Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reflection gathering images to send home to you

Life is hard but good here; I am loving working with the young teachers and learning from the old M'es.
Of all the things I've experienced so far, the hardest has been the constant appearance of death in every family. One in four people is infected with H.I.V. Most are very religious and refuse to believe it exists...or that its contracted through sex. Educating the young has been difficult because of the elders' resistence to the entire idea that this disease exists. But...kids ARE listening. Elder Basotho culture believes in the inferiority of the female; they also believe in the concept of multiple partners. Our biggest mission has been to promote the idea of safe sex through one love relationships. I fear that if the Basotho don't "catch on" soon, there will be no future for the country...in fact, there may be an extinct group of Africans if we don't get this awful disease checked. Saturdays are designated official funeral days in this country. You see, the elders who are still around are from the time before the outbreak of H.I.V. In their minds, most of the young are dying from "broken fingers" or common colds...this is true...I have seen these things written on death certificates.
But, as I said before, the young are listening; when I help to teach life skills, they are asking good questions! I love these people and can't wait until you get to meet some of them...

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