What I Did This Summer: West Africa
“Most African children die from malnutrition or some curable virus or disease,” Bowers said. “Doctors don’t have the proper training or treatments.”
In a maternity ward, Bowers watched expectant mothers suffer from labor pain and infections because of a lack of medical resources. This suffering left Bowers wishing he could do more to help.
“I asked myself, ‘What should our response be as Christians?’” Bowers said. “I am still wrestling with those things. Some things still haunt me when I think about it. I pray for wisdom.”
But not all of Bowers' experiences were so wearisome.
West African boy
One afternoon while exploring a local market, Bowers ran across a group of young boys playing soccer on an old basketball court. The boys, thinking Bowers was rich, crowded around asking if he would sponsor their team. The boys played on the dusty court in old street clothes and kicked around a flat ball.
Bowers spent the next couple of hours searching the market vendors, negotiating for a suitable ball for the boys to play with.
After returning with a rubber ball, which the boys eyed as treasure, Bowers ran up and down the old court with his new friends until the sun set.
After returning home from West Africa, Bowers didn’t slow down. He began a two-month internship with the Post & Courier, working for the metro desk and writing features for the Faith section.
He plans to work even more next summer before his senior year at Carolina. Bowers then has plans for a career in print journalism, despite the shifting landscape of the news business.
“If I was in this for the job security and good pay, I would have picked a different profession,” Bowers said.
But Bowers, who is following in the footsteps of his "Indiana Jones" mentor, will likely survive industry shifts thanks to his experience telling stories.