At International Coffee Hour, students, professors, faculty and staff, or invited guests, present about their countries of interest while refreshments from that country are served. In the most recent International Coffee Hour, David Leopard, Vice President of Finance, lectured about Namibia. He told of ten unknown facts about the country, gave a brief history and shared facts about the food, sights, and resources. He also revealed to the audience why he presented on Namibia.
Namibia is located on the west coast of Africa in southern Africa. The land is a desert land, not tropical. Namibia has been independent from Germany for 27 years. The official language is English and the official religion is Christianity. The Namibian flag has white, red, green and blue stripes with a yellow sun. The red stripes symbolize the blood of the people, the white stripes represent unity and peace, the green is symbolic of vegetation and cattle farming and the blue symbolizes the sky and ocean.
These are the 10 unknown, fun facts about Namibia that Leopard shared:
1. Namibia is known for its wild coastline – Skeleton Coast (it is protected) access is only granted to 800 visitors per year.
2. It is home to one of the world’s largest sand dunes.
3. It has the world’s largest population of wild cheetah’s.
4. It has the largest population of rhino.
5. Namibia is one of only two countries that have desert elephants.
6. Walvis Bay Lagoon is a resting stop for nearly 80 percent of Africa’s flamingos.
7. Namibia is home to the world’s largest underground lake.
8. This underground lake is home to the golden catfish.
9. Since it is home to the largest sand dunes, it is a great place to surf. Sand surfing is a popular sport.
10. It has the largest game reserves in the world.
Namibia is also known for cattle ranching and mining its most valuable resources which include diamonds, uranium, zinc, tin, silver, and tungsten. Namibia is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, but over 50 percent of the population live below the poverty level.
Leopard has been to the country many times and told stories about learning the traditional languages from Namibians. Towards the end of the presentation, he revealed that his son is married to a Namibian, and that is why he has close ties to the country.
Cori Ray, a freshman Business major, said, “I liked the ten fun facts and pictures. I also like the fact that the country has desert elephants because there is a low population of them.”
If you want to learn more about the countries that your fellow students and professors are from or affiliated with, and eat amazing food, come to the next International Coffee Hour this Thursday from 12-1. The countries to be discussed will be Egypt and France.
Written by: Deborah Dahn. Photo credit: Deborah Dahn.