My new life: What it’s like to live in Lesotho?
My life is so different here in Lesotho as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
I have so much to share with you; I don’t know where to start.
Instead of writing a super-long blog post, I’ve decided to share the basics about my new life as a Peace Corps volunteer in training. I’m sure you want to see photos of where I live, my new host family, and my rural surroundings. I’m now living with donkeys, dogs (a ton of them,) roosters, chickens, sheep, and numerous cats, especially kittens.
Whenever I have access to an Internet connection, and electricity, I shall post my daily life in more detail. (Not sure exactly when, but I hope you’re interested.)
I can’t believe that this time two weekends ago, I sat in a fancy restaurant in San Clemente, California, enjoying Cioppino, with shrimp, fish, muscles and scallops in a delicious tomato broth, with warm sourdough bread and butter and a glass of Chardonnay.
Now I’m eating papa, (a maize powder cooked in boiling water) with morojo (chopped greens cooked in oil) with stewed pumpkin and carrot slaw. I eat a ton of carbs, and very little protein, compared to what I ate in California.
I’ve been adopted by my host mother or (‘m’e) Mathuso, and she is very caring and sweet. She shows me how to hand wash my clothes outside in a bucket of cold water which was transported up the hill by donkey.
‘M’e gets upset when I don’t arrange my multipurpose bedroom/kitchen/bathroom (basically my pee bucket, and plastic bath tub,) the way women do it in Lesotho. I find it strange that my host “mother” is four years younger than me, and she makes me feel like a child who has no clue what she’s doing, despite having been a mother/cook/cleaning lady myself for 37 years.
I now have a nine-year old sister, Ausi (sister) Boitumelo, a brother, Abuti (brother) Tebeho. They help me pronounce new vocabulary words in Sesotho; another challenge as I have three months to learn this foreign African language, before I get shipped off to my future village, where I shall teach English in a primary school for two years.
I’m learning to adapt as fast as I can, but it is stressful to have Sesotho language classes every day, and to be bombarded with friendly Basotho people from the village stopping you on the dirt road to ask you questions about your Sesotho name, (mine is ‘m’e Palusa which means flower) where you’re you’re from etc. They speak so fast, and I’m finding the pressure is on to learn the language quickly.
We also have Peace Corps classes from 7:30 a.m., until 5p.m., daily, and then homework and studying in the dark room with no electricity. Taking a bucket bath, and daily chores take forever, so I feel more stressed now than I did in Orange County.
I have a paraffin lamp to study when it gets dark around 6:30 p.m., and thankfully my headlamp so I can find my pee bucket at night. We are not allowed outside to use the latrine, due to the guard dogs who get into vicious fights almost every night.
More to come later.
By the way, if you’d like to connect with me, apart from e-mails, please sign up for what’s app. This is a FREE APP, and we can chat and send messages. I shall e-mail you my Lesotho phone # if you’d like to communicate with me on What’s app. E-mail me at:
Sala hantle, (stay well.)