Friday, June 24, 2011

Some books we've read about Botswana - and if you have suggestions of other good books, we'd love to hear them.

We'd already read most of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series  before we were offered Peace Corps placement in Botswana.  These books paint such a wonderful picture of Botswana and its people, that we could hardly have been happier to accept.

Friends lent us this book, one that they read to each other a couple of cold winters ago when their electricity was out for a week.  It's a collection of hilarious stories by a wildlife guide, and, as the title suggests, he learned not to run from big animals, "because only food runs" and all animals (even warthogs!) in Africa can outrun humans. 

This is a book by a  couple of young scientists who spend several years in the Khalari, in central Botswana, studying animal behavior, particularly that of the brown hyena.  At the outset, they are awed by the amazing diversity and population of wildlife; by the end they are somewhat saddened by the onslaught of "civilization" and the threat that it posed to the natural habitat.  Years later, it is reasonable to say that Botswana has taken enormous strides to protect this incredible resource.

And an incredible movie, "The Last Lions", produced by National Geographic.  It was in Portland for a short time and we were lucky enough to see it.  The story is one of a pride of lions, male, female and three cubs (at the beginning) in Botswana, who are threatened by a new and larger pride moving in from the north, pushed by advancing civilization there.  The photography is, simply, amazing!

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