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Tag: Maggie Day

I’m asking for…

I’m asking for…

I hear it almost every day, in almost every village.  “I’m asking for sweets”, “I’m asking for money”, or… food, a job, your earrings, boots, bag, etc… It’s called out from the hillsides as I walk along the roadway or it’s something someone says as they walk past me.  Over and over, day after day.   The first few times I was so concerned and confused, I wanted to help but not to give in an inappropriate manner; also I never…

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Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom

Cuisine of the Mountain Kingdom

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…

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History of Weaving in Lesotho

History of Weaving in Lesotho

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…

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It’s peach season in Lesotho

It’s peach season in Lesotho

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…

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Litsoejane – Girls Initiation School

Litsoejane – Girls Initiation School

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…

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Christmas in Lesotho

Christmas in Lesotho

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…

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Never a dull moment in Lesotho…

Never a dull moment in Lesotho…

It’s surprising how many death defying events can occur on a regular basis here. 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…

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Down to the wire – Springtime in Lesotho

Down to the wire – Springtime in Lesotho

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…

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