After over 30hours or so of traveling, we finally arrived toLesothoairport. I was filled with excitement, curiosity and vigor for what was to come. We were met with smiles, fruit and welcome signs by three current volunteers, the Losotho Education advisor and many others. We were divided into three groups that traveled to three different villages inLesotho, where our host families eagerly awaited our arrival.
The drive was beautiful and many people waved to us as we drove by. The first stop once we got to Ha Mabekenyane (my host family’s village), was the chief’s house. There were several women and children that sang to us. We were then introduced to our host families. My ‘m’e (mother) is so wonderful and loving. My Sesotho name is Thato, meaning “the beloved”. I am staying with the mother and father-in-law of my ‘m’e. She also has a 3month old baby J
Thankfully my ‘m’e speaks English, but she is strict with me and will only speak Sesotho…but English only when necessary. Therefore, I am learning Sesotho rather quickly with the help of my ‘m’e and the language classes. It is very overwhelming; especially when I want to just be able to communicate right away (if you don’t know already, my desired super power is to know how to speak and understand every language). Yet, the Bosotho people are overwhelmingly patient and helpful; solely saying “Lumela” (pronounced, doo-may-la) to greet someone they are overjoyed and willing to converse with you.
There is so much to say about this brand new life! I apologize in advance for the limited information—it’s just hard to write everything down, especially under the constraints of an ever-dwindling laptop battery life. Here a few more quick details: I have a room of my own, I will be living with this wonderfully loving host family until 18 December and then I will be officially sworn in to the Peace Corps and start my assignment somewhere else inLesotho. Training is draining and hectic (I wake up around 5-5:30am, have language class from 7:30-10ish, walk 25minutes to the next village to have training sessions with the other volunteers, walk 25minutes home around 4:30pm and by 8 or 9pm I am ready to pass out! I have gotten into the habit of doing yoga before bed as a way to stay centered and kill the time). The food is delicious—for the most part—and I am getting used to the frequent “tea time breaks” we have throughout the day. My host family has electricity, yet in my room, I am not allowed to use it (Peace Corps regulation) so I use a paraffin lamp after dark.
Please, if you have any questions that I have not yet answered, feel free to reply with any burning curiosities. I will try my best to answer them the next time I have Internet access!