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Dordt College News

Profile: Jiovih Augustave

August 21, 2012

For Jiovih Augustave, a sophomore at Dordt College, being in a different country has brought many changes, but one thing stays the same: She spends lots of time on the volleyball court.

Jiovih describes herself as a Haitian from Argentina.

Her fluency in French, Creole, and English prove her past. Born in Haiti, she recalls spending happy days there, playing in her family’s backyard with her brother. When Jiovih was nine years old, she and her family moved to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. She “grew up fast” as she adjusted to a new culture and lifestyle. As hard as the transition proved to be, Jiovih now calls Argentina home.

Argentina is where Jiovih’s passion for volleyball began. First stepping onto the court in seventh grade, Jiovih has many great memories of playing volleyball for her team, including weekend tournaments on the coast that included not only two days of volleyball but also time with her teammates swimming in the ocean, going out for ice cream in the evening, meeting new people, and just having fun. Playing volleyball has always been all fun.

Here at Dordt, Jiovih says she is learning to understand more concretely what it means to be a Christian volleyball player.  In Argentina, she says, her Christian life remained separate from volleyball, but here she is learning that faith is part of who she is as a volleyball player. She sees this mindset in her teammates, a group where everyone is “free to be who they want to be” without having to worry what other girls might think. Jiovih values the time her team spends in prayer and in memorizing Scripture together. She’s found that volleyball and faith aren’t “two separate things; they’re one.”

Though her first year on campus proved to be a challenging transition, Jiovih has loved meeting other international students and learning about their cultures. She has also enjoyed working for the Spanish department’s live labs, helping other students learn and speak Spanish.

A particular highlight was her “amazing” spring break PLIA trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. Together with her team, she “laughed at anything and everything and nothing,” cooked together, and played with kids. She realized that though her team went “to help people,” the people they worked with “helped us more than we helped them.” Jiovih found that the people she and her team served were truly grateful for what they had, and Jiovih learned from their example and their stories. She definitely wants to go on a PLIA trip again.

Jiovih dreams of living in a big city after college, working out of her own architecture and photography studio. She plans to travel and “see what else there is” in the world before deciding where she wants to call home. But for now, Jiovih will be the setter on Dordt’s junior varsity volleyball team, living the busy life of an athlete-student.


ELIZABETH RILEY (’15)

Artsy side

A pre-architectural design major feels just right for her, Jiovih says. “I want to design something I can actually touch and feel, something concrete.” She wants “to learn how to make good spaces for people,” especially using green, sustainable materials. It was the earthquake in Haiti two years ago that helped her decide to pursue architecture as a way to help rebuild cities that were damaged. She’s very interested in the “artsy” side of life and can picture herself being involved with photography or another creative art, too.

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