schrader titled Coffee Artist. One of her pieces of art work was an African lion.
Today, January 18, 2014, I am working on my third story related to Africa titled Return to Africa. When a couple of my readers learned I was writing a story about Africa for Becci, they told me, “You have to write a story about Lindsey.”
Lindsey Evans worked the past year as a barista at the Towne Center Starbucks. In 2009 Lindsey graduated from Charles Wright Academy. She went on to graduate from Santa Clara University with a major in Sociology and a minor in French and Public Health. It turns out Lindsey has a connection to Africa. During my interview with Lindsey I learned she and her parents planned to return to Africa in January of this year. They are traveling to Windhoek, Namibia.
Lindsey’s father, Dr. Tony Evans, has served as professor of exercise science at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) for the past 26 years. Lindsey’s mother, Dr. Janet Weiss-Evans, has served as professor of education at Pacific Lutheran University for the past 12 years. Prior to PLU, Janet taught at Charles Wright Academy for 6 years. All three members of the Lindsey’s family have made multiple trips to Africa.
Lindsey’s first trip occurred when she spent four weeks during the summer of 2011 in the Republic of Namibia, Africa serving as an intern for the Ministry of Health & Social Services.
Her second trip was a vacation to explore Morocco.
Lindsey returned July – August, 2012 for five weeks in Namibia as a Santa Clara University Global Fellow. She did service work for a non-profit called Starfish International. Her focus was on helping young girls ages 12 – 18. Lindsey taught a public health class, leadership and debate. Her relationship with the students turned into that of a mentor.
Lindsey’s opportunity for her fourth trip to Africa came about after her mother was selected as a Fulbright Scholar. Janet, Tony and Lindsey are going to spend 11 months in Africa. Lindsey will be involved in an HIV Aids education and counseling internship at Katatura State Hospital. She will volunteer for a children’s after school program at the Bernard Nordcamp Center, which is run by an American woman who has lived in Namibia for 15 years.
Janet will serve at the University of Namibia. Tony is exploring several options on how he might serve others while in Namibia.
The local indigenous population is made up of 13 tribes. Each tribe has its own traditional garments. Tourism and crafts are important to the tribes for their local economy.
Lindsey shared with me that this is really not a trip. She expects that it will be, as she describes, a life expanding “immersive” experience. She expects to develop a connection with the community and the people. This will be a great family shared time and because of the huge unknown component and adventure element, she finds it difficult to find the correct words to express a true description of her expectations.
She told me friends from previous trips expressed hope that she would return to Africa. Lindsey is of the opinion that many people see Africa as hole. Her experience does not support that view. Lindsey is returning to Africa to give back to the world; to help others and to become a part of another community. She told me she is not going to Africa for herself. She is going to Africa for others. She realizes her time in Africa may produce unknown life impacting dividends. That just has to be because the experience will likely reshape her and her future view of the world she lives in.
Linsey, even though you are much younger than I am, you have expanded my horizon. Among other things I have learned from you, I can now pronounce Namibia. Before meeting you and Becci, I did not know where Namibia was.
I have encouraged Lindsey to write her own on-location articles for The Suburban Times describing her African experience so we all can enjoy and learn from the next 11 months of her life. If you like that idea, write a comment at the end of this article encouraging her to write at least one article a month to be enjoyed by those of she has left back home.