Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

My wife and I are excited to be going to Maseru.  It will be a good first posting for a number of reasons.  But I have to confess that when I saw Maseru on the bid list, my first thought was, "where is that?"  Then when I looked at the handy cheat sheet that matches cities with their countries and saw that Maseru was in Lesotho, my next thought was, "where is that?"

My ignorance of Lesotho mostly stems from my lack of knowledge about Africa in general.  Like all other American public school students, I learned little about world history, and even less about African history.  In an effort to fill this educational void, I couch-surfed to Amazon.  Not sure where I will find the time over the next several busy weeks to do much reading, what with all the packing, training, and a bursting social calendar, but I am going to make an effort to read at least one book on Africa before the plane takes from Dulles.

I started my Africa education with Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone, by Martin Dugard.  Who better to introduce me to the African continent than the guy who walked across it three times and stitched up his own arm from a lion bite.  Livingstone was a Victorian era explorer, and an 18th Century phenomenon who brought Africa to life for the British.  Prior to Livingstone's treks, Africa was called the dark continent because maps of the continent showed nothing but black on the interior below the Sahara.

I started reading last week, and the book has not disappointed.  I will write more about it when I am finished.

No comments: