Life in the U.S. is full of distractions; that's probably not news to you, but it does come as a shock after living in a rondavel in Lesotho, where my only distractions were the sounds of roosters crowing at 4 a.m., donkeys braying day and night, dogs defending their territories, and Basotho villagers yelling across the corn fields. I used to think the people were angry, but soon learned that shouting is a normal way of communicating in my host country.
It's only been five weeks since I returned from Lesotho, but somehow it feels like six months. I'm so busy; my calendar is full, as Read more [...]
It all started when I parked my car and noticed a skinny man pulling into the space across from mine in an old Buick. I picked up my pace thinking, I hope that’s not him.
We agreed to meet at "Mother's Kitchen" and I entered through the sliding doors and pretended to look at the chocolates and candy and all the flowers as it happened to be Valentine’s Day.
I’d just finished a job meeting with the Director of International Student programs at a local university, and felt like I'd accomplished something, so I called Jon to say, "Let's meet for coffee."
I could tell it was Jon, Read more [...]
Looking for a job in the U.S., after being a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, has forced me to re-program my brain, which is why I'm asking for your help. (Photo of my first networking event the day after I landed in the U.S.)
The minute I stepped off the plane at LAX, I realized I'd have to put on my Usain Bolt legs to keep up with the pace of my fellow passengers. Why does everyone sprint? In my rural village in Lesotho, I was known as the fast walker, but now my legs appeared to be letting me down. (No jokes about an aging body please.)
The competitive spirit hit me as I accelerated Read more [...]
Many of you enjoyed following my daily life in Lesotho, so it's been a struggle for me to know what to continue writing about after the end of my service on January 7th, 2017.
Therefore, I've decided to share a document I wrote in October 2016, about the pros and cons of my personal experience in my rural village. Please note that this is what I felt at the time, and may be completely different from what other Peace Volunteers go through. I thank the Peace Corps for letting me serve, and once again, this is not to "put down" the Basotho people I met, nor the Peace Corps; it's just Sonia Read more [...]
After exactly 15 months in Lesotho, I decided after several months of reflection, to start a new chapter in my life. I'm returning to the U.S., and looking forward to seeing my sons more often, and being with so many supportive friends.
Before I get into the reasons why I decided to start a new chapter, I want to thank the Peace Corps for giving me the opportunity to experience work and life in rural Lesotho, and to especially thank the Peace Corps Lesotho staff, including the wonderful Country Director, Wendy VanDamme.
I loved practicing my French with, Dr. Olga and Dr. Alex, and Read more [...]
From rice and lentils to salmon and champagne, life is good in Paris.
I left my rural village in Lesotho, last week, flew to Johannesburg with a stopover in Abu-Dhabi and finally Paris.
It's amazing how fast I've adapted to nice showers, a washing machine, a clean gym, and good food.
Jill, my Father's wife celebrated her 80th birthday with 48 relatives and friends who flew in from Denmark, Italy, Brazil, and me from Lesotho.
We celebrated at "Le Fruit Defendu" the perfect restaurant for a cozy evening with a delightful Christmas feel located on the banks of the river Seine, Read more [...]
I woke up at 4:20 a.m., excited and anxious about working on a construction project with a local contractor from my rural village in Lesotho, and his team of workers.
I kept my fingers crossed there would be no glitches, and that we'd buy all the materials at the Basotho equivalent of "Home Depot." After that, I'd offer lunch to everyone at KFC in Maseru, and then we'd drive back in the rented truck and reach my school by early afternoon. That was my plan.
'M'e Mamoshaka, a teacher at my school asked me to head over to her house at 6:15 a.m. She likes to sleep late, so I was pleasantly Read more [...]
I need your help to raise $5,000 to improve the safety and education of students at my rural school in Lesotho, Africa.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO MY PROJECT IN LESOTHO
(Scroll Down Until You Reach S. Marsh)
All donations are sent through the Peace Corps and are
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION
Your donations will go through the Peace Corps Partnership Program funds website.
My community has agreed upon the following 3 priorities to help our school.
1). Make a safe classroom environment for 5th grade students.
Half the roof and ceiling collapsed in July, due to the unusually heavy Read more [...]
After living in Lesotho for almost a year, I have experienced two cases of overprescribed medication and agree with the results of a new study that shows that:
“Doctors in sub-Sahara Africa generally prescribe more drugs than the number recommended by the World Health Organization.” published in the BMC Public Health Journal,
I have experienced two cases of individuals who were given 4-5 medications, and one injection for:
1). A cold
The seventeen-year-old daughter of my host family during Peace Corps training woke up with a cough, and what appeared to me to be the Read more [...]
The Peace Corps warned us that boredom and loneliness may cause a problem at times, and asked us to think of some coping mechanisms. I came up with a new one: online dating.
My days are busy with teaching, but evenings and weekends can become quite lonely, and boring in my rural village in Lesotho. It’s quite common for Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) to get depressed between months six to nine of service. We were shown a graph depicting the highs and lows experienced by PCVs during our ten-week training session.
Apart from spending time with my “host mother” and other activities Read more [...]