By Brian Nelson
Staff reporter

A 15 day journey to Africa is in the near future for 15 students currently enrolled in the Namibian Language & Culture Orientation class. Dr. Charles Hunter is in charge of the class, which meets Sunday evenings. The course consists of weekly orientation and informational meetings, presented by faculty and students. The semester long course prepares students for departure to Namibia, Africa Dec. 27. Students will arrive back on campus Jan. 12.

“I figured it would be the only opportunity I had to go to Africa,” said Mark Strecker, bio-chemistry sophomore. Strecker said that the trip would be relatively cheap traveling with the school group, rather than taking the journey alone. “It’s going to be tons of fun,” he said. “Just to explore the culture, it will be a different experience.”

The experience is one that Strecker will enjoy with his girlfriend, JoAnna Ellsworth, who is also enrolled in the class.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa,” said Ellsworth, bio-chemistry senior. “Honestly, it’s because I love biology and animals and Africa has a neat range of animals that you can’t find here. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go with a big group of people, with people as knowledgeable as they are.”

The opportunity will be missed by one of Ellsworth’s classmates, who is enrolled in the class. Albert Ong II, biology senior, enrolled in the class with the intention of traveling to Africa, but is unable to go, due to family complications.

“I get a lot out of the class, and I love my classmates and professors in the class,” said Ong. “Not being able to go makes me feel like I really let them down.” Even though Ong will not be traveling to Namibia, he said that he is still enjoying the class. “I like to learn about different cultures. That is a lot of the reason why I’m here at SC. Learning different cultures help us see our own culture in a different way and to understand better, to broaden our horizon and to shed enlightening information.”

Ong said he strongly recommends the class to other students and that everyone should take at least one foreign country class.Genaye Domenico, biology and marine biology junior, was enrolled in the class last year, which traveled to Ecuador. “I think it was really mind opening,” said Domenico. “I’ve been to a handful of different countries, but Ecuador was a big culture shock. It was really amazing to see, first of all how lucky I am to have what I have, and secondly to see the spirit of that country even though it is relatively poor. It was so alive. It’s really important for me to see new things and view the world from a different point of view and the class is definitely a way to do that.”

Brian Nelson is a senior majoring in English.  You may e-mail him at brian.nelson@sckans.edu.