Happy Lesotho-Spring to all our lovely readers,
The snow has melted (slowly, and beautifully off the mountains) and left us with very nice temperatures in the mid-70's during the day! We didn't even need to wear our jackets when eating dinner last night! The pepper and tomato starts are really coming along and we are really enjoying that light and fresh feeling of spring. I went to the garden on Monday, planted a few more "spring things" such as carrots, peas and spinach and even gambled with throwing in a few sweet corn seeds! I saw the fruit trees blooming and thought it would be a fun picture to share with you all, as you enjoy the harvest season, heat and smoke "up there." I also took another photo that is a little gross, so I appologize, but Shane and I agreed that it is quite reflective of life here and something we have seen many times - though usually not so close to home! On Saturday, a horse died very close to our garden, it stayed there through Sunday and on Monday, local residents of the squatter camp came to butcher it - below is a photo of the results... This is a tough time of year for livestock, all of the dry grass from the previous summer has already been grazed/burned and the new grass isn't up yet. Also, as I mentioned previously, the snow was pretty hard on them as well. Here are the consequences and how they are dealt with...
Also, at WFP we were just informed that the new Prime Minister of Lesotho has declared a state of food security emergency, stating that almost 730,000 people are forecasted to need humanitarian aid this year!
The kids enjoyed their snow days off from school - we saw them walking around town, playing. One "toy" that I've been seeing a lot lately is VHS tape which is tied to a can or a stick and then thrown or waved around. Our projects are starting to get back in gear after the snow too. At the library last Saturday we read a book about snow and then we made those paper cut out snowflakes... remember those? Shane has been a rockstar in getting the grant project implemented but has really been facing some unexpected challenges, which is a struggle because of how hard they worked to meticulously plan things out and account for as many things as possible - we often use this quote that we saved from a Good Earth teabag as a good reminder:
Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
– Charles Lindbergh
So, there you have it - Peace Corps Service... However, yesterday was a great day for me because I got to hug orphans and play tag to my neighbor kids and it counted as "my job."
I do want to comment on some feedback that we got on the snow post about how many trees were in the photos. The compound we live on, at this time, has a lot of beautiful large, old trees. We were told it is the result of the foresight possed by the missionary priest that lived there before (we're guessing maybe 60's to 80's..) If you notice, almost all of the other photos that we've posted haven't had any trees and people that come to visit us remark on them because they are so exceptional. Deforestation is a huge environmental problem here, especially because most people burn wood (or cow dung...) for cooking and heating. This contributes hugely to the environmental problem of erosion that I often talk about. But, we love our trees, we are lucky, most of Lesotho doesn't have them, and we are really sad that people are cutting them down so much for firewood and because "thieves use them to hide behind." We are trying to encourage the current priests to work with the Ministry of Forestry to come up with a forest management plan for the mission, but have not had a lot of success yet.
I will leave you with my baking list from Sunday which was - Rustic Italian bread (that paired nicely with our cabbage, onion and Textured Vegetable Protein soup - yum!), Mango Peach Scones, Peanut Butter cookies and Apple Cider Cake.
So, there is our life from the last week - kids, challenges, garden events and baking...
Until next time, we wish you all the best and send our hugs from Lesotho!
Carol and Shane