This morning M'e Mamoabi asked me if I wanted to go to a Lesotho cultural event with her and Ntate Joseph....of course I threw down the stuff I was bleaching, washed my hands and was out in the yard in no time at all! I walked with four M'es...all dressed in traditional wear which consisted of either a seshoeshoe or a skirt covered from the waist down with a Basotho blanket. They all also had some sort of head covering.
As I walked with the M'es I asked about the event, but no one seemed able to tell me what would be going on. M'e Amelia, Ntate's daughter-in-law who lives on the compound (she's the one in the blue seshoeshoe and brown hat) told me that it would be a service for the children who have died and for the parents who have died from "causes"...they don't even mention the word AIDS in this town... Of course I said, "From AIDS?" The answer was an immediate no.
We walked a distance and finally got to a house where people were gathering outside and lining up for food...every occasion is celebrated with eating. We got on the line for eating and were served papa (a Masotho's main staple...a very dry, white corn meal paste, moroho, (cooked vegetables... mainly cabbabe) chicken, sour porridge (actually quite tasty) and joala (homemade brew).
We all washed our hands in the same bucket and then sat down wherever we could find shade and ate with our hands...something I'm becoming quite used to.
I took lots of pictures and amused the crowds showing the shots until a saw a sheep being let out to the crowd on a rope..."uh oh...what's this ?" I thought. When I asked M'e Amelia, she said that it was going to be a special rital to spiritually separate a set of eighteen year old twins...a boy and a girl. This was the cultural event...very popular in Lesotho. Naturally I asked about the sheep...you guessed it; the ritual is not complete until the sheep has been slaughtered and cooked.
The twins came out of the house...no special costumes...in fact, both were in stylish jeans, looking quite embarrassed at what they had to endure!
So, some old gentleman said a whole bunch in Sesotho (I think he was the chief), and he kept passing his hands and arms between the boy and girl.. The next thing that happened was amazing...he placed the kids' hands on the sheep then walked right over to me, pointing to the camera and muttering lots of words.
I got the idea and took the picture...all the time thinking about the poor sheep. I ABSOLUTELY DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THAT PART OF THE RITUAL.! Then along came M'e Mamoabi to the rescue; she tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Let's go." Boy was I glad to leave the ceremony!!
I spent the afternoon at St. Rose with Kaye...after I picked up my mail in :Peka...yes, the mail actually does come faster to that P.O. Box! Audry, I received a letter and the small flat rate box posted January 22! For all I know, the package could have arrived earlier in the week thanks for all the wonderful goodies! I shall secure my pit toilet door in the morning...oh, the little things which become luxuries!!!
I walked the three miles from the Peka posong (you guessed it, post office) to Kaye's house, got there hot, thirsty, exhausted and Kaye said, "Let's go on a hike!" Actually, after we'd sat a while enjoying the package contents and some good conversation, we did go on a great hike. We ended up in a remote village in the hills behind St Rose Clinic, surrounded by green pastures, adorable little herdsboys, donkeys, sheep, a baby lamb, baby goat, huge cows...it was incredible; no; I didn't bring my camera on the hike.
Anyway, I'm back home with Tsoene fast asleep in my lap. It was a wonderful day.