Evy’s Story: From the Village to the Peace Corps | Concordia Language Villages

Evy's Story:
From the Village to the Peace Corps

Evy setting up an agricultural display in Zambia

The mission of Concordia Language Villages is to prepare young people for responsible citizenship in our global community. For villagers like Hannah Evy Adamson, this mission is one that has been taken to heart. Evy, a six-year Skogfjorden villager and three-year counselor, first entered the Villages at the age of ten.

“Even though it was quite a trip, she always wanted to be [at Skogfjorden],” says Diane Adamson, Evy’s mother.

With assistance from numerous scholarships from the Sons of Norway, Evy was able to make her journey to Skogfjorden an annual expedition. In 2003 and 2004, Evy was even enrolled in Skogfjorden’s credit program. Prior to college, she spent a year in a Folkehøgskole thanks in part to the Helen Tronvold Norwegian Folk High School Scholarship.

In 2011, Evy graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. During her senior year at St. Olaf, Evy was accepted into the Peace Corps, and in February 2012 was deployed to the South African nation of Zambia, where she assists with sustainable agronomy and agriculture.

“It’s a great opportunity for her and fits in with what she wants to do,” says Diane.

Though her opportunities to utilize Norwegian may be few in Zambia, it is the lessons she learned during her time at the Village that has proven to be most beneficial.

“From Skogfjorden, I took away the ability to love something and someone different from me,” says Evy. “I started with my heritage and learned to love it. I am now able to understand a people and delve into their culture with an open mind rather than criticism. My time there opened my eyes and created appreciation for different things in the world and to embrace something new rather than to fear it.”

As part of her service in Zambia, Evy is required to learn Tongan, the third most common language in Zambia.

“I am able to capture a better understanding and to hold conversations longer than my peers with classroom- only language backgrounds,” says Evy. Skogfjorden got me interested in languages and how they work while inviting me to dive into the language as well as the culture. I can get a better appreciation for a place if I am able to communicate with the local community.”

From lessons in peaceful innovation to a worldly outlook, Evy lives by what she learned at Skogfjorden.

“The good memories are countless,” says Evy. "Reflecting on them always brings smiles.”