I'd like you to meet Isabella Shilongo, the Namibian I am most blessed to know. She is truly beautiful inside and out !
Isabella grew up in a traditional village in northern Namibia near the Angolan boarder. (Yes my friend, there are still grass huts in the 21st century). In-spite of the rural location, Isabella's mother was a strong believer in education, so Isabella graduated from high school and is extremely fluent in her second language -English.
When we moved to Namibia in 2002, Isabella was one of the first people I met. She quickly became my interpreter and friend. She interprets not only words , but also culture. I often have to say " what just happened there Isabella" ?
As the years went by, I watched Bella struggle with deciding on a career choice, and commiserated with her as doors shut on many of her ideas. In the mean time, she kept helping me, and also helping children get into school, and adults learn English.( English is the official language of Namibia which also has about 28 tribal languages, plus German and Afrikaans.)
Isabella always learned the hand craft skill I was teaching as she interpreted for others, and we all saw she was talented at it too. Well, to make a long story shorter, she is now the production manager of the entire beading division of Work Of Our Hands ! She also has her own business, designing, making, and selling her jewelry ! I'll write more about Bella one day soon, but for now this post is getting rather long.