Saturday, June 7, 2014

Living on $200 USD in Lesotho

   Money, money, money, money, MONEY!!
   Today, I want to talk about money, or chelete in Sesotho.
   As a PCV, I get a monthly stipend that’s the equivalent of about $200 US Dollars. (I get an extra $20 USD during cold months to help defray the cost of heating materials).
   Most people here get by on about $200 US Dollars a month (or 2,000 Maloti or South African Rand) and PCVs have to live like the people as much as possible. That’s why the stipend is that little.   
   Things here are pretty cheap. The US conversion rate is about $10/11 US Dollars to 1 Lesotho Loti/South African Rand.
   I try to make my stipend work. I'll spend about M400 on food, M200 on airtime, M200 on transport, M100 on laundry, M100 on Internet fees and M300 for savings per month. 
   And if I’m trying to go on vacation, I will cut back on food to save. It cost me roughly $200 US Dollars to go to Clarens, South Africa and I spent an entire paycheck on that getaway! It was worth every loti, though!
   Money, moolah, dinero. However you say it, it’s a big part of my life here!

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