Archive for Lesotho Stories

2012 Handme downs with SA Adventure in review

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

Down to the wire – Springtime in Lesotho

Maggie Day - Lesotho VolunteerSpring 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

Hand Me Down with SA Adventure – October 2012

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

Water is a big deal in Lesotho. A very big deal.

Maggie Day - Lesotho Volunteer On the big-picture side The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is a massive Government program resulting from a treaty signed in 1986 which was an agreement to sell water from the Lesotho mountain areas to South Africa.  Visit their website at  http://www.lhwa.org  for project details.   In addition to financial and hydroelectric power benefits the LHWP has been instrumental in the formation of the beautiful Ts’ehlanyane National Park.   From the LHWP website:

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Why Porcupine Has Quills

A group of African Crested Porcupine

African Crested Porcupine – Photo by Albert Herbigneaux

Long ago, Porcupine was a most handsome creature and he possessed a luxuriant coat of fur. As he looked so splendid, and many of the other animals often complimented him, Porcupine became quite vain. Read more

World Wide Schools and Pen Pal Programs

Maggie Day - Lesotho VolunteerOne of very enjoyable parts of Peace Corps service is the opportunity to connect students from various countries through the World Wide Schools (WWS) program.  As noted in the WWS Match Handbook, “The program is designed to engage students in an inquiry about the world, themselves and others in order to broaden perspectives, promote cultural awareness, appreciate global connections and encourage service”.   Through a “pen-pal” exchange that works along with WWS the students learn about places in the world as seen and described by their peers, developing new friendships along the way.  Read more

Start With Us – Reach Lesotho AIDS and HIV awareness

Bonds of friendship Victoria Lockyer, 18, a Guelph CVI Grade 12 student and Thato Mabaso, a youth from Lesotho, hope to inspire their peers to change the world in a new movie "Start With Us." Prionnsias James Murphy

Bonds of friendship Victoria Lockyer, 18, a Guelph CVI Grade 12 student and Thato Mabaso, a youth from Lesotho, hope to inspire their peers to change the world in a new movie “Start With Us.”

GUELPH — Happy, hopeful, curious and resourceful. They may not be the characteristics you would expect to find among the youth of a tiny African nation buckled by poverty and disease. But find them you will.

Stories of friendship, equality and mutual determination to change the world — perhaps not the storyline you would expect from a documentary film that hopes to inspire young Canadians to think about and assist a poor, AIDS-ravaged country in sub-Saharan Africa.

But the makers of Start With Us think a new, more accurate way of thinking about Africa, and more specifically about Lesotho, is exactly what is needed if we hope to work together as global citizens to make the world a healthier and more equitable place. Read more

Juliana’s going home

Juliana Fulton - American Lesotho Peace corpsAfter more than two years, in two weeks I’m going back home, but in many ways I am starting over, leaving my home.  My life back in the U.S. is such an extreme contrast to my life here, it’s difficult to imagine them blending at all, being able to retain any aspect of my life here.  I’m leaving my thatched hut that has been my home for the past two years, leaving my host family, friends and neighbours, my community, to jump back into a world that they can’t even imagine.  Read more

Living by the seasons – 8 months for oranges

Juliana Fulton - American Lesotho Peace corpsIt’s orange season again.  I’ve waited for it for 8 months, and man was that first orange good.  It comes right after peach season.  After stuffing myself everyday with peaches that grow in every yard here, and I was ready for an orange.  We’re also getting into cabbage season.  I never would have thought I’d ever get excited about cabbage, but cooked with a little oil and spice—yum.

One of the things I love (and can also sometimes get frustrated with) living in rural Lesotho is that I eat according by the season.  It’s just what is available, what things grow here (and in neighboring South Africa, such as oranges) and when it is ready to be picked.  There is something really satisfying about knowing exactly where my food comes from, and often the exact person who grew it.  It makes me the food taste better, and it probably does have more flavor since it doesn’t have to be shipped far.

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Public Transport in Lesotho – What’s the rush?

Juliana Fulton - American Lesotho Peace corpsOne of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of living in rural Lesotho is taking the public transportation.  It shows how much a person can adapt, something that used to drive me crazy now seems perfectly normal and OK.  But I’m lucky, being on a nice paved road, I don’t have the bumpy, often nauseating mountainous dirt roads that many other volunteers do.

What took the most getting use to was the speed.  The driver usually drives leaning out of the window searching the hills for possible customers.  Often a woman will be across the river or up a hill and we all sit and wait for her to take her sweet time to get to the car.  Some people do rush, but it sure does not feel like the average.  Even when we are off, on our way, we usually don’t go any faster than 20 kilometres an hour (12.5 mph) for the first 30 km.  I’ve been passed by maize-laden donkeys, old men walking with canes, and one time a toddler, toddling down the road without pants on.  For an American use to efficient, quick cars and buses, this was very hard to get used to.  But as I’ve come to see, in Lesotho what’s the rush? Read more

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