Humphrey H. Hubert Fellowship Programme - Update - St Andrew's College

Humphrey H. Hubert Fellowship Programme – Update

Final music concert for the year
Nov 26, 2021
The John Jones Fish River Journey
Nov 26, 2021

Humphrey H. Hubert Fellowship Programme – Update

Over the past few weeks I was feeling homesick, and I looked around my room in search of something South African, something that spelt “Home”. As my heart was settling on reading anything South African, my eyes caught a glimpse of the words, “Enjoy the journey, embrace the detours”. The words were on the card that I was given by my close South African friends and the word “Adventure” was in bold characters.

This card is pinned on the notice board above a stack of books that I have collected since arriving in the United States. Both Ntombekhaya Libi and Mel Webb, who gave me this card, knew about detours, and they sure wanted to tell me to embrace them when I came across them.

The dictionary definition of adventure is “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity”.

I have experienced excitement, and I have experienced the diverse cultures and celebrations of the American people. Over the last three and a half months in the United States, I have travelled to a number of States. I have met more than two hundred people and have connected with at least 10% of them at a meaningful level.

As I write this, my heart bursts with excitement as I am on my way to New Jersey to celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ with members of my host family. This will be my first time celebrating this special cultural event. I plan to dedicate my ‘Thanksgiving’ to South Africa, my family, my colleagues, and St Andrew’s College for affording me with such a meaningful adventure.

One of the important components of the Humphrey programme is the host family. My hosts Andrew and Dawn McGuire, and their three children, Katie (21), a student at Penn State University, Matthew (18), a freshman at Penn State University and Neil (15), are all certainly making my stay in the United States most memorable.

I have had a full bag of experiences with them already, and some of the highlights are as follows:

My trip to Washington DC with Dawn and Andrew during the Labour Day weekend opened the door to the Smithsonian Museums. The highlights included visits to The American History Museum and the Natural History Museum. The views of the White House and the Lincoln Memorial made our time most enjoyable.

During my American adventure to date, the Humphrey Programme has given me exposure to such an array of opportunities. Some of my highlights include attending the Global Leadership Forum in Washington DC, which allowed me to meet other Humphrey fellows from over 160 countries. The forum provided opportunities for networking and getting to know each other. We also had an opportunity to be addressed by offcials of the US Department of State. I also had an opportunity to attend the American Library Association School Library Conference in the beautiful Salt Lake City in Utah. The conference focused on issues of
Diversity & Inclusion, Current trends in School Libraries and new technologies that are helping to advance the field of Librarianship. Connections were made, and collaboration opportunities have been established.

As the year draws to a close, and I reflect over my short few months in the United States, I am amazed at how robust and stimulating my professional development has been. I have been invited to speak at a number of platforms, one of them was by the Soroptimist Society. The Soroptimist International of Centre County invited five Humphrey women to their November meeting. We were asked to speak about our professional backgrounds and obstacles women
face in their home countries. The organization raises funds to support women with no access to education from child headed households.

The academic programme has been very rewarding. I look forward to selecting new and interesting courses for the Spring Semester. Watch the space for more news in the new year!