Describe a goal you set and how you went about accomplishing it.
Emily: The Think Impact program has a unique approach to social innovation, which is based on asset evaluation and creative solutions to everyday problems with “everyday” assets. While in the village I set a goal to find a special niche and to help develop it.
In the village, there is a small factory with the unique asset of pebbles from diamond mines. Through a basic marketing strategy a team of local community members, another Scholar, and I formatted the marketing plan into a working document to strength their business.
Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.
Emily: Doringbaai is a small fishing village. My host father was a fisherman and would bring home his catch of the day for dinner. I have never had better fish in my life. My host mom would make different dishes, my favorite was the braai style. This is a cultural event in itself, like a BBQ.
During the braai the community and family members would gather round and help in the preparation of the meal. Fish, meat, and different “gumbo” type dishes would be slowly cooked over the open fire. This is an event which has deep traditions, and highlights the cultural trademark of laid back, and relaxed. Possibly the best part of braai was the bread, which was also cooked over the open flame. The bread had a crunchy exterior and absorbed the enticing fumes of the other dishes as it cooked.
Where was your best photo taken and what was it of?
Emily: The best photo I took while in South Africa was one while I was sitting on rocks overlooking the bay in our small fishing village. The water, was cool and deep and went on for as far as the eye could see. This picture radiates in my mind as not only a beautiful view, but a view a promise and hope for myself and those in the small village, there is so much life out there, so much depth.
When I look at this photo now I can remember the cold rocks I was sitting on, the mist of the waves as they crashed, the sounds of the children playing, and the wonderful people around me, but also the sense of awe it instills in me still today.
Do you feel you got a chance to see the city from a local's perspective?
Emily: Yes, this was one of my favorite parts of participating with Think Impact. While in the village we had a host family and lived like we were part of their family. We would help prepare meals, attend church services, hear the local stories, and visit relatives in nearby towns. By complete immersion, my experience was elevated to another level of understanding the culture and community needs.