Out of Luther, Africa!

“I am going to Africa.” This dreamlike sentence has passed over our lips many times in the past few months. It was said when we engaged in small talk with relatives over the holidays. It was said to impress friends when they boast about immaculate grade point averages. However, that sentence never seemed real until it changed to, “I am going to Africa… next week.” It may be hard to believe, but it’s true! The trip of a lifetime begins in only a few days.

The group returns to campus after a restful Christmas break, this Sunday, January 7 for rehearsal. Tuesday, we will fly out of Chicago, pass through London, England and Johannesburg, South Africa before arriving in our destination of Windhoek, Namibia. Our travel may begin to look more like an odyssey after the jaunt of 42 hours and covering over 10,000 miles. The travel however, is only the start of a three-week immersion into the music and life of the culturally rich countries of Namibia and South Africa.

Dr. Gregory Peterson and Dr. Jennaya Robison will lead the small choir of Luther students, teaching them music from the western choral tradition and incorporating songs from local African styles and languages. The choir will be introduced to different cultures than the ones they know, but the shared medium of music will not leave them lost in translation.

In addition to sharing music, students will have the opportunity to learn about the unique history of the country. Your bloggers, Taylor Fishwild and John Lof, will help to bring what we see to your computer screen at home. Here’s a little bit about them:

Taylor is a sophomore studying communications and management. Originally from Maquoketa, Iowa, she currently lives in Dubuque, Iowa. She is a member of Cathedral choir, is involved in Luther College Dance Marathon as the Fundraising Director, and serves as the Service co-chair for Student Activities Council (SAC). Taylor is excited to experience the music, culture, and the weather, and can’t wait to share the adventures the of the group with all of you.

John is a sophomore studying political science and economics. He is from Grinnell, Iowa. John is involved in choir, Student Senate, and campus Democrats, among other things. He enjoys fishing in the rivers and streams of Winneshiek county, and exploring the land Luther owns. John was dead set on taking this January Term course when he heard Dr. Last talk about it one day in Norsemen. Choral singing in Africa, what more could you want from a J-term trip?

Taylor and John will document the experiences of the group as they travel through Namibia and South Africa. Through their perspectives they hope to share what they see with you.