Morning...it's chilly here in Maseru, but not yet bitter cold. We've (the 2010 Education group) been here since Sunday...recapping, analyzing, relaxing, enjoying hot running water and flush toilets, malls, movie houses, restaurants and each other's company....and I'm more than ready to go back to my not-so-sophisticated village of Tabola. Every afternoon this week we've continued with Sesotho lessons...now we're into learning many of the “slangs”. That should be pretty useful to us.
My friend, Mary, has decided to go home; that's kind of sad for me, but she needs to do what her heart tells her. My next closest friend, Kaye,,,a C.H.E.D. (community health and environmental development) volunteer...will be leaving on June 1st. So, things are looking a bit different right about now. Thank goodness for all the emails and pictures; that's really keeping me going!
Last week St Rose High School held a huge cultural festival. We started the day by parading from the high school grounds into the town of Peka and up to the chief's place. The kids were dressed in traditional garb...quite a scene as we paraded through the streets of the village (dirt roads). Some of the girls had painted their bodies and were wearing dancing skirts only...totally acceptable in this culture. Others wore incredibly beautiful seshoeshoes (pronounced seshwayshways.). Both boys and girls wore traditional Lesotho blankets over their things...yes, blankets are worn in all weather; they protect from heat, cold, wind, rain and sun. Most of the students performed in the afternoon; it was quite a day.
At Lepholisa last week the fifth grade home economics lesson was the drying of peaches and moroho (vegetable leaves). The particular leaves in the picture are pumpkin leaves. They're washed and chopped finely and then laid out to dry for about three days. The peaches (peregise) are sliced and laid out to dry also. It's been kind of hard for me to accept the constant presence of flies...zillions of them...especially during the drying of food. You see, it's just laid out on whatever for about three or four days...brought in at night and laid out again in the morning until the food has completely dried.
We've been at the training center since Sunday...more language lessons, H.I.V./A.I.D.s lessons, lectures, lectures and more lectures...ugh. After leading such active lives in our villages for the past three months, it's really hard for all of us to sit all day long and be talked to, at and about! I just got called out of my room to watch one of the gals shave all the hair off one of the boy's heads!!! Now you know we're getting pretty anxious for some action. We were all going to treat ourselves and go to see a movie...yup, there's a brand new movie theatre at a nearby mall here in Maseru...but it's one of the girl's birthday, today, so we stayed home, made a cake, sang, etc. Poor Eric; it's a good thing his mama can't see his head right now! Shanti, the girl who's shaving it, has been really “celebrating” the birthday, so her handling of the shaver is not quite perfect. Have I told you that all these kids are great...and REALLY crazy?