Inspired by Ska Mirriam’s international award winning cookbook, Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom, this month is all about the queen of lijo tsa Basotho, (Basotho Food), Corn or Maize as it’s called here. We’re just coming into harvest time and the grain stores of most families are slim to none so it’s wonderful to see people now in the fields starting to harvest. While in January and February it was the standard for people to be carrying peaches and usually eating them at the same time, by March it was time for boiled sweet corn. Yum. Picked while the stalks were still green and the kernel were fat, yellow and sweet. Read more
Archive for Lesotho Stories
There is a long history of weaving in Lesotho. At the nearby Leribe Craft Center we found this photo proudly honoring “the pioneers of spinning and weaving in Lesotho” at St. Mary’s Craft School in 1911.
The weaving process starts with collection of fibers from Lesotho’s large herds of sheep and goats. It was news to me that wool comes from sheep and mohair from goats. As this photo collection from Sesotho Designs shows, the coat or fleece is removed once per year, generally after the winter, when the herders bring the animals down from the mountains. Read more
I’m starting to hear voices from the trees again. When I heard it last year I was astonished, now I know it means something wonderful. It’s peach season!
Our area of Lesotho is thick with peach trees. You will find them planted around homes, schools, fields and high up on the hillside grazing areas, aggressive growers from discarded peach pits eaten or planted by herders in years past. Even our family pig enjoys life in the shade of a peach tree and the addition of peaches to its usual diet.
There are two major varieties of local peaches, Tae-pete are small yellow-white peaches which ripen in December & January and Motloha-Tholoana, larger sweeter peaches that ripen to reddish-yellow in February. Now that the February fruits are in full flush the trees seem to be talking almost everywhere, sending out happy greetings, “Lumela Mpho, u phela joang!” (Hi Mpho how are u?) , “…re teng le kae” (Hi, we’re fine how are you?) or most intriguingly speaking with each other, so quickly I can’t translate. Read more
Some time ago I was leaving my house when I heard singing and chanting and saw a row of people coming down the path of a neighbouring hillside. I was told they were a “Girls Initiation School” a Litsoejane (deet sway jah nay). I kept a respectful distance and watched as they joined up and started a series of dances and songs. I had to leave for an important meeting at one of the primary schools so I reluctantly started walking down the hill when I heard the Litsoejane group coming down behind me. Read more
For many Wittenberg University students, it has become a rite of passage. En route to a coveted degree from one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country, hundreds of students over the last decade have participated in a life-altering service trip to the African kingdom of Lesotho.
Once again, a group of Wittenberg students and faculty members are in Lesotho, this time giving their entire break between semesters in the 2012-13 school year to making a difference in one of the most impoverished nations on earth. The traveling party landed in Lesotho on Saturday, Dec. 15, and will return to the United States just in time for the start of classes on Monday, Jan. 7. Read more
This month our Village Life column is from M’e Mantai Musa. M’e Mantai is the Maliba Trust’s Community Liaison Trainee. She lives in the neighbouring village of Ha Mali and runs the Saturday youth program at the Ha Mali Community Center, co-teachers a Business Education Class for out-of-school individuals and assists with Village Support Groups.
“The Christmas Holiday celebration begins as a homecoming all through December. Many people work or go to school in South Africa or other places but this time of year everyone comes back and it is a happy time as husbands, wives, children and friends are now home together. Read more
And not just the routine risks that come with working with kids who live on the edge from the time they can toddle. I’ve seen children as young as 3 years of age speeding along on the backs of donkeys, bareback. Little ones smashing glass bottles together just because. Sliding down hillsides on jagged pieces of corrugated metal, chasing each other into the edges of whatever sharp thing is around, playing with fire, running with knives, throwing rocks at each other and just generally causing all sorts of bloody injuries in the interest of great fun. Did I mention we have one of the world’s highest incidences of HIV/AIDS? So I bought a box of surgical gloves and am careful, careful when one of the kids comes for help with a cut at the Community Center. Read more
As 2012 comes to an end, we would like to say a huge thank you for all the support we have had throughout the year! Hand me Down, along with Maliba Mountain Lodge have managed to redistribute Hand me Downs to over 1200 people this year, which is a huge achievement!
Although Hand me Down is a fairly new initiative, SA Adventure has always been involved in community and sustainable development projects around Southern Africa. What we have found truly amazing working with the Maliba Community this year, is the shear respect amongst the community. The Community workers are brilliant; they are always there to help our volunteers and the community, they serve selflessly! They are fully aware of those who are most in need and create an environment of working together for the betterment of others. The recipients of Hand me Downs are called up one by one, from a line of probably 400 people at a time. They are listed according to level of need, not age or gender! How phenomenal! I have to say that it is not only a humbling experience to witness, but we could learn a few things from these communities! Read more
Spring is here. We are no longer just off freezing, in the house and out, from sunset to sunrise. Without electricity the sounds and activities of quotidian village life move with natural light and shortly after sunset peace reigns. Aggressive dogs excluded, of course, darkness is their time. Eventually even the dogs settled down and those winter nights were long, cold and quiet.
After a candle-lit dinner I too would settle, into multi-layers of blankets, wearing multi-layers of clothing plus wool cap, thick socks and even gloves on especially cold nights. After an hour or so of reading by head-lamp I’d enjoy 10 hours of sleep or more each night. Just one more treat of my experience here for someone who was lucky to get 6 hours sleep per night in my “traditional” life. Read more
After the Hand Me Down distribution in August, it was back to business as usual, with a purpose though! Our next Hand Me Down was to be 12th October, and the donations were rolling in. Much time has been spent behind the scenes, sorting and packing the donated clothes. Last minute donations had come in and the dedicated volunteers work late into the night to sort and pack the clothes. It is a labour of love, done with a good heart and great excitement.
Friday dawns with pouring rain, which does not dampen our spirits, we know we are on a mission and will not be swayed. Together with our core team we have three new guest volunteers. This distribution is very special as it is Matilda’s inaugural trip! Matilda is Hand Me Down’s latest team member, a beautifully resorted Landy 110! We arrive at Maliba Mountain Lodge just before 8.00 pm with the last hour or so driving in the dark. Our new volunteers have no idea of the scenery around us. Tomorrow will reveal the beauty of Lesotho. Besides the natural beauty there are the wonderful people of Lesotho who have won our hearts. Read more