Saturday, October 25, 2014

Things I Admire about the Basotho

The Basotho get three things right: patience, connection and kindness.

   Life in Lesotho ain't easy.
   It's a whole other world when you have no electricity, running water or Chipotle nearby.
   Still, I've learned a lot from my simple way of living--and have come to admire several things about the Basotho: their patience, way of connection to people and genuine kindness.
   The Basotho certainly know how to be patient. My school quickly raised the money for our water pump project. But it took three contractors and nearly three months to start construction on the pump. I thought things would start much sooner because I come from a fast-paced society. Um, no. What a naive thing to think! Things are done very differently in Lesotho. Even when it pertains to construction. It took nearly a week for the contractor to secure a tractor to bring his drilling machine up the mountain that the school is on. He said that was the main hold up. Um, whatever. He did eventually come and we did eventually get our pump, after my host mother told me to be patient.
   The Basotho also know what it means to truly connect with people. My host family isn't on Facebook. They don't know a thing about Twitter. They don't have a blog. But everyday, we sit down at the kitchen table and talk. We play UNO. We read bedtime stories. We laugh. We fret. We eat homemade cake every Sunday. There's nothing wrong with technology or social networking, I use them to connect with my loved ones back in America. But the digital divide is real here in Lesotho; personal connection is not.
   Most Basotho are warm, welcoming and kind. I notice this in the little things they do. One day, I arrived to village from vacation and a Peace Corps training session with two huge bags. I saw my host brother's  teacher at the bus stop. We began to talk about everything and nothing. Afterward, she called her son and his friend over to help me carry my luggage up the mountain. I didn't ask her for help. And I didn't have to.

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