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Namibia 2021



A vivid sunset highlights in dramatic silhouette the unique quiver trees found near Keetsmanshoop, in southern Namibia. Quivers are in fact not trees, but huge aloe plants. The English name of “quiver tree” comes from the practice of the San people of hollowing out the flexible, tubular branches to make quivers for their arrows. Found only in southern Namibia and in the Northern Cape region of South Africa, these slow-growing “trees” almost appear to some to be upside down because their spiky leaves look like roots sticking up into the air.
Joyce Hickok © 2008
PCV The Gambia 1971; St. Vincent & the Grenadines 1980–1982

Republic of Namibia
Southwestern Africa

Area 319K mi2; 824K km2

Arable 1%

Population 2.6M (8/mi²; 3/km²)

Gov’t Presidential republic

Capital Windhoek (417K)

GCP/capita $11,200

Unemployment 34%

In poverty 29%


Life expectancy 65 yrs

Infant Mortality 31/1K live births

Literacy 92%

Languages Oshiwambo, Nama/Damara, Kavango, Herero, Zambezi, and other African languages, Afrikaans, English (off.)

Religions Lutheran 50%, other Christian 30–40%, indigenous beliefs 10–20%

Health 9% of GDP

Education 3% of GDP (135th)

Military 3% of GDP (20th)

Labor Force Agriculture 31%, industry 14%, services 54%

PCVs 1990–present CURRENT: 153, Community economic development, Education, AIDS relief; TTD: 1,841

Adult Books

Baobabs and Camelthorns: 13 Years in Namibia
By Dr. Lucy Steinitz and Bernd Kiekebusch, with Mary Konopka

Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 12, 2018)
Language: English
Setting: Namibia
ISBN-10: 198637341X
ISBN-13: 978-1986373418

Lucy Steinitz and Bernd Kiekebusch responded to their midlife crisis in the United States by moving to the newly independent country of Namibia for one year in 1997, together with their children and dog. They arrived as the AIDS crisis exploded and found that their skills were in much demand. As they settled in—and as one year became thirteen—they wrote almost 250 descriptive “diaries” to friends and family. In 2017, they condensed these into this book, with the help of their friend Mary Konopka.

Amazon Reader Reviews
Beautiful stories from adventurous professionals in Namibia I finished reading in two sittings this wonderful book about the authors' experiences in Namibia. I am a sucker for learning about the work of adventurous, development do-gooders. And what an adventure it turned-out to be: one year becoming 13, watching your kids grow up in an incredible setting, and contributing in meaningful ways to Namibia's economic and social development. I also appreciated your acknowledging the tensions that exist for expats making a difference, but still living in a schizophrenic state, wanting to become part of the local community, but not fully able to do so.

Enjoyable and unforgettable lessons This tale mixes so many elements-- including family adventures, effective and creative humanitarian development work, the story of the growth and development of family as well as captivating descriptions of a country full of natural wonders, struggling to become a viable government and economy and overcome huge HIV related health problems. The books tells many personal stories of youth emerging from poverty and lack of family into the hands and home of these authors to become successful and independent adults.

Kids' Books

The 3 Little Dassies
By Jan Brett

Format: 32 pp.; col ill.
ISBN: 978-0-399-25499-4
Age Range: 3-8 years
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2010

A retelling of The Three Little Pigs, with the story set in Namibia. Our characters, three rock dassies, need to outwit their predator, the eagle.

Description: Jan Brett finds inspiration for her version of a familiar story in Namibia, where red rock mountains and vivid blue skies are home to appealing little dassies and hungry eagles.

Mimbi, Pimbi and Timbi hope to find “a place cooler, a place less crowded, a place safe from eagles!” to build their new homes. The handsomely dressed Agama Man watches from the borders as the eagle flies down to flap and clap until he blows a house down. But in a deliciously funny twist, that pesky eagle gets a fine comeuppance!

Bold African patterns and prints fill the stunning borders, but it is the dassies in their bright, colorful dresses and hats that steal the show in this irresistible tale, perfect for reading aloud.

Editorial Reviews
From School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2–Brett’s sumptuous retelling of “The Three Little Pigs” is set in southern Africa and stars three small guinea-pig-like creatures that live in rock crevices in the Namib desert. The three dassies, garbed in traditional African dresses and turbans, are harassed by an eagle, who, like the wolf in the traditional tale, wants them for supper. He flies to the dassies’ houses made of grass and sticks and screeches, “I’ll flap and I’ll clap and I’ll blow your house in!” then captures them and plops them into his nest. On the side panels another story develops with a brightly dressed lizard, the Agama Man, who is intent on rescuing the little creatures. Children will enjoy following both stories and will linger on each page following the exacting detail of the setting: the desert, the characters, the decorative borders, and all the small touches in between. This tale will captivate children and introduce a setting and animals unfamiliar to most of them.

Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT © Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC.

From Booklist First things first: dassies, or rock hydraxes, are small mammals native to sub-Saharan Africa. In this “Three Little Pigs” adaptation, three dassies strike out to make new homes. While Timbi takes the time to construct a solid stone dwelling, hasty siblings Mimbi and Pimbi use grass and sticks, respectively. After being pursued by an eagle, the dassies’ natural predator (playing the wolf’s traditional role here), Mimbi and Pimbi find shelter at Timbi’s, where a blast from the chimney sends the villainous bird “home for a nap,” wrapping up the tale with a nonviolent end. The familiar plotline is extended in the intricate watercolor-and-gouache artwork in Brett’s signature triptych layout: each central panel reflects the action described in the text, while wordless panels on either side show equally involving scenes, all handsomely framed by depictions of cloth, beadwork, and vegetation. Brett invokes the African setting with details of the desert landscape and the animals’ colorful, patterned clothing. The last page turns the story into an inspired pourquoi tale about dassies’ habitat and the sootlike coloring of native eagles. Preschool-Grade 2.

—Andrew Medlar

Reader Comments
Interesting twist on 3 little pigs story, with twist to creation myth at the end. Love the fabrics and patterns in the illustrations and how some of the side bars tell the story.

This is a beautifully illustrated book (with triptych panels) that feels like both an origin myth and a retelling of the Three Little Pigs. Set in Namibia, three dassies set off from home and build three houses (of woven grass, sticks, and brick-like rocks). An eagle is determined to turn them into dinner and a friendly lizard is equally determined to help his new friends. At the end we find out this is the reason why present day dassie live in rock homes and the eagles that soar above them are coloured black.

Post-modern picture book: I love, love, love this book! The last page was by far the best. I like how the three little pigs story can be presented with many other animals. The detail makes it seem like you are seeing real life images. The reading level is grades 1st-3rd. The story is a fun and adventurous. Each page has an image on the corners of the characters—neat to see because they weren’t directly mixed with the other characters, but they still fit perfect in the image. I definitely recommend this book!


Film: Baxu and the Giants
Genre: Dramatic short
Director: Florian Schott
Date of Release: 2019
Language: English and Afrikaans
Run Time: 29 minutes

Summary: A story of how rhinoceros poaching triggers social change in rural Namibia, seen through the eyes of a 9 year old girl. #baxuandthegiants #ShortFilm #ShortFilms


Artist: Tunakie

Born to Namibian parents in Angola, Tunakie is a traditional musician who began singing when she was a teenager. Her parents moved back to Namibia when she was eight. She was raised by her grandmother in Ontananga village.

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