Chief 'M'e Matumo Thamahane and I at my swearing-in ceremony last week.
During my pre-service training, I lived with the chief of my small village, Hamabekenyane.
Her name was 'M'e Matumo Thamahane. (Note: 'M'e is like saying "Ma'am, Miss or Mrs.)
I really liked that the village chief was a woman.
'M'e Matumo's husband, like many of the men in Lesotho, is a miner and lives and works in South Africa most of the year. In such instances, their wives assume the chiefdom.
'M'e Matumo was cooler than a fan.
She was pretty normal: She ate cornflakes, placed a teddy bear that one of her daughters gave her as a gift in the middle of her made-up bed everyday and she loved sports.
After my long, intense days of language and culture training, 'M'e Matumo would cook for me.
She was an awesome cook and fed me HUGE portions of papa (a thick, grit-like dish) and meroho (greens) because "I was too skinny."
We'd spend the evenings watching the news and the African soap operas. (She was one of the few families in the village who had electricity.)
On the weekends, we'd kick back-I with a Maluti beer, she with a Black Label- and play cards and watch the futbol games with two of her four children.
Her team was the Orlando Pirates and we'd both go crazy when a Pirates player scored.
"Black or White, do or die!" I'd scream.
When I first met 'M'e Matumo, she called me a princess.
When pre-service training wrapped-up, I became very sad because it meant that I had to leave the woman who had truly treated me like one.
I miss her hospitality, good food and most importantly, her.
I think she misses me too.
The day after I moved out of her house, she called wanting to know why I hadn't called her.