D. Randall Faro
Reading Is Living
Namibia. I’d be willing to bet that you’d be lucky to find one in a hundred thousand (maybe half a million) Americans who could pick it out on a map of the world without country names. Most would not even have a clue on which continent it resides.
So how is one supposed to know such things? One answer: reading. Just typing in “Namibia” or “Popular Namibia Books” into the search box on the Goodreads website (or in Google search, for that matter) results in scores of books on the country . . . history, tourism guides, and novels. Of course, that’s not likely to happen for people who don’t even know that the country exists, but an interested person could Google a list of the world’s countries and then focus on those about which one knows essentially nothing. This, of course, assumes an interest in learning more about our planet and what relationships other parts have to where the reader lives.
I’ve been to Namibia three times over the years, but it’s likely that the people reading this will never visit there. So the best alternative to learn about the culture, people, topography, and politics in that country is . . . you guessed it: reading! Southern Africa might not hold any interest for you, but there is a world of valuable and available information that can enhance one’s life in a variety of ways. And it’s there in BOOKS. The old adage that ignorance is bliss is true in some cases . . . but mostly not.
Pick whatever interests you, but learning about Namibia would be enjoyable and enlightening. For starters, try The Burning Shore by Wilbur Smith, an intriguing novel packed with historical and geographical information. If Africa holds no particular interest, try Micronesia or Peru . . . or perhaps who discovered the DNA double-helix.