Namwayi gives us an update on her recent activities through Our Moon. 

Question: Since leaving our site last December, what’s a summary of your activities, including the internship you’ve taken on? 

Since December, I’ve been actively engaged in educational and professional pursuits aimed at personal growth. I have been enrolled in a Genetics and Society on Coursera. This course has given me an understanding of scientific discoveries in genetics and their impact on society, laying a solid foundation for future research in university.

Additionally, completing a “Problem Solving in Excel” course has enhanced my data management skills. Exploring advanced features has opened new ways to handle complex information effectively. This has been useful for internship preparation. 

Currently, I have taken up an internship at SolidarMed Zambia, an organization aimed at improving Zambia’s healthcare system. This opportunity is a significant step that holds the potential to positively impact my academic pursuits. This internship is allowing me to hone my organizational and administrative skills, which are integral to succeeding in an academic environment. Facilitating workshops hosted by the organization has honed my public speaking and leadership skills, fostering effective collaboration toward shared goals.

In my spare time, I enjoy mentoring my sister in Canva, a design tool I became proficient with during my time at Our Moon. This activity brings me joy as it allows me to share the knowledge I’ve acquired. I find great satisfaction in helping her learn and grow creatively, knowing that I can make a meaningful impact through teaching and guidance.

Question: How have your perspectives and aspirations evolved over the last few months?

Over the past few months, my perspectives and aspirations have undergone significant changes. When I first joined Our Moon back in April, I was primarily interested in pursuing a career in Chemical Engineering. At that time, my exposure to different fields of study was limited, and I hadn’t explored many options that aligned with my interests. However, participating in the gardening activities offered by Our Moon sparked a newfound passion for agriculture within me. Initially, I only saw agriculture as a means of food production, but getting hands-on experience in organic farming completely shifted my perspective. Because of this, I am inspired to pursue a course that encompasses my interests in agriculture, chemistry, and biology. 

Moreover, engaging in literature lessons on the site has impacted the way I approach reading and analyzing texts. These sessions encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and engage in discussions with my peers, which has enhanced my critical thinking skills. For instance, studying characters like Ifemelu from the book Americanah provided me with valuable insights into the challenges of cultural adaptation and racial prejudice. Her experiences, particularly through her blog discussing race in America, opened my eyes to the complexities of societal norms and identity issues. This aspect of the book challenged my initial perception of America as solely an opportunity-rich land.

Engaging with individuals from different walks of life has exposed me to different perspectives that I may not have encountered otherwise. Each person brings their unique experiences, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds to the table, enriching our discussions with many viewpoints. In this dynamic exchange of ideas, I’ve come to appreciate the complexity and nuance inherent in every issue.

Question: What unexpected lessons have you learned about yourself and the world around you during this time?

During this time, I have learnt that life does not always revolve around our needs and expectations. I’velearned the importance of embracing uncertainty and letting go of the need for control. In a world that is constantly changing and unpredictable, I’ve come to understand that it’s futile to try to control every outcome. Instead, I’ve learned to surrender to the flow of life and trust in the process, knowing that everything will unfold as it’s meant to.

Additionally, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the power of self-reflection and mindfulness in fostering personal growth and well-being. With the serene Our Moon environment I took time to pause, reflect, and tune into my thoughts and emotions, allowing me to cultivate greater self-awareness and inner peace. Through practices such as meditation and journaling, I have learned to quiet the noise of the outside world and connect more deeply with myself.

Question: Looking back on your experiences with Our Moon so far, what advice would you offer our new students preparing to embark on their journey with Our Moon?

Our Moon is a place where you will encounter individuals from diverse backgrounds. Embrace this diversity and stay receptive to new ideas, perspectives, and experiences as it enriches the learning experience and fosters understanding. Moreover, take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with your peers. Working in teams will teach you valuable teamwork and communication skills essential for success in any field.

Understand that challenges are an inevitable part of the learning process. Instead of shying away from them, embrace them as opportunities for growth and development. Facing challenges head-on will build resilience and confidence, making you a stronger individual.

Seize the numerous opportunities available at Our Moon to explore your interests and make a positive impact. Whether it is participating in extracurricular activities, conducting research, or engaging in community service, take the initiative and make the most of your time there.

Ultimately, remember that you are not alone on this journey. Do not hesitate to contact tutors or fellow students for support and guidance when needed. Building a support network will help you navigate challenges more effectively and make your experience at Our Moon more fulfilling.

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