“Why did Upper Volta get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks!”
O.K. That’s not really the song, but it is kind of fun to write and sing when trying to get a check on Geography.
A few weeks ago, I was driving to work and listening to NPR News. We all know that sometimes “we” lose the context of things on the radio; be it traffic distractions, mind wandering, or just plain inattention. I’m not sure which one got me that morning as the news story was talking about some recent trouble in Burkina Faso. Where? Yea, that’s what I said as well. At the moment I came out of the fog, I suddenly realized, that I had no idea which noun (person, place, or thing…….” oh really Zulu???) the story was talking about, as the name was so unfamiliar. When I did stretch my attention and came to the clue that the story was not only about a place but a country, I was shocked. Shocked because I had absolutely no idea where the country was. I’m not ashamed, but I am a little disappointed.
I by no means know every country and exact location of it on the planet, but I do pride myself on having “some idea” where things are. Not this time. O.K, I might be a little hard on myself in this matter. I did have a little idea, but I didn’t know it. The first opportunity I got, I looked up Burkina Faso. I immediately came to realize that the last time I really studied Geography in seriousness, I was a Sophomoric (I mean Sophomore) in high school, and at that time, the West African Nation was called Upper Volta. Aaahhhhh!!!
The name of the country was changed in 1984. “Even old New York was once New Amsterdam.”
I love maps and charts. As an explorer, sailor, navigator, and curious person, I am constantly looking at maps and charts (calling John M, calling John M!). This experience reminds me of two things. 1. I need to brush up on my Geography, and 2. The “answer” to the question.
How many times do we ask people questions only to get some answer so full of bull, that we no longer trust any response from that person? There is an easy way out. Let me show you. Question; “Hey Zulu, where is Burkina Faso?” Answer; “I don’t know……… but I’ll find out!” Good answer.
Anyone who tells you they know everything obviously has their head Upper their Volta!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist!