Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010

You know those times in life when you could just kick yourself for not having a camera? Well yesterday was one for me. I opened the door to the pit latrine at one of my schools and I was greeted by three frightened, VERY young lambs! When they saw me, they huddled closely together as though I were some sort of evil monster. When I tried to approach them, the three of them scrambled up to the seat of the latrine so fast that I was afraid one would fall in. I backed off and calmly tried to coax them outside...no dice!!! So, I walked slowly toward them, just to get them to jump down from the pit, which they did. The poor things were so afraid of me that they couldn't even utter a whisper of a baaa. Finally, I realized I'd have to pick them up. So I did, one by one, and placed them outside the toilet. As I put each one down, it squeeled a fervent baaa for mama. What an experience! These little guys where so new that they were still white!! I guess those are some pictures that will be in my heart only.
Last week there was a cultural day in Peka. My three schools participated in dancing, singing, debate and poetry competitions! Mopeli took first place in the poetry section because of a poem a fifth grader wrote on A.I.D.s. She'll participate, now in the district (state) competition! Yea! We're slowly making progress toward the connection of electricity to one of my schools; things go slowly here, and I've learned to take baby steps and be happy with anything that happens even in "Basotho time". I'll try to get some pictures of the cultural day events posted as soon as I get back to my home in Tabola. The air is filled with spring...birds chirping, peach and apricot trees blooming, children shedding layers and smiling more! Life is good in Lesotho; I hope it's good for you wherever you are! Rusty

Here are the pictures:

10. should be a picture of a rooster which wandered onto school property

5. girls dancing...note the bells under the skirts...made from bottle caps

12. a group portrait of the Lapholisa boys and girls before they performed

14. boys dancing

20. girls singing

27. the pattern on my seshoeshoe

4. teachers sitting and waiting for the competitions to begin

6. younger girls dancing

13. boys dancing

16. fifth grade poetry winner performing her original poem about AIDs

25. boys singing

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

This has been such a fun week in Tabola! It was the first week back to school after the long winter break (June 8th.-August 2nd). The month I spent in the U.S.A. helped me to beat the coldest part of the year in Lesotho. Now, although the mornings and evenings are still quite chilly, the afternoons are sunny and pleasant…shirtsleeve or sweatshirt weather.
Thanks to the incredible donation of 308 pairs of brand new socks from friends of Audry and Fran, there are now a lot fewer cold toes in Leribe!

The children were thrilled with their likausi (socks, pronounced deekaoosee).

I also managed to bring back an “I love NY) tee shirt for each teacher in the three schools I service. The teachers have decided to wear their new shirts to the next sporting event, so I’ll try to catch an image during the games.
I also found out that each school will be going on a field trip in September!!!! Fun!!! Renekeng will be going to Taba Basio, the mountain which houses the ruins, gravesites and story of the founding of Lesotho by King Meshoeshoe I. I’ve already been there and am anxious to go back; I want to know as much as I can about this magical “Kingdom in the Sky”. Lepholisa (pronounced Laypodeesa) has decided that their trip will be to Khatse Dam; I haven’t seen this place yet, but here the scenery is magnificent. Mopeli (pronounced Mopedee) has not decided where their school trip will be…I’m hoping we go on some sort of safari…oh well, I can still dream.
My last bit of fun news is that the Steamboat Springs home school parents have decided to help build a library for one of my schools! I believe they’ve already begun fund raising and collecting new and gently used books. If anyone in the area wants to lend a hand with books or fund raising, I’m sure they’d welcome your help.
Tomorrow I shall take a young boy into Maputsoe to buy him a pair of shoes. Then I’ll meet some other volunteers later in the day to discuss a workshop we’re planning about teaching life skills (mainly H.I.V./A.I.D.s prevention and care).
I spent a lovely afternoon playing cards with Ntate and ‘M’e Ramoabi. I was the BIG loser…but it was still so much fun. We sat outside to play, allowing the spring sun to beat down on us…lovely. It’s truly wonderful to be back!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010
It's good to be back home in Lesotho! My visit to the U.S.A. was very good, but I am glad to be back and working again!! It was wonderful to see Joey and Lulu, my two grandchildren!! Yes, of course I've come back here with loads of pictures of the darlings. I've finally figured out how to get into this blog, so I'm writing directly to it rather than through Audry. Unfortunately, I haven't the slightest idea of how to post pictures; maybe Audry will be kind enough to post Joey and Lulu for me. The east coast was hot and muggy...CT was just a bit better, but the joy of being with Golfo, her family and my family made the weather quite bearable! ( Golfo, by the way, is doing quite well; she had surgery two weeks ago to remove the cancer from her body. According to the oncologist, there is no visible cancer left. She will undergo 3-6 more chemo sessions, and, hopefully be back on her feet and running around by mid November.) I must admit that the first two weeks I actually savored the heat...having come from the middle of winter in Lesotho! My timing for the trip back to the U.S.A. was just right (thank you, Audry and Jedd) as spring has just begun here. I am told that July was incredibly cold!
Thanks to the generosity of two of Audry's friends, I brought back over 300 pairs of brand new black socks for the school children. Mornings and evenings are still quite cold here, and will be through September, so the socks are very welcome!!