Saturday, March 5, 2011

February In Lesotho

February 17, 2011

Hello again from Tabola, Lesotho. We are still in the midst of a very hot summer! . All the fruit trees are in full bloom, and it’s wonderful to see the young ones with smiles on their faces because of tummies filled with fresh peaches!
I hear that the weather in the U.S.A. has been exceptionally “wintery” this year Our winters are brutal here…not because of the cold, but because of the lack of warm places for shelter; one is not able to warm up, usually, until crawling into bed at night. Luckily, however, our winters are much shorter than the ones I know of in the U.S.A. Our coldest months are May, June and July; by August, things are beginning to warm up.
So, schools are back in full swing; we are all getting ready for the country’s biggest holiday, Meshoeshoe’s Day on March 11th. It’s the day we celebrate to honor King Meshoeshoe I, the first king of Lesotho. It’s a day filled with sports events and traditional songs, dances and food. I shall spend the day with Lepholisa L.E.C. (Lesotho Evangelical Church) School, since I spent last Moshoeshoe’s day with the two government schools.
I am told that the books for Renekeng Government Primary School have left the U.S.A., and should arrive on the South African coast some time in April!! All of us at Renekeng are busy preparing for this event…the room has to be prepared, shelves put in place, cataloging techniques decided upon, schedules made, library rules established, etc.
I am holding my first library workshop tomorrow after school for the teachers of the three schools to which I have been assigned. I’ll have to start from “scratch” since most of the teachers have not seen a library before; some of the qualified teachers have had access to their college libraries, but not for pleasure reading…only for research, so there is A LOT TO DO and explain about libraries. I intend to hold two workshops; if I can get the idea across that libraries are for pleasure and reading is fun, then my workshops will have been successful. My biggest concern about the new library is that the teachers will think it’s such a precious gift that they won’t allow their children the freedom to truly explore its treasures. In many schools in Lesotho, the doors to the library are always locked; the books just gather dust, but they are considered a “school asset”…ugh. I’ll do my best to not let this happen to the Renekeng library.
At Mopeli Government Primary School we are working on two major projects: the first is the bringing of electricity into the school, and the second is the reparing of the road leading to the school. If we can get these projects started…even maybe almost completed before winter sets in, I’ll be one happy volunteer!! I intend to direct a play, “The Great Flood”, to be presented as a fund-raiser for the electricity project. It’ll be nice to dip my hands into some theatre again!

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