Monday, June 27, 2011

Ha ke na mata (it really does mean no problems)

Hello everyone!
Sorry it has been awhile since we have been online! But we have been in Lesotho since June 3rd. They took us straight from the airport to our training villages outside of Maseru, and we have not been able to get onto the blog since then. I really don't know where to start... so, when we got to our "training villages" (where we will live for about two months with host families until we swear in and go to our permanent site) with four other volunteers; as the Peace Corps vehicle drove through the village the driver started honking and everyone ran out of their houses and we all went to the cheif's house where everyone met and sang and the cheif gave a speech, and there was more singing. Then we got to me our host mothers (our 'me) and they were really excited and we were all really happy. Then we went back to our 'me's (pronounced may) house and they gave us Sesotho names and met the rest of our family. We are living in one room in a really nice house that is made of concrete, with tile floor and a nice sheet metal roof, it also has a rainwater collection system, a borehole/watertower, beautiful couch set and a dish with a big screen TV, but the generator isn't working right now so we all do not have power. Our 'me also has a huge garden, rose bushes and chickens. We are using a tin shack pit latrine with a wooden seat, and our life in buckets has begun! Every night we bathe in buckets and once a week we wash our clothes in buckets which is actually pretty hard and does take awhile.
Our family is so awesome! Our 'me is quite sophisticated and speaks very good english, our Ntate (father) works in a platinum mine in SA, we also have a married younger sister and a 14 year old brother who is also very cool. They have been really great to us and even threw me a surprise b-day party.
Our days have been pretty long, trainings are from 7:30am starting with Sesotho class and then we got to a different village with everyone else and learn about other safety, health and development stuff until about 4pm when we start the hour long walk home. It has been getting light at 7am and dark at 5pm. The weather has been pretty good, but definately chilly - and we are rarely very warm. The buildings are often colder than outside. It is frosting at night but there hasn't been snow - though we did have hail on the first Wednesday that we were here and with the sound on the tin roof we couldn't here anything the teacher was saying.
Lesotho is beautiful! The Basotho people are beautiful and for the most part very friendly. We have only been on two hikes so far because we have been so busy everyday with training, but I know more will come. We have also been eating a lot of traditional food - leshile shile which is a sorghum porrige just like malt-o-meal, papa which is a corn mush thing that is white with not a lot of flavor sort of like white rice and moroho which is a sauteed mustard green. We have also been eating other things but those are the most unique. I should probably wrap this up now. We've taken a bunch of pictures but we have to be really careful about not loading viruses onto our camera with public computers so I will post those later. We did get a cell phone and it seems like we can recieve calls from the states so please email us for the number if you'd like to call - we would love to hear from you, we are 8 hours ahead of MT and the current volunteers say that using an international calling card from the states is the easiest/cheapest way to go. We have also had people recieving letters and care packages - taking about 2-4 weeks so please use the address we posted to write to us! We miss you all, but we are having a good time so far. Please feel free to post questions for us to answer in the comments to help direct the blog.
Lots of love!
Shane and Carol


  1. Sorry about the missed connections while you guys were here. I am proud of you guys(!) and glad to hear things are going well and that you two arrived safely. I'm excited to hear more about your job placements and the new adventures you are both having and Happy Birthday Carol. P.s. I am really excited about putting together a care package, if you're list of -ohmygod imma die without.... changes, update! (Like, carol needs girly things?) :) Thinking of you guys, Be safe and kick some ass!

  2. Hello Sharol! Its great to hear from you. I totally forgot about this blog for the last few weeks (ashamed :S) but I am very glad that you two have been updating it- it has put an end to my wonderings and sometimes worryings. Hard to believe you guys have already spent a month there! I hope things are going smoothly and there hasn't been too much of a culture shock. Its great to hear that your host family is so warm and welcoming, and I'm sure you're both having plenty of new food adventures, among a plethora of other new experiences. Also- that care package list is really neat. :) Thanks for the updates, and keep 'em coming!

  3. Thanks guys! You are awesome, please keep following and we love love love letters!