Thursday, November 20, 2014

What I Will Miss About Lesotho

 I will miss the children of Lesotho the most.

   Lesotho will always have a special place in my heart. It is the place where I finally felt that I was enough as a person. The place where I discovered my passion and purpose and how to combine the two. The place that changed my life for the better. For those reasons alone, I'll always have love for The Mountain Kingdom in the Sky, and there will be many things that I will always miss about Lesotho land.
   I'll miss the children, who were little pebbles, my rocks who unknowingly kept me grounded and lifted me when my spirits were down.
   I'll miss my host family, who held me down and lifted me up for two years.
   I'll miss the Peace Corps Volunteers, who heavily supported my craft project and water pump.
   I'll miss Peace Corps Lesotho staff, who were open enough to take chances with my far-left thinking and ideas, and guided me and doled out unwavering support.
   I'll miss village life: climbing that mountain to get home. Pumping my water. Boiling it to drink and bathe with. Cleaning my produce in my dish water. Washing my panties and socks in my just used bath water. Bucket baths. Pee buckets. Latrines. Talking freely about poop with other Peace Corps Volunteers. Reading by candlelight. Wearing the same clothes over and over and over again like I'm in college. Eating beans and rice so that I can have enough money to backpack all over southern Africa. Peace Corps parties. Surviving and thriving on $200 USD a month.
   My host siblings. Them karati-kicking the front door shut. Listening to Famo music, South African house and classic Brenda Fassie music.Washing my dishes on the stoop behind my host family’s latrine. Wrapping beautiful pieces of fabric around my waste. Playing UNO and reading bedtime stories by flashlight. Scrambling to grab my solar chargers right before a big rainstorm. Seeing the Peace Corps Land Cruiser roar through my village. The kindness of strangers, especially that of Basotho womenMy host mom’s warm, soft bread.
   Baking cakes for the kids on Sundays. Allocating at least one day every two weeks or so to charge up all of my electronics.
  Donkeys. Cows. Wheelbarrows. Aloe trees. Mountains. Malealea Lodge. Maseru. Mafeteng. Craft markets. My students, who taught me more than I taught them. Good teachers. The Basotho, who taught me true generosity and kindness. Living off of the land. Pink and purple sunsets. Dirt roads. Clear air. Quiet moments. Solitude. Serenity. Peace. Giving a piece of my core. Peace from my core. Peace Corps. 

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